Armitage gives Azerbaidjani troops in Iraq high marks

13:09 2004-03-29

US Deputy Secretary of State gives Azerbaidjani troops in Iraq high marks

A morning meeting between Azerbaidjani President Ilham Aliev and US Deputy
Secretary of State Richard Armitage began with a one-on-one meeting, and was
later expanded to include other members of the respective sides. As reported
by the Azerbaidjani press office to a Rosbalt correspondent, during the
second round of talks, Ilham Aliev remarked on the accelerated evolution of
bilateral relations in all spheres.

According to Aliev, the United States is assisting Azerbaidjan in its
efforts to institute political and economic reforms. He also maintained that
the United States would offer similar assistance for the social and economic
development of the various regions of the country.

Aliev said that he hoped for the further bilateral cooperation of the two
countries in the military sphere. ‘Azerbaidjan belongs to the antiterrorism
coalition, and will continue to participate in the future,’ he said.

Addressing the conflict in Karabakh, Aliev noted that it would be resolved
with the participation of the OSCE, and in accordance with the territorial
integrity of Azerbaidjan.

Richard Armitage in turn gave high marks to the participation of
Azerbaidjani troops in the antiterrorism coalition. In his view,
Azerbaidjani soldiers are serving in an exemplary fashion in both Iraq and
Afghanistan. ‘We want a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Karabakh,’ he
said. ‘The Caucasus can become a good partner for the West in the future,
but in order for that to happen, peace has to be established in the region.’

It was notable that many journalists representing independent and opposition
media were not allowed to attend the meeting between Armitage and Aliev.

© RosBalt