Azerbaijan leader, Duma speaker praise bilateral ties

RIA Novosti, Russia
March 29 2004


BAKU, March 29, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Gerai Dadashev) –
During their Monday meeting in Baku, Azerbaijanian President Ilkham
Aliyev and State Duma (lower house) Speaker Boris Gryzlov expressed
satisfaction with the state and dynamics of the relations between
their countries.

“We can see positive dynamics in all aspects of our relations and
palpable progress in the political dialogue between the two
countries,” said Mr. Aliyev.

In his words, there are no unsolved problems in Russia-Azerbaijan
relations. “All the differences are left in the past,” said the
Azerbaijanian leader.

As for the upcoming Russian-Azerbaijanian business forum due in Baku
in early April, Mr. Aliyev expressed confidence that “active
participation of Russian businessmen in Azerbaijan will promote the
two countries’ rapprochement.”

Mr. Aliyev also noted the role of Azerbaijanian and Russian
parliaments in expanding the two countries’ interaction.

“The level of co-operation between our countries, including
parliaments, is extremely high,” Mr. Gryzlov said in turn.

In his opinion, the activity of working groups for co-operation
between the two countries’ parliaments “will be aimed at real
interaction and real consideration of the two countries’ legislation
for the sake of common approaches.” In early April, the working groups
will meet in Moscow to discuss a series of draft laws that might be
suitable for adoption in both countries,” said Mr. Gryzlov.

The meeting continued behind closed doors.

On Monday, the Russian Duma speaker met Azerbaijanian Prime Minister
Artur Rasizade to discuss the two countries’ economic interaction and
also the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. In particular, Mr. Gryzlov asked
about the prospects of the gradual settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh

Mr. Rasizade gave detailed information about the sources of the
Karabakh problem and its current state. “Armenia today is acting as a
winner and shows no consistency in settling the conflict that causes
serious problems for the development of the region as a whole,” said
the prime minister.