BAKU: European official calls for progress at Karabakh talks

European official calls for progress at Karabakh talks

ANS TV, Baku
7 Apr 04

[Presenter] Council of Europe Secretary-General Walter Schwimmer is
continuing his Baku meetings. He had a meeting with Speaker Murtuz
Alasgarov some time ago. In the morning, Schwimmer held talks with the
new [Azerbaijani] foreign minister, Elmar Mammadyarov. The Nagornyy
Karabakh conflict was the main topic of Schwimmer’s talks.

[Correspondent Ayaz Mirzayev] The Nagornyy Karabakh is not a problem
of only Azerbaijan and Armenia, it is a Europe-wide problem. We want
this conflict to be quickly resolved. This is a statement by Council
of Europe Secretary-General Walter Schwimmer who is paying a two-day
official visit to Azerbaijan.

Schwimmer began his trip to Azerbaijan with a visit to Heydar Aliyev’s
grave and then went to the Foreign Ministry. Before his first official
meeting in Baku, he spoke about the main aim of his visit.

[Schwimmer, shown talking to reporters outside Azerbaijan’s Foreign
Ministry in English with superimposed Azeri translation] The aim of my
visit is to assess the existing level of relations between Azerbaijan
and Council of Europe. Azerbaijan has been the Council of Europe’s
member for more than two years. The main subject to be discussed
during my visit is the fulfilment of Azerbaijan’s commitments.

[Correspondent] After the in-camera meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign
Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, Schwimmer voiced satisfaction with the
talks. He voiced his confidence that the new foreign ministry would
make contribution to the talks on the peaceful resolution of the
Nagornyy Karabakh conflict.

[Schwimmer] I have the impression that Mr Mammadyarov will take steps
towards the resolution of the problem. Both sides should not rule out
compromises. A lasting peace must be achieved in the end. But we
should make sure that above all the interests of the people who are
suffering from the conflict should be taken into account.

[Correspondent] Schwimmer said that the conflicting parties should
take a decisive step, but first they should resolve some other
important problems.

[Schwimmer] There are so many other questions – such as the return of
refugees to their homes, the restoration of the communication system,
the re-opening of the Azerbaijan-Naxcivan railway and others. I think
that at the initial stage we should try to resolve these issues.

[Correspondent] Both sides should continue peace talks. The time has
come to achieve progress, the Council of Europe secretary-general