BAKU: Azeri leader vows more funding for army in exclave

Azeri leader vows more funding for army in exclave

ANS TV, Baku
14 May 04

[Presenter] Within the framework of his visit to Naxcivan, Azerbaijani
President Ilham Aliyev today attended a ceremony to mark the 80th
anniversary of the Naxcivan Autonomous Republic. We are over to
Naxcivan now. ANS’s special correspondent Qanira Pasayeva is on the
line. Hello, Qanira.

[Correspondent on the phone] Hello, Qanira.

[Presenter] What issues did the president touch on in his speech?

[Correspondent] First, the chairman of the Supreme Majlis [parliament]
of the Naxcivan Autonomous Republic, Vasif Talibov, delivered a
speech. I want to note that this ceremony was attended mainly by the
ambassadors and charges d’affaires of different foreign countries to
Azerbaijan and representatives of international organizations. Talibov
concentrated on Naxcivan’s history and cited as an example the facts
that the Armenians have been trying to distort history and present
this land [Naxcivan] as their own.

[Passage omitted: Ilham Aliyev spoke about Naxcivan’s history]

In his speech, Ilham Aliyev said that Naxcivan was a blockaded
autonomous republic and drew international organizations’ attention
to this issue. He went on to say that the main focus of attention in
Naxcivan would be the build-up of the army and the acceleration of
social and economic progress.

[Passage omitted: New enterprises to open in Naxcivan; other minor

The president touched on the Karabakh conflict again and ruled out any
agreement if Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity is not maintained,
the occupied lands are not liberated and the refugees do not return
to their land. He said that the recent stance of international
organizations had encouraged his hope that the problem can be resolved
peacefully. However, he stressed that the build-up of the army would
continue to develop and more funds would be allocated to the army as
the economy is developing and incomes are increasing.

[Passage omitted: Transport and industrial complexes to be developed
in Naxcivan]