BAKU: Azeri leader says Karabakh problem threat to major economic pr

Azeri leader says Karabakh problem threat to major economic projects

Trend news agency
19 May 04

Baku, 19 May, Trend correspondent E. Huseynov: Armenia’s position
regarding the occupation of the Nagornyy Karabakh region of Azerbaijan
and seven districts around it is nothing other than support for
aggressive separatism, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev told a
press conference at Brussels’ Conrad Hotel on 19 May.

The persistence of the situation, when 20 per cent of Azerbaijani
territories are under occupation, is seriously threatening the whole
of the region, Aliyev said. He regretted that the peace talks within
the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group had yielded no results and
hoped that a just settlement would be found which would be based on
international legal norms and would ensure Azerbaijan’s territorial
integrity. The president urged the international community to boost
their effort to find a peaceful settlement to the problem.

Aliyev highlighted that a big question mark was hanging over
all major economic projects in the South Caucasus, including the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas
pipeline, until stability was ensured. He positively evaluated
the European Union’s fresh initiative New Neighbourhood Policy and
noted that the programme was opening new cooperation opportunities.
Speaking about freedom of the media in Azerbaijan, the president
said that there was no censorship and no problem in this sphere in
the country.

[Passage omitted: Aliyev’s next meeting]