BAKU: America-Azerbaijan military coop to enhance

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
May 27 2004

[May 27, 2004, 18:12:35]

This was stated at the meeting of defense minister of Azerbaijan
Republic colonel-general Safar Abiyev with the delegation led by Vice
Chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee,
co-chair of the Congress-Milli Majlis working group, congressman
Curt Weldon.

Speaking of strengthening of the links and strategic partnership
between Azerbaijan and the United States, colonel-general Safar
Abiyev reminded that President Ilham Aliyev has presented the “Plan
of individual partnership activity” to the Secretary General of NATO
during his recent visit to Brussels. The defense minister dwelt on
joint combat against international terrorism between Azerbaijani
and US in the frame of “PfP” program. The Azerbaijan-US economic
partnership also develops successfully, he underlined.

Touching upon the current state of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorny
Karabakh conflict, the Minister said that Armenia keeps under
occupation the Azerbaijani lands and ignores the UN Security Council’s
four Resolutions on unconditional withdrawal of its armed forces
from eh area. “We are concerned that the world community still has
not recognized Armenian as an aggressor state.”

Congressman Curt Weldon presented the delegation he led saying “we
highly appreciate existence of Azerbaijan servicemen shoulder by
shoulder with the American soldiers in combat against international
terrorism. They are high-level militaries. We are thankful for this
to the people of Azerbaijan.” Speaking of the goals of his visit
to Azerbaijan republic, he said that we are going to expand the
Azerbaijan-US military cooperation. During the negotiations in the
Russian Federation, we recalled what significant role Azerbaijan
plays in security issues.

Dwelling on the Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorny Karabakh conflict, Mr.
Curt Weldon said that the United States is going to increase its
efforts in this direction. US will continue its links with Azerbaijan
as a strategic ally, he emphasized.

Congressmen attending the meeting expressed gratitude to Azerbaijan
state and people for support of the United States in combat against
international terrorism. Azerbaijan and the United States have great
and all-round cooperation in the years coming, they noted.

Defense minister Safar Abiyev expressed gratitude to the Congressmen
for kind words underlining that Azerbaijan draws attention of the
leading world countries with its geographic-strategic position.
Azerbaijan from the first day of its independence prefers integration
to the West, including the United States. This choice gave birth to
large economic projects and Azerbaijan strictly adheres this position.

Updating the visitors on the military-political situation in the
South Caucasus, Minister Abiyev said the key goal is to strengthen
Azerbaijan’s independence, also responded to the questions the guests
interested in.

Ambassador of the United States Mr. Reno Harnish attended the meeting.