BAKU: US considers Azerbaijan strategic ally

US considers Azerbaijan strategic ally

3 June 04

Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel-General Safar Abiyev received
a US delegation headed by Kurt Weldon, Chairman of the US Congress
Armed Services Committee, on Wednesday.

Recalling that President Aliyev presented the NATO-Azerbaijan
cooperation plan to the NATO Secretary General in Brussels last week,
Abiyev said the President had reaffirmed Azerbaijan’s commitment to
cooperate with the US to fight international terrorism. Touching
upon the Upper Garabagh conflict, General Abiyev emphasized that
Armenia had ignored the UN Security Council’s four resolutions on an
unconditional withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied
lands of Azerbaijan and the international community had not recognized
Armenia as an aggressor.

Weldon said he had come to Baku to hold talks on expanding the military
cooperation between the US and Azerbaijan. He said that during a
recent visit to Moscow, he reminded Russian officials of Azerbaijan’s
tremendous role in security issues. “The US will continue relations
with Azerbaijan as its strategic ally”, he said. With regard to the
Upper Garabagh conflict, Weldon said he supports the stepping up of
the efforts of his country in this respect. Several members of the US
Congress attending the meeting expressed their appreciation to the
Azerbaijani side for supporting the US in combating international
terrorism and confidence that an extensive cooperation with the US
is in store for Azerbaijan.