BAKU: US envoy urges Azeris to ensure security at NATO conference

US envoy urges Azeris to ensure security at NATO conference

Ekspress, Baku
24 Jun 04

Washington hopes that Azerbaijan will draw a conclusion from the
incident at NATO’s Baku conference and take “serious steps” to ensure
the security of the Cooperative Best Effort-2004 exercises. “The
latest incident indicates that security should be heightened during
the NATO exercises,” the US ambassador to Azerbaijan, Reno Harnish,
told reporters yesterday.

The North Atlantic alliance is ready to provide official Baku with
“any support” in any issue, he thinks. “I believe that the NATO
secretary general’s office is ready to work jointly with the
Azerbaijani government to react appropriately to such cases,” Harnish
said.

The ambassador recalled that during his visit to Brussels last month,
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that Baku wanted to further
expand and strengthen its relations with NATO. “In turn, NATO
signalled its desire to be closely engaged in the Caucasus
region. This is a very sensitive aspect and such incidents should be
prevented,” the diplomat said.

[Passage omitted: The Turkish envoy described the incident as
undesirable; An Azerbaijani official condemned the incident]

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