Azerbaijani officials refuse comments on Gul’s statement

July 6 2004


YEREVAN, JULY 6, ARMENPRESS: In a comment on Armenian foreign
affairs minister Vartan Oskanian’s visit to Moscow, an Azerbaijani
daily Ekho writes that “Oskanian indeed has a lot to discuss with his
Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, especially in the light of an
article published by a Turkish daily Zaman.’
The Turkish daily quoted Turkish foreign affairs minister Abdullah
Gul as saying last Friday that “an important step has been taken
towards resolution of the 16-year-long Nagorno-Karabagh conflict.”
Gul reportedly said during the meeting of the Justice and Development
Party (AKP) that his Armenian counterpart Vartan Oskanian had said
during a meeting on the sidelines of June 28029 NATO summit in
Istanbul that “We can withdraw from Azerbaijan’s all territories
except Karabagh.” The Turkish foreign minister pointed out that his
Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mamedyarov welcomed Oskanian’s
Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry refused, however, on Monday to
comment on Gul’s statement saying the trilateral meeting between the
foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey was of a
consultative nature. Another senior Azerbaijani official, Novruz
Mamedov, the chief of presidential staff, said it was early to
evaluate the report in Zaman. “The trilateral meeting in Istanbul was
held behind the closed door,” he added saying that “we shall have to
wait until Elmar Mamedyarov, who is now in Brussels at NATO
headquarters is back home.”