BAKU: Until return of IDPS to their homelands, No Settlement

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
July 21 2004

[July 21, 2004, 15:53:37]

As was informed, foreign minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov is
on his visit to Washington on the invitation of Secretary of State
Mr. Colin Powell. This is his first visit as foreign minister.

On 20 July, Minister Mammadyarov has met Secretary of State Colin
Powell, minister of energy Spenser Abraham, chairmen of working
groups of Congress-Milli Majlis, congressmen Curt Weldon and Solomon
Ortiz, as well as representatives of the Jewish community, AzerTAj
correspondent reported.

At the meeting with the minister of energy Spenser Abraham, the
foreign minister informed on the achievements in the oil-gas fields
in the Republic. The parties stressed the importance of the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipelines for
the region. Currently Azerbaijan negotiates with Greece on gas
transportation, Minister Mammadyarov said. There are good
opportunities for transportation of Azerbaijan gas to world markets.
He stressed necessity of US assistance in this question.

The Ministers also focused the question of signing the project
`US-Azerbaijan energy dialogue’ that covers bilateral cooperation in
the energy sector. It was noted that there is an interest to the
restored energy sources in the world. Mr. S. Abraham expressed hope
that the two countries would reach high-level cooperation in this
sphere. Also were touched issues of establishment of links between
scientific-research centers, made suggestions on joint research with
the participation of Azerbaijan scholars in the labs in America with
their American colleagues.

The same day, Mr. Mammadyarov made a report on the topic `Foreign
policy priorities of Azerbaijan at the Center of Strategic and
International Researches in Washington. The Minister highlighted on
the relations of the Republic with US, Iran, Russia, Turkey and NATO,
on the projects being realized in the Caspian basin, on ensuring
safety of the oil-gas pipelines, on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.
Noting that the democratic and economic reforms are going at full
scale, Mr. Mammadyarov said that investing the oil profits to the
non-oil sectors of Country is one of the major tasks of Azerbaijan
government. Deposits of the transparently acting Oil Fund of Republic
will be directed to agriculture, tourism, transport, communications
and other spheres.

Impeding regional development in the South Caucasus, the
Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorny Karabakh conflict was in the focus of the
meeting at the Center of Strategic and International Researches in
Washington. In reply to numerous questions of the participants,
Minister Mammadyarov stated that despite 20 percents of the Country’s
territories have been occupied and there are over million refugees
and IDPs, Azerbaijan still adheres peaceful settlement of the
conflict in the frame of international laws. He reminded that
Presidents of both countries have met two times and foreign ministers
– three times in this year. Touching the recent visit of Minsk Group
co-chairs to the region, foreign minister of Azerbaijan said he is
hopeful for their mediation in the conflict settlement. At his words,
international support for Azerbaijan’s position gives reason to say
that. He reminded that the Council of Europe has reaffirmed in its
recent document the territorial intensity of Azerbaijan.

One of the items focused in the meeting was allocation by the
Congress Committee of equal military assistance for Azerbaijan and
Armenia. Mr. Mammadyarov gave high assessment to the links between
Azerbaijan and Pentagon, recalled the earlier successfully realized
military programs. He, at the same time, underlined that he is
surprised at equal assistance to Azerbaijan who is in the anti-terror
coalition with the United States in the hot spots, and Armenia, who
simply expresses its support for the Alley’s military operations. If
the United States wants to continue cooperation with Azerbaijan it
should appropriately regard and military assistance to Azerbaijan.


On 20 July, Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov has met at the Department of State
with Secretary of State Mr. Colin Powell. In the course of talks, Mr.
Powell expressed gratitude for Azerbaijan’s participation at the
anti-terror campaign and in particular, for service in staff of the
peacemaking forces in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. The United States
attentively watches the democratic and economic reforms in
Azerbaijan, Secretary of State said. Noting that since George Bush
Administration assumed power, the US pays constant attention to
settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, Mr. Colin Powell said
that as the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair the United States would closely
watch the developments in the region and continue to effectively take
part at the process of negotiations. He noted that it should be taken
into account how the society is ready to discuss the settlement of

Minister E. Mammadyarov stated: `Until return of IDPs to their
homelands, the society will remain sensitive to settlement of
conflict and in this case, it is not real to speak of settlement of
the Armenia Azerbaijan, Nagorny Karabakh conflict’. He called on the
United States as a super state and OSCE Minsk Group co-chair to
increase its efforts for just settlement of the conflict in the frame
of international laws.

During the talk, the parties also focused the energy projects being
realized in the Caspian basin. Also were discussed other questions of
mutual interest.

Ms. Elizabeth Jones, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and
Eurasian Affairs, American co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Steven
Mann, ambassador of Azerbaijan in Washington Hafiz Pashayev,
Azerbaijan’s permanent representative in UN Yashar Aliyev took part
in the meeting.

Mr. E. Mammadyarov is expected to have a number of meetings and
discussions till 24 July.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress