BAKU: Rumsfeld: Iran’s nuclear programme threat to world

Iran’s nuclear programme threat to world, Rumsfeld says in Azeri capital

Azad Azarbaycan TV, Baku
12 Aug 04

Presenter Namiq Aliyev Before leaving Azerbaijan, US Secretary of
Defence Donald Rumsfeld has held a news conference at Heydar Aliyev
airport. Speaking about the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict, Rumsfeld said
he viewed the settlement of the problem only within the framework of
Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.

Correspondent, over video of Rumsfeld and Azerbaijani Defence Minister
Safar Abiyev at news conference Rumsfeld said that the USA appreciated
Azerbaijan’s involvement in the antiterror coalition. Speaking highly
about the Azerbaijani peacekeepers in Afghanistan and Iraq, Rumsfeld
spoke about the topics discussed at his meetings with Azerbaijani
President Ilham Aliyev and Safar Abiyev. He said that cooperation
within the framework of NATO’s Partnership for Peace Programme,
bilateral military cooperation, combating international terrorism,
smuggling, drugs trafficking and proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction in the Caspian region had been the main subject of the

Rumsfeld said that the expansion of the Azerbaijani military
contingents in Afghanistan and Iraq had not been discussed.

Rumsfeld in English, with Azeri voice-over The UN wants to organize
the upcoming elections in Iraq. There is a need for assistance in
organizing and holding these elections. We hope that the coalition
countries will render this assistance.

Correspondent Azerbaijan is the only Muslim country in the coalition
that has sent troops to Iraq and supports the USA in this as given
. Asked when Azerbaijan will witness the USA’s support in the Nagornyy
Karabakh problem, Rumsfeld said:

Rumsfeld A settlement to the Nagornyy Karabakh problem is being
discussed within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. The USA and
the Minsk Group co-chairmen want to resolve this issue. Washington has
appointed a new co-chairman. I would like to say that the USA supports
Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.

Correspondent Asked about how he could explain the fact that USA,
which supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, had allocated 5m
dollars to the separatist Karabakh regime, Rumsfeld said that one
should view this as part of general humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan and
the entire region. This is quite a large sum, he added. Another
question to Rumsfeld was why the USA did not demand that Armenia
fulfil the UN’s four resolutions on Nagornyy Karabakh .

Rumsfeld The international community supports the OSCE Minsk Group
which is dealing with this issue. I believe that the OSCE Minsk Group
will find a solution to this problem and Azerbaijan’s territorial
integrity will be protected.

Corespondent Rumsfeld said that Iranian President Mohammad Khatami’s
visit to Azerbaijan on 5-7 August had been discussed as well. He added
that Iran has been developing its nuclear programmes and, in doing so,
poses a threat to the whole world, including the neighbouring

In turn, Safar Abiyev spoke about the issues that the Azerbaijani
government wanted the USA to help it with in the first place.

Safar Abiyev in Russian, with Azeri voice-over First, we would like
the USA to demand that Armenia urgently withdraw its occupying troops
from Azerbaijani territories. We also want the USA’s support to
guarantee security in the Caspian because there are some disagreements
there, and the USA’s assistance is very important.

Correspondent Safar Abiyev said that Washington-Baku military ties
have been speedily developing and the sides plan to develop
cooperation in the future to strengthen their relations.

Etibar Mammadov, Mirtofiq Miralioglu, for “Son Xabar” programme.