NATO not to create bases in Azerbaijan

Nov. 5, 2004

NATO not to create bases in Azerbaijan

BAKU, November 5 (Itar-Tass) – NATO will not participate directly in
the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, NATO Secretary-General
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said at a press conference here, ending his visit
to Azerbaijan. He stressed that it is the OSCE Minsk Group for
Nagorno-Karabakh, which is handling the problem and trying to find an
effective way of settling it.

According to Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, at present NATO cannot make a
contribution to the settlement of the conflict, but it is going to
support any efforts aimed at establishing peace.

He stressed that the NATO countries respected the territorial integrity
of Azerbaijan, and added that he would welcome the early settlement of
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which has brought a lot of suffering to

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer described his visit to Azerbaijan as extremely
useful. According to his information, he had a long tete-a-tete meeting
with Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev.

He said he had met as well members of the commission working on the
plan of individual cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO, which, in
his opinion, is a major step forward on the way of the development of
NATO-Azerbaijan cooperation. The work on the plan will be continued
both in Azerbaijan and in the NATO headquarters, with a view to giving
a final touch to the document.

Scheffer said he had discussed with Azerbaijani officials ways of
developing cooperation in various spheres, ranging from the Silk Way
project to cooperation in the sphere of science and ecology. He is
positive the foundation for closer cooperation between Azerbaijan and
NATO has been created already.

Responding to questions of journalists, Scheffer said that NATO was not
planning to create military bases on the territory of Azerbaijan.

Commenting on a possibility of the financing by NATO of military
reforms in Azerbaijan, Scheffer said NATO could not do that. `NATO
renders assistance to military reforms within the framework of the
Partnership For Peace programme,’ he said.

After the press conference was over, the NATO Secretary-General left
for Yerevan.

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS