Azeri Pres urges to refrain from agitation arnd Armenian MPs visit
by By Sevinc Abdullayeva, Viktor Shulman
ITAR-TASS News Agency
November 9, 2004 Tuesday
MASALLY, Azerbaijan, November 9 — President Ilham Aliyev of
Azerbaijan has urged officials and public representatives to refrain
from agitation around a visit to the country by a group of MPs who
will take part in a Rose Road meeting of NATO parliamentary assembly,
scheduled for November 26.
“Azerbaijan cannot isolate itself from the world and the processing
happening abroad, and if we renounce such events [NATO parliamentary
meeting – Itar-Tass], we’ll only play into Armenia’s hands,” he said.
Aliyev recalled that Azerbaijan did not allow Armenian servicemen to
take part in the NATO-led field exercise Cooperative Best Effort’2004,
and the move produced a mixed reaction at various international
“We firmly defended our position then, and I personally decided
Armenian army people won’t come to Baku because they belong to an
occupation army,” Aliyev said.
NATO took an eleventh-hour decision then to cancel the exercise
altogether due to Baku’s refusal to let the Armenians in.
Azerbaijani government will never make concessions on issues vital
for the nation, Aliyev said, adding however that Azerbaijan will
scarcely make any gains if it cancels such important events as the
NATO parliamentary meeting just because Armenian MPs take part in it.