BAKU: Azeri, Russian Presidents to discuss Garabagh conflict

Azeri, Russian Presidents to discuss Garabagh conflict

AzerNews, Azerbaijan
Feb 17 2005

President Ilham Aliyev has told Moscow-based “Nezavisimaya Gazeta”
newspaper that he will bring the attention of the Russian leader
Vladimir Putin to the Upper Garabagh conflict during his visit to
Moscow, which started on Tuesday.

“We will not negotiate just for the sake of negotiating”, he said.
Aliyev said that Russia, as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, has
considerable leverage for influencing the conflict resolution process.
“Russia is the only MG co-chair that shares a border with Azerbaijan
and is the largest regional state. This, certainly, further increases
its responsibility in the conflict settlement.”

The President also said he is dissatisfied with the activity of the
OSCE Minsk Group and that talks on resolving the problem have been

“The patience of the Azerbaijani people is not inexhaustible and we
cannot carry on with the talks for another 10 years.”

Aliyev said that if the negotiations yield no results, Baku will halt
them and move to respond to the new situation.

“We are strengthening our armed forces. If we put it in figures, the
funds we spent on defence exceed those spent by Armenia two times,
and we will further expand this potential. Armenia will not last long
compared to Azerbaijan in terms of the armament tempo.”

With regard to the possible stationing of foreign military contingent
in Azerbaijan, the President addressed the issue in the context of
the conflict resolution. He termed this as unacceptable, but said
that “if this implies admissibility of such an involvement for the
resolution of the Garabagh problem, then we may consider it”.