BAKU: Azeri Opp leader calls on Bush to tackle breakaway conflict

Azeri opposition leader calls on Bush to tackle breakaway conflict

ANS TV, Baku
21 Feb 05

[Presenter] The Azerbaijani opposition wants power to be changed in a
peaceful and democratic way only, the chairman of the People’s Front
of Azerbaijan Party [PFAP], Ali Karimli, today told a news conference
dedicated to his visits to Europe and the USA. Since the international
community is now focusing its attention on Azerbaijan following the
developments in Georgia and Ukraine, the opposition badly needs the
support of international organizations, he said.

[Correspondent, over video of news conference] PFAP chairman Ali
Karimli said that he had appealed to US President George Bush to help
solve the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict. He called on the USA, as
co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, to step up its role in finding a
fair solution to the conflict. The party leader wants the USA to back
Azerbaijan, which is suffering as a result of the Armenian
occupation. Karimli said that he had made this appeal in the presence
of representatives of the State Department and of the presidential
administration at the Nixon Centre.

[Ali Karimli, PFAP chairman, captioned, shown speaking] Since
President Bush has given priority to the settlement of frozen
conflicts and has taken certain steps towards the settlement of the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it would be good if he could again give
his attention to the Nagornyy Karabakh problem.

[Correspondent] Karimli stressed that the Karabakh conflict was
discussed in meetings with the US co-chairman of the Minsk Group,
Steven Mann, French co-chairman Bernard Fassier and [the special
representative of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly on Nagornyy
Karabakh, Goran] Lenmarker. He is convinced that the OSCE
Parliamentary Assembly’s report on Karabakh will be impartial.

Although Karabakh took centre stage in the meetings, the forthcoming
November parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan were also
discussed. Karimli said that he had not asked for any foreign
assistance either for himself or for his party in the run-up to the
polls. All I asked for was to support democracy, end of quote.

Then, Karimli said that they know abroad about the eavesdropping bug
found in his party’s headquarters. They did not hide their negative
attitude to this fact. One should not undermine the standing of the
Azerbaijani government in such a way, end of quote.

Afat Telmanqizi, Ramin Yaqubov for ANS