AZERBAIJANI LEADER TO MEET BUSH ON IRAN N-CRISIS
April 19 2006
LONDON, April 19 (IranMania) – Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev will
hold talks next week at the White House with US President George W
Bush on the impasse over Iran’s nuclear program and other strategic
issues in the Caspian region, officials said Tuesday, according to AFP.
The Azerbaijani leader will travel to Washington on Tuesday for an
official visit Wednesday and Thursday, presidential spokesman Tair
Aliyev will also meet other US officials to discuss issues including
Iran, construction of oil and gas pipelines through Azerbaijan and
steps toward resolving Azerbaijan’s conflict with Armenia over the
enclave of Nagorno Karabakh, a diplomatic source in the president’s
office told AFP.
The oil-rich former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan sits on the northern
border of Iran and is seen as a potential staging post for a military
attack on the Islamic republic.
In addition to its interest in Azerbaijan’s oil and gas resources,
the United States has quietly provided military assistance to the
country in the form of upgrading naval vessels, training personnel
and building two powerful radar stations there.
US officials have said the assistance is not unusual and comes under
the heading of friendly bilateral US-Azerbaijani ties. Russia however
has kept a wary eye on the evolution of the US presence in Azerbaijan
and officials occasionally cite it as a source of regional tension.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijani authorities announced that Iranian Defense
Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najar was scheduled to travel to Baku on
Wednesday for a three day visit.
The Iranian minister was due to hold talks with his Azerbaijani
counterpart, Safar Abiyev, and other officials, a defense ministry
spokesman said. No agreements were expected to be signed.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress