BAKU: Robert Simmons: “NATO Has Plans Concerning NK”

ROBERT SIMMONS: “NATO HAS PLANS CONCERNING NK”

Ïðaâî Âûaîða, Azerbaijan
Democratic Azerbaijan
May 24 2006

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Vardan Askanyan, stated
that NATO “wants to be involved with many issues concerning Nagorni
Garabakh, and proposes to hold discussions in this respect”.

In turn, deputy General Secretary of NATO, Robert Simmons, being in
Yerevan, informs: “Our interest directly concerns military changes
and conflicts in the region. NATO has some active plans and concept
concerning Caucasus and conflicts in the given region”.

In near future Alliance is going to enlarge the mandate of coordinator
of the region in question. Armenian mass media focused on recent
statement of R. Simmons concerning the fact that regulation of “frozen”
conflicts is the main priorities of NATO.

Special representative of organization stresses that nothing has
changed in NATO policy directed to Nagorni Garabakh: conflict should
be regulated peacefully owing to mutual efforts of both countries.

Azerbaijani officials in turn inform about necessity to increase NATO
role in regulation of the mentioned conflict. It should be reminded
that the given issue was touched upon during Simmons’ recent visit
to Baku while presentation new priorities of Alliance.

One of the principal items NATO “Individual Partnership Action Plan”
(IPAP) intended for Azerbaijan and Armenia includes security, defense,
public policy, science and administration issues of the countries.

During press conference held in Yerevan, Simmons stated that Brussels
watches tension in Caucasus which impedes cooperation. Alliance is
not worried about Russian military forces in Armenia. Accordingly to
Simmons, NATO dose not interfere in this issue, moreover Armenia is
not against it.

As for possibility of placement of NATO peacemaking forces in Nagorni
Garabakh Simmons underlined that it is possible after long and detailed
discussions. Regardless of anything NATO hopes for peaceful end of
the above conflict.

It was also pointed out that if addressed, the structure may join
the events to provide peace agreement.

NATO official does not deny participation of organization he
represents in security of oil-pipe line Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan and
other energetic project being realized in the region.

Accordingly to him NATO forces will not be entrusted with security of
oil-pipe. Alliance may provide technical aid for countries in which
the line lies and organize training.

In his speech delivered in Yerevan, Simmons touched upon the issue
of Armenian-Turkish frontier. He informed that military alliance does
not want to interfere in affairs of these countries.

At the same time Simmons called relationship between Armenia and
NATO “very good”. NATO representative specially stressed that he is
satisfied with cooperation of Yerevan and Brussels in the field of
army improvement.

–Boundary_(ID_hNVwjeF7EPa71HkZ4DuCk A)–

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