Azerbaijan, Ukraine to set up Council of presidents of two states

Azerbaijan, Ukraine to set up Council of presidents of two states
by: Sevindzh Abdullayeva, Viktor Shulman

ITAR-TASS News Agency
September 7, 2006 Thursday 04:01 PM EST

BAKU, September 7 — Azerbaijan and Ukraine decided to create a council
of presidents for resolving important issues in the interaction of
the two countries.

"In the near future, the Council of Presidents will work out
a strategic plan, which will include the most crucial issues of
bilateral cooperation," Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko told
a news conference in Baku on Thursday.

After the top level talks, the presidents of Ukraine and Azerbaijan,
Viktor Yushchenko and Ilham Aliyev, signed a joint declaration,
which contained the decision on the Council of Presidents.

The declaration expressed "the high level of bilateral relations
and intention of the two countries to strengthen their cooperation
further," Aliyev said.

On the whole, a package of seven documents was signed after the
Azerbaijani-Ukrainian talks. Among them are intergovernmental
agreements on cooperation in the sphere of environmental protection
and in joint international cargo haulage.

The sides also signed an agreement on long-term cooperation between
the Azerbaijani state-owned oil company and Ukrainian national joint
venture "Naftogaz Ukrainy", as well as agreements on interaction in
the spheres of plants’ protection, radiation safety, and training
of diplomats.

During the talks, the sides discussed cooperation in defense
technologies, interaction within the framework of GUAM (the regional
organization that unites Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova),
and ways for settling the protracted conflict in the much-troubled
Armenian-populated region of Karabakh.

According to Yushchenko, Ukraine is ready to assist the peacemaking
process.

On Friday, the Ukrainian president plans to visit Sangachal oil
terminal, located 40 kilometres southward off Baku. Oil from the
Azerbaijani Caspian deposits is pumped to the terminal, from where it
is transported to international markets via the territories of Russia,
Georgia and Turkey.

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