BAKU: Askerov: Withdrawal Of Azerbaijani Peacekeeping Forces From Ko

ZIYAFET ASKEROV: "WITHDRAWAL OF AZERBAIJANI PEACEKEEPING FORCES FROM KOSOVO WILL NOT DAMAGE OUR RELATIONS WITH NATO"

Today
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March 11 2008
Azerbaijan

"The relations between NATO and Azerbaijan are on a good
level. This fact is admitted by the leadership and representatives
of the organization. We have met in the parliament with special
representatives of NATO Secretary General in Central Asia and South
Caucasus Robert Simmons more than once. It is constantly mentioned
that Azerbaijan is loyal to execution of commitments undertaken in
the framework of bilateral cooperation".

The due announcement was made by Ziyafet Askerov, first deputy chairman
of Milli Medjlis, chairman of parliamentary commission for defense
and security, commenting on the relations between NATO and Azerbaijan.

He said Azerbaijan’s decision to withdraw peacekeeping forces from
Kosovo will not affect these relations, as in this case, independent
policy of a sovereign country is implied.

"In conditions of changes in political situation in Kosovo, we
considered this decision to be expedient and this does not require
wide discussions".

He reminded that last year Azerbaijan doubled its peacekeeping
contingent, serving in Afghanistan under auspices of NATO.

He also commented on the situation on the front line rebutting
information of Russian mass medias, according to which Azerbaijan is
to be blamed for the fire exchange between Azerbaijani and Armenian
forces.

"The events are directly connected with the unrest in Armenia,
which killed 8 and wounded hundreds of people. In this respect,
the leadership of Armenia have initiated these provocations on the
front line to distract attention of Armenians and world community
from internal tenseness", Askerov noted.

He said such incidents will not lead to resumption of military
actions, as Kocharyan’s regime seeks way out of the established
internal situation.

"In this case Armenians used only one of the variants they have to
distract attention of the community from Armenia’s problems.

Askerov noted that during the recent visit of the president of NATO’s
parliamentary assembly to Baku, the sides discussed the issue and
Azerbaijani representatives provided broad information about how
Armenians initiate different provocations and about the events
in Armenia.

http://www.today.az/news/politic

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