BAKU: US Official Pledges Support To Azerbaijan After Georgia Events


Azeri Press Agency
Sept 18 2008

Baku, 18 September: "Vice-President Dick Cheney’s visit to Azerbaijan
[on 3 September] points to expanding relations. The USA is seriously
interested in Azerbaijan’s sovereignty, security and development,"
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza has told a news
conference in Baku.

In his opinion, Azerbaijan, which meets its international commitments,
can be an example for Russia. "Russia should comply with its
commitments under the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan like Azerbaijan complies
with its commitments," he said.

Bryza said that Azerbaijan can rely on the USA’s support during both
peaceful and difficult times and that the USA will be by Azerbaijan’s
side especially after the Georgian events.

[Passage omitted: Bryza goes on to criticize Russia]

"Following the Georgia events, the OSCE Minsk Group [that mediates a
solution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagornyy Karabakh]
cannot continue operating as previously," Bryza said. However, Bryza
believes that it is important that the OSCE Minsk Group continues
its work.

"If Russia meets the commitments it took before [Georgian President
Mikheil] Saakashvili and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, I hope we
will be able to continue the work within the framework of the Minsk
Group," he said.

Bryza said that Russia violated Georgia’s territorial integrity and
invaded Georgia in August. "This shows that the Minsk Group cannot
continue its activity as previously. But I believe that we are on the
path of restoring the work of the Minsk Group. Russia also sees that
its steps have damaged its international image," Bryza said.

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