ANKARA: Efforts Will Bring Peace, Says Aliyev


Nov 7 2008

ANKARA – The president of Azerbaijan said yesterday that peace would
be maintained in the Caucasus as a result of Turkish efforts.

"The developments unfolding in the Caucasus closely concern us
all. Turkey is engaged in very active policies for a solution to
regional problems and will interfere more seriously in the future,"
Ilham Aliyev said in an address to the Turkish legislature. The
Azerbaijani leader made his first visit abroad to Turkey after being

"The results of this involvement (by Turkey) will be positive. We
applaud that," he added.

Turkey came up with a proposal to set up a Caucasian Cooperation and
Stability Platform in the wake of the Georgia-Russia war that broke
out in August. Aliyev’s statement is likely to give new impetus to the
proposal that will also include Armenia and provide an opportunity to
resolve differences over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani territory
occupied by Yerevan.

"The Turkish-Azerbaijani unity is an important factor in the region,"
said Aliyev.

Calls to Armenia The Azerbaijani leader also urged Armenia to pursue
political measures that could lead to the end of the occupation of

"The occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh is the biggest problem,"
he said. "Armenia is not fulfilling the United Nations Security
Council resolutions that require it to withdraw from the Azerbaijani

He expressed the hope that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan
would be maintained and that his country would be rid of "occupation
and ethnic politics."

"For that, Armenia needs to exert political effort and comply with
the decisions."

EU envoy in Ankara Meanwhile the energy commissioner of the European
Union started his visit to Ankara on Thursday, a day after the
Azerbaijani leader held talks with Turkish officials on energy
issues. Andris Piebalgs met Thursday high-level Turkish officials,
including the country’s President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The EU envoy discussed the Nabucco project, the pipeline which will
carry Caspian gas to Europe via Turkey. He tried to overcome the
deadlock as the two sides disagree on the financing mechanism of
the pipeline.

The European Commission is confident the Turkish transit deal can be
signed by the end of year. Although the project has a huge political
support from the EU and the partner countries as well as the U.S.,
challenges remain in place with increasing costs and delays in the
final agreements. The EU supports the project in order to reduce its
dependence on Russian energy supplies. The European Union countries
are worried that Russia uses its grip on energy sources as a political