Politics Materials 2 December 2005 12:00 (UTC +04:00)

Official news

Ilham ALiyev, the Azerbaijani President, received a delegation led by Claus Mangold, the chairman of the German Eastern Economic Committee on Thursday, Trend reports.

The head of the country noted that the Azerbaijani-German relations currently develops in all spheres, including, economy. The President attached special attention to development of the bilateral cooperation with Germany and noted that his visit to Berlin in 2004 established base to expand mutual dialogue.

In his turn, Mangold said that the delegation led by him included representatives of the well-known German companies and they brought many important projects with them. “The goods turnover of the companies represented in the delegation exceeds 300bn euros. We are glad to see economic development rate of Azerbaijan that is pledge of successful cooperation,” he added.

On 22 November President Aliyev received special representative of the European Union on South Caucasus. During the meeting Talvitie noted the progress observed throughout the country. “It actually gives rise to positive opinion on the last democratic developments in the country. Prior to elections I spoke about possibilities of the developments in the evolution way and to today I got assured in it,” Talviye said.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received the Finance Minister of Kuwait Badr Mashari al-Humeydi on 23 November in Baku, Trend reports.

The Minister conveyed greetings to the head of the state from the Emir and the Premier-Minister of Kuwait and the invitation to visit the country at any acceptable time. He said, the relations between Kuwait and Azerbaijan are at the high level. The leadership of the country attaches large significance to the development of these relations. В"Opening of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Kuwait means the significance you attach to the relations with our country. We appreciate this move and hope for the soonest opening of the Kuwait Embassy in Azerbaijan”, Badr Mashari al-Humeydi said.

Aliyev noted that the relations between the two countries are strong and voiced confidence in more expansive relations in future. He also added, there are broad opportunities for economic cooperation.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received on 21 November a special representative of the Foreign Ministry (FM) head of Belgium to OSCE Pierre Shevalie, Trend reports.

During the talk the issues of cooperation of Azerbaijan with OSCE, settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorny- Karabakh, the results of the latest parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan and other issues have been discussed.

On Sunday (6 November) Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev with his family members arrived in the polling station of Sabayil Constituency Elections Commission 26 at secondary school #6. After the polling the head of state answered the journalists’ questions. Voicing his satisfaction with the process of elections, President Aliyev said that the preparations in all stages were held in high level and in accordance with the Elections Code, Trend reports.

“Favorable and equal conditions were offered to all candidates and the agitation campaign was held successfully. All necessary work has been done to make the elections transparent,” Aliyev underlined.

According to Aliyev, the situation is normal on the elections day. “I’m sure that the elections will be fair and transparent and reflect the will of the nation,” he stressed.

President Aliyev said that despite Azerbaijan is a country with presidential ruling, the elections assume great importance for future development of the country. “After the elections the progress of the country will gain new speed in economy and democratization, as well as other spheres,” he emphasized.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev estimated the results of the parliamentary elections held in the country on 6 November 2005 as positive in his televised interview for the Azerbaijan state television AzTV on Tuesday.

“The most important is that the results of the elections should reflect the will of the nation. The initial results of the elections testify for it. The general atmosphere was positive, while the results testify the people of Azerbaijan in transparent and free conditions voted for their candidates and elected the most deserved,” the President underlined. He also noted the provision of necessary conditions for the organization of normal polling. A number of foreign observers and thousands of local observers monitored the elections.

The same time the head of state underlined some law-breaks fixed on the elections day. “They told me that the violations were observed in 7-8 constituencies and at present they are under investigation. The Prosecutor’s Office was instructed to investigate the facts rigorously. The people misusing their office duties will be made answerable, while the facts of criminal character will be brought to criminal court. Over several months we have made all possible to achieve normal poll, and the intention of the authorities and the Azerbaijani President aimed at ensuring fair elections. So, I cannot allow any officer to do harm to general results of the elections through illegal interference, or arbitrariness,” he stressed.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on 9 November on dismissal of Natig Tagi ogli Mehtiyev from the post of the head of the Surahani district executive power and Ashraf Israfil ogli Mammadov from the post of the head of the Sabirabad district executive power for non-fulfillment of the President’s decree в"-806 of 11 May 2005 and в"-1062 of 25 October 2005 В"On urgent measures for preparations and holding the elections to Milli Mejlis of the Azerbaijan Republic” and for interference in the process of votes counting during the elections on 6 November.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev issued a decree on Monday to discharge Vagif Rahimov from the post of head of the Zagatala District Executive Power, Trend reports. Rahimov was dismissed in connection with the non-implementation of the presidential decrees on preparations for the presidential elections, dated 11 May and 25 October 2005, as well as interference to a process of calculation of the votes on 6 November poll

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received on 18 November a special representative of the NATO Secretary General in South Caucasus and Central Asia Robert Simmons. During the talk Simmons said, he would take part in the “Saloglu” project opening ceremony implemented by the Azerbaijan National Agency on Mine Action (ANAMA) in Agstafa district.

According to the NATO Secretary General special representative, the mine вЂ"cleaning of the areas and from unexploded ammunition will start shortly, noting, the project is important in developing cooperation between NATO and Azerbaijan.

The head of the Azerbaijan’s state also ascertained the project’s significance, underlying successful steps aimed at implementing of the Individual Partnership Plan of Azerbaijan and NATO. Ilham Aliyev voiced confidence that the cooperation between Azerbaijan and the alliance will steadily develop.

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict

From 17.44 p.m. till 17.54 p.m. the units of the Armenian militaries from the positions located 1 km to the south-west from the occupied Omar mountain on the territory of Hanlar district fired by machine-guns the positions of the Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces located opposite.

The cease-fire regime has been breached on the front-line on 18 November, the press service of the Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry told Trend.

From 13.25 p.m. till 13.45 p.m. the units of the Armenian armed forces fired from machine-guns and submachine-guns from the positions located 3,7 km to the south-west of the Borsunlu village, Terter district the positions of the Azerbaijani army, located opposite

The enemy has been suppressed by the return fire. No losses reported.

The latest statements by the Armenian leadership on Nagorny Karabakh are provocative and meant mostly for the domestic electors, the head of the foreign relations department of the Azerbaijan’s President Executive office Novruz Mammadov told Trend exclusively.

The Armenian president Kocharyan said in a statement that he does not rule out the possibility of recognizing the Nagorno-Karabakh republic by the official Erevan, in case the negotiations with Baku will come to a deadlock. And the head of the Armenian Foreign Ministry (FM) Oskanyan stated, Karabakh is an integral part of Armenia, which will never pass to Azerbaijan.

Mammadov thinks, that the Armenian president and the FM head “made such provocative and dangerous statements after, perhaps, some consultations”. В"Such things in diplomacy and international relations may lead to dangerous consequences. Occupation of the territory of another state, recognition of the puppet regime there is nothing else but a challenge to the international law and community, including UNO, OSCE. And at the same time this is an attempt to present their intentions to make the occupied areas legitimate”, he underlined.

According to Mammadov, the Armenian leadership has serious problems in regard to referendum to be held in two days and by such statements it intends to gain the support of the electors. В"Whichever goal of such statements is they are perilous. The Armenian leadership is to be aware of the consequences of such moves. The Azerbaijan’s state will bring back its lands and restore its territorial integrity and in case of need, will use all possible means”, he summarized.

The time has come to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a special representative of Belgium to OSCE Pierre Shevalier said in a statement at the meeting with the Speaker of the Azerbaijan’s Parliament (Milli Mejlis) Murtuz Aleskerov on 21 November, Trend reports.

В"After contacts with the USA governmental circles, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen I came to the conclusion, that the following year will become important for the conflict settlement. We must combine all achievements, all proposals put forward by the sides.

It is unacceptable for me, that the country, possessing such an extensive economic potential suffers from the conflict. We must do the utmost for arranging the meetings of the sides for their rapprochement. Belgium during its period of the chairmanship at OSCE is ready to render all necessary assistance”, he said.

Aleskerov said, no results have been achieved during 13 years of the OSCE Minsk Group activities, and voiced the hope that Belgium will support actively the peaceful settlement process during its chairmanship.

“The leadership of the Council of Europe (CE) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) were informed on the last statements by Armenian officials, who stated with proud on the development of relationships between Armenia and Nagorno-Karakakh in the confederative order, as well as new facts on continuation of illegal settlement policy in the occupied territory of Azerbaijan,” Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev, the permanent representative of Azerbaijan at the CE, told Trend.

“We hope that the CE’s relevant bodies will give an estimation to such action by Armenia, which openly torpedoing the peace talks,” the diplomat stressed.

Speaking on the next meeting of the PACE working group on Nagorno-Karabakh scheduled for 14 December, Mehdiyev said that as far as he knows, members of the Ad Hoc Committee will discuss a report on the work done in this respect, which will be further presented to the January session of PACE in 2006 on behalf of the Ad Hoc Committee.

NATO does not support the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, and, respectively, the decision for the NATO peace-keeping forces deployment on the frontline depends on the mutual consent of the both sides, the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia Robert Simmons said in a statement on 18 November in Baku, Trend reports.

The issue has not been discussed during his meetings with the official Baku. “We follow closely the peaceful process progress within the OSCE Minsk Group an hope for the positive advancement the next year”, he stated.

The Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister (FM) Elmar Mammadyarov met on 1 November with the delegation headed by the deputy chairman of the PACE committee on legal and human rights issues Eduard Lintner. Speaking on the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorny Karabakh the head of the Azerbaijan’s Foreign Policy department stressed, the solving of the problem is only possible based on the principle of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. At the same time Mammadyarov noted the Prague negotiation process embodies the ways for the conflict settlement, the FM press centre told Trend.

В"At first all occupied areas around Nagorny Karabakh must be liberated followed by discussion of other components, including returning of refugees and IDPs to their homes, reinstatement of all transport and communications lines in the region. All these, according to the head of the Azerbaijan’s FM will set up “favorable environment” for determining the Nagorny Karabakh legal status.

Foreign policy

Deputy Foreign Ministry head of Azerbaijan Khalaf Khalafov received on 25 November a delegation from the South Cyprus, Trend reports.

During the one and a half hour meeting the issues of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries have been discussed. The meeting has taken place behind the closed doors and there were no statements on its results.

The delegation is composed of two government representatives of the Cypriot Republic and the visit itself has been performed under the aegis of the European Union.

The issues related to the forthcoming official visit to Azerbaijan of the Georgian Foreign Minister (FM) Gela Beshuashvili were discussed in Tbilisi. The subject has been discussed at the meeting of the Azerbaijan’s FM head Elmar Mammadyarov with his Georgian counterpart during his short-term visit to Tbilisi, where the Minister took part in the celebrations of the second anniversary of the “revolution of roses” in Georgia, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Georgia Ramiz Hasanov told Trend exclusively.

According to the Ambassador, the accord has been reached on visiting the Georgian Foreign Minister in the first half of December. The Ministers exchanged views on state border delimitation issues between the Azerbaijan and Georgia, cooperation within GUAM and other international structures, as well as bilateral cooperation, the diplomat noted.

The special envoy of the European Union (EU) for the South Caucasus states Heikki Talvitie hopes, that the consultations between EU and Azerbaijan will start very soon, Heikki Talvitie, who arrives in Baku on a visit on 22 November said in his exclusive interview with Trend.

В"Azerbaijan has been included in the European New Neighborhood Policy of the European Union. The timing of the opening of the Action Plan consultations is being discussed among the 25 member states of EU. An exact date to start consultations still has to be agreed upon. The EU is in close contact with Azerbaijan concerning this issue.

On 11 November Azerbaijan FM Elmar Mammadyarov received ambassadors from CE member-countries. The talks focused on 6 November parliamentary elections, as well as the development of cooperation between EU and Azerbaijan. He stated that the Azerbaijani government, and especially President Ilham Aliyev voiced their exact position on the issue. “Current elections were more free and democratic as compared to previous ones, while the victory of ruling New Azerbaijan Party was real successful fact,” the FM stressed.

“NATO is satisfied with the level of the cooperation between the alliance and Azerbaijan,” Robert Simmons, the Special Representative of the NATO Secretary General on Central Asia and the South Caucasus, said to a news conference on the results of the negotiations with Azzerbaijan on Friday, Trend reports.

Simmons noted that the work on drawing of the plan on individual partnership with NATO was successfully carried out within the cooperation. He voiced hope that the first report on the work in this sphere would be presented in March 2005. The Special Representative also expressed satisfaction with the negotiations held with Azerbaijan. According to Simmons, the alliance supports comprehensive cooperation with Azerbaijan. The organization is ready to render technical aid to the country in reforming of defense sphere, particularly, conducting of structural changes, and effective expenditure of the budget of the Defense Ministry.

Touching upon the results of the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, Simmons stressed that the NATO welcomed the steps taken by the Azerbaijani government to liquidate violations.

He gave positive appreciation to the increase of the budget of the Defense Ministry. In his opinion, it is related to the increase of the public budget and can not impact on the peaceful process between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

“The UNESCO Good Will Ambassador, first ledy Mehriban Aliyeva, held some meetings with officials of the ortganization in Paris within the 60th anniversary of the UNESCO,” Eleonora Husseynova, the Azerbaijani representative at the UNESCO, told Trend.

According to Husseynova, Aliyeva had short-term meetings with Koishiro Matsuura, the Director General of the UNESCO, high-rank representatives of the countries participated in the jubilee celebrations, particularly, the French Foreign Minister, the chairman of the Senegalese Popular Meeting and former Directors General of the UNESCO, as well as the Ukrainian President. The sides focused on the Azerbaijani realities.

Series of events were organized in Paris on jubilee date from 16 to 17 November. One of them was colloquium dedicated to the history of the UNESCO. The organizers also staged concert with participation of Azerbaijani musicians. According to Husseynova, the Azerbaijan State Simphonic Orchestra repeated performance of �Intersecting ways’ by famous Azerbaijani composer, conducter and pianist Firangiz Alizada at the instance of spectators. “It is great success of the Azerbaijani culture,” Husseynova noted.

“Elmar Mammadyarov, the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, paid a visit to Strasburg, where he met with Terri Davis, the CE Secretary General, as well as participate in the session of the CE Ministers Committee.

During the meeting with CE Secretary General the sides will hold exchange of opinions on the results of the 6 November parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, as well as discuss development of mutual relations between Azerbaijan and the CE.

It should be mentioned that the 115th session of the CE Ministers Committee will be held in Strasburg from 16 to 17 November 2005.

Political life

Elections to the Milli Majlis [Azerbaijani parliament] started in Baku on Sunday. At 8:00am [local time] over 5,000 polling stations opened at 125 constituency elections throughout the country, Trend reports.

1541 candidates ballot for 125 seats at the parliament, including representatives from 47 political parties and blocs, a well as independent electors. The largest group of candidates was nominated from the ruling New Azerbaijan Party and Azadlyg elections bloc, the biggest opposition alliance.

In compliance with the Elections Code of Azerbaijan the elections will be regarded as successful in any rate of attendance.

“Every data received by the Central Election Committee (CEC) on violations during the voting will be scrutinized,” Mazahir Panahov, the chairman of the CEC, said to journalists on Sunday, Trend reports.

According to Panahov, in case of data on violation the representatives of the CEC went to stations and participated in clarification of situations. He said that it was natural that there were concerns in different election stations. “In accordance with the Law, we must scrutinize them and be loyal to the Law. I think that we must demonstrate such position to the public and so on. We must scrutinize literally every case and take measures in accordance with the legislation,” he noted.

Panahov stressed that the activeness expected by the CEC in the rural places proved with preliminary results of the elections. Besides, the same activeness was observed in some town constituencies. It was related to the great number of candidates to deputies.

It should be mentioned that in accordance with the last data of the CEC, the number of the citizens voted in the elections comprised 46.83% or 2,183,913.

“Bush Administration welcomes measures taken by the Azerbaijani government on the correction of irregularities observed during the parliamentary elections,” Adam Erli, deputy spokesman for the US Department of State told a briefing on 8 November. "We are glad that the Azerbaijani government in the face of the Central Elections Commission (CEC) was actively involved in the investigation into the frauds,” Erli stated.

“Delay with the announcement of the results of exit poll, conducted by the US company PA Government Services in Azerbaijan on 6 November 2005, was linked with the will to clarify the results of the poll,” Jim White, Vice President of the company, told ATV, Trend reports.

“The final report of the OSCE/ODIHR observation mission on the November parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan will be publicized within the nearest 4-6 weeks,” Mauricio Pavesi, head of the Baku Office of the OSCE, told journalists.

“The document will be ready early December,” Pavesi said. To date an initial variant of the report of the observation mission, publicized in Baku on 7 November, was the official position of the OSCE on the 6 November parliamentary elections. “We continue observing the situation in the country and the developments and the facts, fixed on the elections day as well as consideration of the complaints at the Central Elections Commission (CEC), we they will be included in the final report of he organization,” Pavesi noted.

“The consideration of the complaints is the under the competence of the CEC of Azerbaijan and we can only observe over its implementation. However, I’d like to note that the monitoring process is complete,” he stressed.

“The key objective of the OSCE is to support the development of democracy in Azerbaijan and work in this direction will continue,” Pavesi underscored.

State building

On 3 November Azeri Interior Minister Ramil Usubov received the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Reno Harnish. The key objective of the meeting was to discuss the commitments set for the police during the pre-elections campaign for preservation of the pubic order. The Minister said that the police has shifted to the intensified regime since 15 October

The diplomat said that the United States appreciated efforts by the Azerbaijani President for ensuring rights and freedom, as well as steps taken for the improvement of the elections1 practice.

On 19 November the Azerbaijani National Security Minister, Eldar Mahmudov. Met with the special representative of the NATO Secretary General, Robert Simmons.

Mahmudov informed Simmons that Azerbaijan-NATO cooperation was on progress and successful implementation of the activities under individual action plan.

“Fighting with the international terrorism is one of the priorities of the activities of the Ministry of National Security and it can be more effective through uniting the efforts of the international community,” the Minister underlined, emphasizing the necessity for further expansion of cooperation in this sphere.

Simmons appreciated the efforts of Azerbaijan in fighting with terror, active interaction with the NATO member-states, entering the anti-terror coalition, as well as work carried out for insuring international security.

No one will be allowed to take the power in Azerbaijan by force. The actions aimed at establishing chaos and permissiveness in the country will be resolutely suppressed, the Azerbaijan’s Interior Minister (IM) Ramil Usubv said in a statement on 18 November, Trend reports, citing the Space TV channel.

В"The public witnessed, that the Azerbaijani authorities permitted to hold actins in all regions of the country. It is absurd to say about any impediments to freedom of assemblies and speech”, the IM head noted, saying, there are destructive forces in the country, seeking to breach stability in Azerbaijan.

According to Yusubov, certain forces in the opposition try to create the atmosphere of discontent towards the authorities and the law enforcement bodies.

В"Рђzerbaijan does not need the destructive opposition. The society wants constructivism for the sake of the national goals. Ill-wishers from outside use this factor for discrediting the county’s image”, Usubov stressed, and they (opposition) do not understand, that by such actions they bring harm only to themselves.

The Prosecutor General of Azerbaijan Zakir Garalov met on 1 November with the deputy chairman of the committee on legal and human rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Eduard Lintner and the deputy of the German Bundestag Verner Muench, the prosecutor’s office press service told Trend.

The main subject of the meeting was elections to Milli Mejlis of Azerbaijan. Garalov noted the authorities established conditions for democratic and transparent elections. He also informed of the measures carried out by the prosecutor’s office in this respect.

Lintner assessed positively measures on democratic elections as next moves for development of democracy in Azerbaijan.

The same day Safar Abiyev, the Azerbaijani Defense Minister, received a delegation headed by the Defense Minister of Bahrain, Lieut-General Sheik Khalifa ben Ahmet al-Khalifa. He informed the eminent guest on the current state of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, geo-strategic position and economic development of Azerbaijan. “The economy of the country gets strengthened year by year. It also testifies for the consolidation of the armed forces of the country.

In his turn al-Khalifa stated that the justice is on Azerbaijan’s side. Bahrain is ready to render comprehensive assistance to Azerbaijan. I will put every efforts for the commencement of the Bahrain-Azerbaijan military cooperation,’” Bahrain’s Minister underlined