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WEEKLY POLITICAL REVIEW

Politics Materials 13 December 2005 12:03

Official news

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attended the third irregular summit of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) started in Mecca on Wednesday.

Azerbaijan demands fair resolution of the conflict in accordance with the norms and principles of the international law, territorial integrity of the country, demands the implementation of the resolution by the UN Security Council, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe (CE) and different international organizations, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has recently stated in Mecca at a summit of the OIC.

“The conflict should be resolved not on the base of ethnic cleansing and annexation of de-facto territory of a sovereign state, but on the base of international law. We will not make any compromise linked with the territorial integrity,” Aliyev underlined, appraising the OIC’s support to the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

Aliyev stated that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to close cooperation with the OIC and called on to the development of economic cooperation through mutual trade relationships. “At present there are favorable opportunities. This is an extremely important issue and we are ready to take considerable steps in Azerbaijan to give impetus to bilateral relationships,” he added.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Ailyev has held talks in Mecca with the of countries and organizations, who participated in a Summit of the Organization of Islamic Conference, Trend reports

During the meeting with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejdet, the head of state voiced his condolences in connection with the recent jet crash of an airliner. Aliyev invited his Iranian counterpart to a ceremony of gas delivery to Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic due in Nakhchivan city. Ahmadinejdet Sezer accepted the invitation and voiced his satisfaction with the development no bilateral relationships and his confidence in the expansion of the Azerbaijani-Iranian bonds.

During the talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the Azerbaijani leader voiced his confidence on the expansion of the bilateral relationships. Karzai noted that his country attaches great importance to the development of the relationships with Azerbaijan, as well as the necessity of defining concrete directions linked with the bilateral cooperation. The Afghan President underlined Azerbaijan’s high authority in the region and invited his Azerbaijani counterpart to pay an official visit to Afghanistan.

During the meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rahmonov underlined the importance of holding appropriate work over concrete projects linked with the development of cooperation, including the economic relationships in different spheres. It was noted that both sides possess great potential for exit to larger markers in the region. Rahmonov invited Azerbaijani President to pay an official visit to his country.

In his turn Secretary General of the OIC, Ekmaleddin Ihsanoglu stressed in a meeting with President Aliyev the significance of attracting the organization to social and economic programs. Speaking on conduct of concrete work on expansion of economic and trade relationships among the member-states Ihsanoglu said that he attached great importance to the forthcoming conference of the OIC foreign ministers to be held in Baku. Aliyev underlined the importance of the practical results of the projects to be implemented under the OIC.

On Monday Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation of the US Chamber of Commerce, Trend reports. Voicing his satisfaction with the level of intergovernmental cooperation the President marked the important role of the Chamber in the development of the economic cooperation between the two countries.

Aliyev underlined that the Azerbaijani economy was steadily developing, while the state budget grows year by year. “If earlier the cooperation between Azerbaijan and the United States covered only the energy sector, today it has got expanded,” Aliyev said underlining his hope that the biggest US companies will continue investing in economy.

Addressing on behalf of US delegation, Reno Harnish, the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, said that the development of economic relationships would play important role in the upgrade of the bilateral cooperation. He diplomat appreciated the results of the last meeting of the Azerbaijani-US working group on cooperation in Washington.

On Friday Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijani President, received Gay Hollinsworth, the chief executive of Shevron-Eurasia Company. The meeting focused on expansion of the cooperation between Azerbaijan and Shevron-Eurasia Company, Trend reports.

Aliyev said that he was aware of the meeting between Hollingsworth and the head of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). The President also noted that he was familiar with the projects proposed by the Company to Azerbaijan. “Azerbaijan is one of the initiators and the participants of the big energy projects. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project established ground for further development of the cooperation with leading world companies,” Aliyev said.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on conduct of repeated parliamentary elections on some constituencies, Trend reports.

In compliance with the decree, guiding Article 109/1 of the Constitution and Article 172 of the Elections Code of Azerbaijan dated 13 May 2006, it is planned to hold repeated parliamentary elections on some constituencies, including the Second Binagadi 9, the second Surakhani 31, the Second Nizami 38 (Ganja), the Second Sumgayit 42, Sumgayit-Absheron 44, Jalilalabad-Masalli-Bilasuvar 69, Gadabay 103, Tovuz-Gazakh-Agstafa 106, Zagatala 110 and Agdam 119.

On Friday Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on appointment of Majid Karimov the President of Azerkimya State Concern.

The head of the country dismissed Majid Karimov from the post of the Azerbaijani Industry and Energy Minister at other decree.

On Friday the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on appointment of Ex-President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Natig Aliyev the Industry and Energy Minister.

On Friday Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on appointment of former head of Heydar Aliyev oil refinery plant Rovnag Abdullayev the President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR).

Moreover, the Azerbaijani President signed a decree on appointment of Husseyn Israfilov the head of the Garadagh district Executive Power of Baku city.

Azerbaijani President dismissed Yagub Aliyev from the post of the head of the Garadagh district Executive Power at the other decree.

Foreign policy

“The preparations for the official visit of Gela Bejuashvili, the Georgian Foreign Minister, to Azerbaijan started,” Ramiz Hassanov, the Azerbaijani Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Georgia, told Trend.

The sides unify the schedule of the Foreign Ministers to determine the date of the visit. Georgia proposes to pay the visit from 15 to 20 December and Azerbaijan considers the proposal. The experts also work on the visit program and the negotiations agenda. The Georgian Foreign Minister plans to hold bilateral meetings with the Azerbaijani officials and discuss perspectives of the bilateral cooperation. The agenda will include the issues of bilateral and international character. Thus, the Ministers will discuss delimitation of state borders, interaction of the countries within international organizations.

A meeting of the intergovernmental commission on state border delimitation between Azerbaijan and Russia started in Baku on 5 Dec. The gathering focused on passage of the state border lines in the accorded sections.

Azeri Deputy FM Araz Azimov participated in a meeting of the FMs of Council of Euro-Atlantic Partnership (CEAP) held in Brussels on 7-8 December.

The gathering centered on issues of cooperation for 2006, exchange of opinions on the international situation, including the issues of Afghanistan, Iraq, Balkan states and Near East countries, as well as integration of the partner-countries to the organization.

The third irregular summit of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) was held in Mecca on the higher level, Novruz Mammadov, the head of the International Relationships Department of the President’s Executive Power, said. “In general, the international organizations should live new processes shaped amid the international relationships, answer the new challenges and coordinate them. Many international organizations, including NATO, have already made corrections to their charters upon the collapse of the socialist camp including the USSR, from this aspect the OIC summit serve these goals,” he said, adding the effective, practical steps taken in this direction.

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict

“The status-quo in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict zone will lead to tension,” Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyraov, stated while addressing to the 13th meeting of the OSCE Council of Foreign Ministers in Ljubljana.

The Minister said that Baku was deeply concerned on the last statements by the Armenian leadership which doubtful the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan. “The situation will lead nowhere, while Azerbaijan’s patience is exhausting. Finally, the number of statements with threats increases steadily,” underlined he, calling on the OSCE to take its utmost to make the efforts for the resolution of conflict as priority of its activities.

Mammadyaraov noted that Azerbaijan regards the occupation of its territory as the violation of the international law, while the statue-quo will weaken opportunities for peaceable negotiations in the root. According to the Azerbaijani diplomat status of Nagorno-Karabakh should not be worked out on the base of ethnic cleansing, but through law, peace and democratic processes.

“The status can be designed on the base of equal consideration of the interests of Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Mammadyarov said that major term for definition of the Caspian status was the liberation of occupied territory of Azerbaijan.

Mammadyarov stated that upon withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces fro the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, all transport corridors will be open for both sides. For expedient peace Lachin corridor will be open for use in both directions.

“Turkey hopes for break in the regulation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 2006,” Nabi Shensoy, the Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister, said to a meeting of the OSCE Council of Foreign Ministers in Ljubljana.

“We welcome progress at the negotiations of our neighbors Armenia and Azerbaijan on settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We hope for break in 2006. Turkey will continue its attempts aimed at active encouragement of the final settlement of the conflict based on territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan,” Shensoy stressed.

“We will be able to witness a big progress in the regulation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the nearest future,” Benita Ferero-Valdner, EU Commissar on Foreign Relations and European Policy on Neighborhood, said to a meeting of OSCE Council of Foreign Ministers in Ljubljana, Trend reports.

Touching upon other unsettled problems in the Caucasus, EU Commissar voiced hope that Georgia’s peaceful program and Georgian-Russian agreements on fulfillment of the Istanbul liabilities would ensure progress in regulation of the conflicts in the South Ossetia and Abkhazia. She also stressed that the European Commission intends to sign action programs with Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan in the nearest future in the framework of the European Policy on Neighborhood.

“Progress for peace had also been made in 2005 in the framework of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. An OSCE-led fact-finding mission to the occupied territories as well as high level meetings, particularly between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, have provided hope that we may reach a solution to this conflict," Trend reports quoting Dmitrij Rupel, the OSCE chairman in-office, the Slovenian Foreign Minister, as stating in Vienna on Monday.

This needed to be coupled with broad political stability in the southern Caucasus, he added.

According to the Slovenian FM, stability and reforms in Azerbaijan had to follow the November 6 Parliamentary elections which, while recording progress, failed to meet a number of important OSCE standards. "It is now necessary for the Government in Baku to live up to its commitments and to rectify the election and diversify power", he said.

Meanwhile, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan, expressed a will to participate in the regulation of the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict, Trend reports.

“I want, desire and could participate in the regulation of the situation in the Caucasus between the close nations of Azerbaijan and Armenia,” Nazarbayev said to a news conference held in Astana on Monday.

The President noted that he participated in the regulation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 1991. “I witnessed the tragedy of the close nations,” he stressed.

“Conflicts between nations, close neighbors lead only to grief and misfortune of people. Therefore, I would like to participate in the regulation of the situation between Azerbaijan and Armenia,” Nazarbayev said.

“The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen will pay a visit to the region of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict from 14 to 17 December,” Yuriy Merzlyakov, the Russian co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, told Trend exclusively.

The Russian diplomat positively appreciated the consultations of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen held with the Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers in Ljubljana on 5 December. “We have handed over proposal packet to the sides to give them a chance to think over the proposals and reply,” he said.

Merzlyakov reported that the date and place of the January meeting of the Presidents had not been determined yet. “It will be determined during the visit to the region. The Presidents must say it to us,” he concluded.

Baku will state its position on the new proposals by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, who will tour of the Nagorno-Karabakh region in mid-December, Novruz Mammadov, the head of the Foreign Relations Department at the President’s Executive Power, told Trend.

According to Mammadov, earlier the mediators presented their position on the resolution of the problem, which was consequently include in the agenda of discussions with the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Ljubljana. During the forthcoming visit t the region the Minsk Group co-chairs held consultations and exchange of opinions to make concrete the positions on the forthcoming meetings and on the process of resolution in general. Armenia’s reply is also important for Azerbaijan.

“2006 will be a �window’ in the resolution of the [Armenian-Azerbaijani] Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and provide unique opportunities for its settlement,” Reno Harnish, the US Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Azerbaijan, said in a meeting with students at the Khazar University on Friday.

According to the diplomat, the United States are for peaceable resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through fair dialogue. “We are interested in the settlement of conflict and put every effort under the OSCE Minsk Group,” said Harnish, noting the forthcoming visit of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to Baku in mid-December.

As to possible rehabilitation of armed actions the Ambassador said that the armed resistance would lead to big destructions. “New war can lead to destabilization throughout the South-Caucasus region. The same time, the rehabilitation of the military actions will actually ruin Azerbaijan’s hopes on economic development, the diplomat underlined.

“The Karabakh Liberation Organization (KLO) will hinder the Minsk Group co-chairmen from the visits to Azerbaijan,” Akif Nagi, the chairman of the organization, told Trend.

The visits of the co-chairmen to Azerbaijan are planed in mid-December. Nagi reported that the organization made a decision on suspicion of the activities of the Minsk Group. “The Minsk Group acts in favor of Armenia. The co-chairmen entering the group represent the states, which are not interested in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Therefore, we decided to suspend the activities of the Minsk Group,” he added.

Political life

“The Central Elections Commission (CEC) has developed MP certificates, which will be distributed shortly,” Trend reports Mazahir Panahov, the chairman of the CEC, as saying on Thursday.

He appreciated the results of the electioneering, noting that except some violations of the Elections Code the elections were held within the framework of the law. “All international organizations voiced their hope for continuing the cooperation with Azerbaijan, which testifies for democratic conduct of elections,” Panahov underlined.

He also noted that on Thursday that the CEC has not received any appeal on refusal from the MP mandate. “The repeated elections will be held in 10 constituencies, while their date will be publicized shortly,” he underlined.

“The opposition MPs refusing from participation in Parliament did not address to the Central Election Committee (CEC) on anulment of mandate,” Natig Mammadov, the secretary of CEC, said.

The parties, the deputies of which refused from mandate, will not be represented in the election committees. According to Mammadov, CEC will be elected from the oppositionists sitting in the Milli Majlis.

State building

Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev received U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Jim MacDougall in Baku on December 5.

Abiyev informed the guest that the Azerbaijan-US cooperation continues expanding. Azerbaijan actively cooperates with NATO. The Individual Partnership Plan is implemented perfectly.

Touching upon the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Abiyev noted absence of any progress in his issue. Armenia continues arming. “The Armenian leadership states that they could recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh. In this case it could result in the rehabilitation of armed actions. The conflict is a threat to the big projects implemented in the region,” Abiyev underlined.

On Thursday Colonel-General Safar Abiyev, the Azerbaijani Defense Minister, received Khyun Coo Kon, the Korean military attachГ© accredited under the Korean embassy in Turkey and Azerbaijan, the press service of the Defense Ministry told Trend.

The meeting focused on the issues of the bilateral military cooperation.

From 12 to 13 December the CE Directorate General on Human Rights will hold training for police officers in Baku, the CE Information Office in Baku told Trend.

The event is integral part of the project �Police and human rights’ and staged under the support of the Norwegian government.

Mauricio Pavesi, the head of the Baku Office of the OSCE, informed the participants in the event on the actuality of the event. “The key objective of the event was to acquaint the police and interior troops of Azerbaijan with the world experience in the impanation of the rights for freedom of assembly. There have been observed some facts of careless treatment and use of force by the lawвЂ"enforcement bodies in Azerbaijan over last two weeks,” Pavesi underscored.

Elchin Guliyev, the chief of the Azerbaijani State Border Service, is on official visit to Iran, the press service of SBS told Trend.

Guliyev was invited by the head of the appropriate body of Iran. The goal of the visit is to expanse mutual cooperation in defense of state borders between the countries. The sides hold exchange of opinions in struggle with illegal migration, drug and arm traffic.

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