Official news

Azerbaijan wants to resolve the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in a peaceable way and is sure that there are still chances for it, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated in Baku on May to the opening of the 9th summit of the ECO members-states.

The head of state sated that the patience of the Azerbaijani people is limited. The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict can be resolved only within the framework of the international rule of law. Armenian occupants forces must leave the Azerbaijani lands and the Azerbaijani ought to be repatriated to there native lands in order to restore justice. Any agreement out of this agreement is impossible, as it is a requirement of the international law, Aliyev said. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan cannot be topic of talks. The President voiced his gratitude to ECO countries for recognition of Azerbaijans position.

The President stated that there are all terms among ECO member-states for comprehensive development of economic relationships, whilst their deepening requires the strengthening of necessary measures in security of the region. Azerbaijan takes an active part in the process and will continue doing so. However, there are a number of questions exciting concerns. First of all these are issues of combating international terror, which also requires unification of efforts of all countries, the President underlined, noting that all terror organizations should be viewed from one and the same point. He reminded that Azerbaijan is a country which suffered from this problem. The Armenian terror organizations organized over 30 terror attacks on Azerbaijan, which resulted in death of over 2000 innocent civilians. The ongoing conflict broken out by Armenia in respect to Azerbaijan is the major obstacle in the regional, Aliyev underscored.

The development of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) depends on the activity of our efforts directed at search of new methods of cooperation, the Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev stated while closing the 9th top meeting of the heads of ECO member-states.

This sphere has huge potential. Our countries develop rapidly. The economic situation in the country gets more and more improved. It actually offers an excellent opportunity for more active cooperation.

We interrelated through pipelines, transport routes, the routes which already exist and those which will create n future. I want to state my confidence that perspectives of future cooperation are positive and in future we will do all possible to utilize the capacities for further cooperation, he underscored.

If the international norms authorize the country to receive nuclear power, there should not be any objection in this respect, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated in Baku on 5 May while talking to journalists, Trend reports

Issues concerning disagreement and tension should be resolved in a peaceable way and diplomatic methods in order to maintain stability in the region, the Azerbaijani President stressed.

The volume of oil production in Azerbaijan is increased ear by year. By 2008 the export of Azerbaijani oil will comprise 50 million tons, or the same volume which the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline will deliver, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated on 5 May in Baku.

With consideration of own capacities on oil production by 2008 the pipeline will be fulfilled and no additional volumes will be needed. Additional delivery capacities can be established through attracting additional investments, improvement of technical opportunities. It could enable to export Kazakh oil in future, according to the President.

We created a transport infrastructure for own resources and did not offer anything anyone. Therefore the construction of the BTC oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum targeted the delivery of Azerbaijani hydrocarbons to the world markets and it is a priority today, Aliyev underlined.

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev received Bernard Faciet, OSCE Minsk Groups cochairman of France, in Baku May 5, Trend reports.

At the meeting the sides exchanged opinions on resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Azeri president Ilham Aliyev received PACE Chairmans special representative for Nagorno-Karabakh Goran Lenmarker on May 5, Trend reports.

The sides exchanged opinions on the conversation process for resolution of Azeri-Armenian conflict around Nagorny-Karabakh, cooperation with CE and other issues of mutual interest.

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev received Almanbet Matubraimov, deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, on May 4, 2006. Trend reports at the meeting the sides stressed the importance of establishing intergovernmental economic commission and agreed to give traction to cargo circulation.

In the course of the talk, economic process in Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan were spoken of. Aliyev expressed his hope for Kyrgyzstans economy progressing by its new government.

The sides spoke of importance of relationships between various governmental structures and national companies.

On May 4, 2006 Azeri president Ilham Aliyev received Pakistans Prime Minister Shovket Aziz. Trend reports at the meeting the sides spoke of the economic cooperation between the countries and relationships in science and IT.

Aziz said Pakistan kept eye on oil&gas sector of Azerbaijan and official Islamabad was working in this respect.

Alongside, Pakistans Prime Minister said of social-economic processes going in Pakistan today, poverty reduction and economy progressing.

On 4 may Azeri President Ilham Aliyev received Tajik Prime Minister Akil Akilov. Trend reports the sides outlined the necessity in establishing intergovernmental commission to study possible cooperation in various spheres.

Governmental officials of the two countries said documents shall be signed in order to expand cooperation in various spheres. They also exchanged opinions on cooperation in power engineering and other issues within international organizations activities.

Azeri president Ilham Aliyev received Erkin Khalilov, chairman of legislative chamber of Uzbek parliament. Khalilov passed President greetings from his Uzbek peer Islam Karimov, outlining the high level of cooperation between the two countries.

Khalilov also stated the countries efficient cooperation in international organizations.

At the meeting, the sides exchanged opinions on the issues of mutual interest.

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev received on 4 May senior adviser of the US Secretary of State on economic issues, Frank Mermood, Trend reports.

The head of state stated the US-Azerbaijan relationships were of strategic character. Reminding of his recent visit to Washington the President stressed it will have positive impact on the relationships in all sphere, in particular economic cooperation.

Mermood stated that Aliyev was the best state leader in. The Presidents visit to the United States, in particular his meetings and speeches with the US businessmen were successful and important

On May 4, 2006 Azeri President Ilham Aliyev received delegation headed by Afghanistans president Hamid Karzai, Trend reports.

During the meeting Karzai recalled meting in Turkey with ex-president Heydar Aliyev and highly appraised economic growth of Azerbaijan for the last few years. Alongside, Karzai said long-lasted civil war made a big damage to Afghanistan and old Azeri President of Afghan economy revival process.

Azeri President said 20 percent of Azerbaijans grounds are under Armenias occupation, but despite all that Azerbaijan is developing steadily. Head of state stressed the most important condition for the countrys economy development is ensuring political and public stability.

Azeri president expressed his hope for the soonest revival and development of Afghanistans economy.

The sides discussed prospects of further cooperation between the two countries and regional cooperation.

The Azerbaijani president, Ilham Aliyev accepted a delegation from the Norwegian oil company, Statoil with its president, Helge Lund in charge, Trend reports.

The head of state emphasized a positive contribution the company made into Azerbaijani economy since 1994 and expressed his hope that cooperation between Statoil and Azerbaijan will continue to develop.

Lund in his turn, noted that Statoil highly appreciates its cooperation with Azerbaijan and is ready to contribute more into the development of economy in the country.

The Azerbaijani president, Ilham Aliyev accepted a specially assigned ambassador of Oman sultanate, personal advisor of sultan, Oman` s representative in UN and UNESCO free will ambassador, Sheikh Hasan Shakir on May 2, Trend reports.

The head of the state emphasized importance for Azerbaijan to develop ties with UNESCO and highly evaluated the work of the international organization in protecting historical and cultural values of the country. President expressed hope to continue this cooperation further.

Sheikh Hasan Shakir, mentioned that Azerbaijan is one of the most active UNESCO members, having such a rich historical and cultural heritage country may continue to develop its ties with UNESCO.

A peacemaking action by the Women of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey will promote consolidation of friendship and expansion of cooperation among our nations, a letter sent by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to participants in the peacemaking action The Heydar Aliyev BTC pipeline is a warranty of regional peace, security, stability and development.

Work over the implementation of energy corridor of the century construction and fulfillment of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export oil pipelines is nearing to completion. The implementation of the project was possible only thanks to wise and far-sighted policy pursued by ex-Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev, who even in mid-1990 put forward an idea on the construction of the oil pipeline.

From the aspect of stability of the region and its development and integration in to the Euro-Atlantic organizations this oil pipeline assumes great importance. I am sure that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export pipeline will promote the economic development and progress of our countries and change the region one of the points of the planet with prosperous peace and stability, the letter underlines

An alliance of Azerbaijan and Turkey will soon become an important factor for the entire world the consolidation of fraternal and friendly relationships is important for both nations, as well as for other countries. I put every effort in the direction of consolidation of cooperation, Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev said in an interview with Ecovitrin magazine.

Azerbaijan and Turkey realized a legend of the century, which will enable to supply 50 million tons of Azerbaijani oil to world markets through Turkey, he underlined. The President did not exclude possible delivery of natural gas to Europe via the Turkish pipeline

The Caspian field Shah-Deniz possesses 1 trillion cu m of gas. It will certainly resolve our problems with natural gas for many years. The implementation of the project will increase the significance of Azerbaijan and Turkey, the head of state emphasized.

Foreign policy

A Baku meeting of the heads of state and governments of ECO member-states is of great importance for the entire region, as today there is necessity for expansion of economic relationships among 10 ECO member-states, Novruz Mammadov, the head of Foreign Relationships Department of the Presidents Apparat, said in an excusive interview with Trend.

ECO is an organization with great perspectives and the work in this direction should continue, Mammadov underlined, noting that the regional constituent of ECO is that it brings closer the countries of the region and enables to utilize unused potential.

During this meeting it is planned to discuss a wide specter of issues concerning the economic cooperation, while the organization also has potential for development, he concluded.

Top meeting of the ECO leaders which started in Baku on 5 May is expected to adopt a Baku Declaration.

There is no commonly used model of conflict resolution, reportedly said Elmar Mamedyarov, Azeri Foreign Minister, speaking May 4 on possible implementation of Kosovo conflict resolution model on other conflicts, in particular South Caucasus.

В"Each conflict has its own history and geographical featuresВ", - Azeri official stressed.

The Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchohr Mottaki stated in a meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov that Tehran intends to cooperate with International Agency for Nuclear Power (IANP), Trend reports. Irans nuclear program pursues exclusively peace purposes. Tehran continues holding its position on full cooperation with the IANP, the Foreign Ministry announced.

Development of Irans nuclear program in peace purposes is a technical issue and it should be considered at the IANP. The transition of the problem to other instances is a political issue, which is unacceptable for Tehran. We ready for scaly cooperation," Iranian Foreign Minister said voicing his hope for the resolution of the problem in compliance with such conditions.

Any different political resolution is in acceptable for us. We ready to discuss the issue with the interested sides on two conditions, the first of which is inseparable right for development of nuclear energy in peace purposes. The second is the countrys loyalty international commitments in this sphere, Mottaki stressed.

The Iranian Foreign Minister noted his countrys interests in the development of economic relationships.

The talks were continued behind the closed doors.

Azerbaijan has never used the natural wealth that God granted for political deals, Matin Mirza, the spokesman for Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, stated. He was commenting on the statement by Armenian Foreign Ministry Vardan Oskanian made in the Vilnus conference on Common theory of common neighborhood as though with its rich oil reserves and high world prices Azerbaijan is sure it can resolve the conflict in an armed way.

Azerbaijan grounds justice, but not oil, in the fair resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with in the framework of the international law and maintenance of the territorial integrity of the country, spokesman for the Ministry underlined.

The official visit of the Azerbaijani president, Ilham Aliyev to the United States started a new page in history of the relations between the two countries, the head of the presidential apparatus public affairs department, Novruz Mammedov told in an interview to AzTV, Trend reports.

The negotiations he held will positively affect the bilateral relations as the visit has raised all relations between the 2 states to the strategic level. Now, Azerbaijan as a regional leader will find its place in the world and take part in the processes taking place in Eurasia, Mammedov stated.

Commenting on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict negotiations, he said, that the Azerbaijani president redefined the Azerbaijani position towards the issue at his meeting with the American president, George Bush. After these talks we can expect US to take more active part in the conflict resolution both as the superpower and as an OSCE Minsk group co-chairman.

A number of regional matters including the Iranian nuclear crisis were under discussion as well. Azerbaijan` s position remains the same towards the crisis- it has to be resolved by peaceful and democratic means.

United States are really interested in establishing peace and stability in the region with broad and active participation of Azerbaijan, Mammedov resumed

BTC pipeline implementation is important for economic and political stability in the region, the Georgian parliamentary speaker, Nino Burjanadze told at the international action with the participation of Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish women on May 2 in Tbilisi, Trend reports.

Admitting guests in parliament, Burjanadze announced that active role of women in political-economic processes in the region is welcome. Despite countries in the region acquired their independence they still energetically dependent on other countries. The more energetically independent countries become the more independent they become from other states, she added.

She also emphasized a significant role of Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish MPs in implementation of Baku-TbilisiCeyhan pipeline.

Participants of the international action met with the residents of Marneul district and visited Youth houses in Tbilisi.

During the official visit to Azerbaijan from 10 to 12 May 2006 Korean President Roh Moo-hyun's, will discuss a diverse list of issues, the Korean Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Lew Kwang-chul told Trend in an exclusive interview.

The Azerbaijani and Korean Presidents are expected to have talks on ways of strengthening bilateral relations on political, economic, cultural and other fields.

In particular, both Presidents will focus their discussions on promoting trade and investment, and securing cooperation in such fields as energy, natural resources, industry, construction, transportation, information and communication.

The Presidents are expected to sign Joint Declaration. In addition, a number of documents including Agreement on Aviation, Agreement on Cultural Cooperation, and specific MOUs in diverse fields between government Ministries and other relevant organizations are planned to be signed.

Working Group arrived in Baku to make preparations for the forthcoming visit in close cooperation with the Azerbaijan counterpart.

Korea supports the peaceable settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict within framework of international principles, Trend reports citing Charge daffairs of Korea in Azerbaijan, Lew Kwang Chul.

The Korean government attentively observes over the peaceable resolution of the conflict under the OSCE Minsk Group and hopes in the mediators successful activities.

However, the diplomat noted that Korea has not its official position on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Korea supports the resolution of the conflict within the framework of the international norm and principle, he noted

Pierre Lellouche, President of NATOs Parliamentary Assembly, invited Azeri president Ilham Aliyev and Armenian president Robert Kocharyan to Paris, Trend reports with reference to Azadlyg.

Lellouche said head of Azerbaijan already had agreed to visit Paris in late May.

President of PA reminded that official Baku is associate member of PA NATO and estimated bilateral cooperation as excellent. He said also in late May Azeri delegation is participating in plenary session of PA NATO in Paris.

В"All members of PA NATO will be concerned in listening Azeri President on some issuesВ", - PA president said.

Speaking on Nagorno-Kraabakh problem, Lellouche said PA NATO does its best to resolve the conflict. В"I am going to meet with presidents Aliyev and Kocharyan to seek the ways of the conflict resolution. I have been in Karabakh and know how difficult the conflict is. I also know the problems of refugees in Azerbaijan and understand themВ",- he said.

A delegation of the Sverdlovsk region of the Russian Federation will visit Azerbaijan in the end of May, Peter Burdikin, charge daffairs of Russian to Azerbaijan told Trend in an exclusive interview.

The composition of the delegation will be formed and trade-economic talks will be held in Baku in the end of May, Burdikin said, reminding the recent visit of Voronej region to Azerbaijan with respect to set up bilateral economic relationships.

The relationships between our countries are developing and by the end of the year the number of such visits will increase, the Russian diplomat stressed.

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict

OCSE Minsk Group co-chairs started consultations on the peaceable resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Moscow on 2 May, Russian Ambassador Yuriy Merzlyakov, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, told Trend.

The co-chairs from France, Russia and the United States, as well as special envoy of the OSCE chairman-in-office, Andjey Caspzyk are discussing the current stage of negotiation process and further steps. The mediators will also mull the aspects of the next visit to the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Earlier the co-chairs stated that after the Moscow consultations they plan to tour Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, US Ambassador Steven Mann, Russian Ambassador Yuriy Merzlyakov, and French Ambassador Bernard Fassier set up two-day consultations in Moscow on 2 May, Terry Davidson, spokesman of the Department for Europe and Eurasia of the US Department of States, told Trend.

The diplomats are discussing their recent and future activities to facilitate a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Davidson underlined.

No travel to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict region is planned in connection with the Moscow meeting of the mediators, he underlined.

Political life

Numbers of candidates participating in the rerun parliamentary elections shrink to 131 persons; 2 more candidates withdrew their candidatures, the Central Electoral Commission told Trend.

Number of observers increased. Number of local observers registered by the CEC is 658 persons. District electoral commissions registered 1449 local observers.

An y organization can conduct exit poll at the elections date. No special registration is needed.

All elections in Azerbaijan should reflect the position of voters i.e. the whole electoral process should be open and transparent. This is a position of Azerbaijani government and president, the head of public affairs department in presidential apparatus, Ali Hasanov told at the training seminar dedicated to modernizing the electoral practice in Azerbaijan, Trend reports.

All violations have to be rooted out in the beginning, he said. It doesnt matter who is violator- law enforcement representative, electoral official or ordinary citizen all will be punished according to the law, Hasanov said.

The given seminar was organized by the Baku office of International Fund of Electoral systems (IFES) and it hosted executive officials from 5 districts of Azerbaijan, heads of police departments and judicial bodies.

At initiative of Youth Association of ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP), a round table Youths participation in the world under globalization took place in Baku.

The event was opened by Zaur Adigezalov, deputy chairman of NAPs Youth Association. Adigezalov stressed Azeri youths role in globalization and tasks in this respect. MP Muvariz Gurbanli, deputy executive secretary, NAP, performed with a speech В"Role of youth in international legislation studyВ". MP said significant tasks are standing before Azeri youth today.

Participants of the action named Baku- Tbilisi- Ceyhan pipeline is a grant of security, peace, stability and development in the region will continue their way from Georgia to Turkey. Female MPs from Turkish parliament will join them on the way, MP, Malahat Hasanova, action participant told Trend.

International actions started in Baku on May 1, then MPs entered Georgia via Red Bridge border point. Here Georgian counterparts joined them to continue their way in turkey. A number of meetings are scheduled to be held on the way along the pipeline. Azerbaijani guests met with the Georgian parliament chairman, Nino Burjanadze.

The given action represents millions of people in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey allowing to cement ties between the 3 countries. Mission of international organizations to observe 13 May repeat parliamentary elections will be operating according to their programs, reportedly said Samed Seyidov, head of Azeri delegation to PACE.

In this respect, the government may not give them any recommendations or commands. В"They have their own lists and it is up to them to decide in which districts and centers they will workВ", - Seyidov said. Seyidov said also Azeri delegation permanently talks to CE, OSCE and a number of European organizations, whose representatives arrived in Azerbaijan to monitor repeat elections. At PACEs summer session, head of OSCEs observation mission Leo Platvoed will be speaking on repeat parliamentary elections.

On May 2 Asim Mollazadeh, chairman of Democratic Reforms Party, took of for Vilnius to partake in conference entitled Europe new democracies and Euro-Atlantic diary by invitation of Lithuanian foreign minister Antanas Valjonis.

The partys officials told Trend that the conference aims at discussion of economic issues and security of the EUs eastern neighbor countries and deep analysis of democratic transformations in these countries.

At the conference, with participation of Lithuanias president Valdas Adamkus, the participants will speak on the most important political, economic and security issues. Summary documents of the conference are planned to present at Vilnius-2006 summit to be held May 4. On this summit will participate heads of states and governments, as well as foreign ministers of Baltic countries, Black Sea region and the EU.

I do not accept forecasts made on the base of inquiry held by unknown source on the re-run parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, Bahar Muradova, the Azerbaijani Vice Speaker, told Trend in an exclusive interview.

Azadlyg bloc, a largest opposition alliance, citing the sociological inquiries stated that the electors activity in the re-run parliamentary elections will comprise only 5-7%.

Not hiding her surprise Muradova said she had never heard that Azadlyg possessed institutions holding sociological inquiries among public. So, she disagrees with their forecasts made on the base of inquiries by unknown sources and accepts them as non-serious.

The vice speaker also disagreed with the opinions on insufficient awareness and illiteracy of electors on the re-run parliamentary elections. Such ideas are groundless. All now when the elections will be held and which candidates are elected from constituencies. If the candidates success to gain the confidence of the electors, the electors will participate in the elections. The percentage correlation is of no significance for success of the elections and I believe in it, Muradova underlined.

State building

The chairman of the Milli Majlis [Azerbaijani parliament], Oktai Asadov, received the Executive Director of non-governmental organization LINKS, Denis Sammut, the parliament told Trend.

Asadov announced that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the development of relationships with the international organizations, including the non-governmental organizations. The speaker underlined that Azerbaijan which is guiding the legal and democratic way, successfully implements reforms in this sphere. The non-governmental organizations also contribute in the development of democracy in Azerbaijan. He stressed the importance of study of the world practice under the international organizations and exchange of experience in the sphere of formation of the law.

Sammut noted his organizations interests in the development of relationships with the supreme legislative body of Azerbaijan. He noted that the national parliaments play considerable role in the defense of democracy and human rights in the country.

On May 4, 2006 vice-speaker of Milli Medjlis Bahar Muradova received Shenol Bal, head of Society for Solidarity and Friendship of Turk worlds women, Trend reports with reference to press service of Milli Medjlis.

Muradova stressed the role of heads of Azerbaijan and Turkey in development of mutual cooperation.

Stating the importance of Turk worlds women, Muradova highly appraised the role of Society in solution of womens problems and increase of Turk countries influence in the world.

Next NATO week will be held in Baku, NATO mission in Azerbaijan press-attachГ©, Leila Abdullayeva told Trend.

NATO International School in Azerbaijan (NISA) will be traditionally organized. This will be the 4th NISA held in Baku. Representatives from all NATO member and partner states will participate at the event together with Azerbaijani students. Percentage correlation will be 50%. NATO experts will lecture on different issues.

Preliminary date of the NATO week start is July 3, Abdullayeva said.

NATO will begin disposing of the country's 1,000 tons of mГ©lange in July 2006, OSCE secretariat in Vienna told, Trend reports.

In co-ordination with a NATO mГ©lange disposal project, the OSCE is also helping Azerbaijan rehabilitate contaminated soil at its two storage sites.

In Azerbaijan, an OSCE experts' visit in October 2005 found a suitable way to upgrade two storage sites. They also determined the technical and financial resources required to rehabilitate soil contaminated by rocket fuel spills.

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