Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 163

Azerbaijani president Haidar Aliev yesterday issued a decree on government actions aimed at "Expansion of Partnership Relations between Azerbaijan and the U.S." The decree instructs the Cabinet of Ministers, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministries, the National Bank, the presidential administration, and other agencies to develop specific programs on cooperation with the U.S. in their respective sectors. They are to coordinate these programs on an interagency basis and to submit quarterly reports to the president on the programs’ implementation. The decree focuses on political relations, trade, defense and security, arms control, and participation in NATO’s Partnership for Peace and Euroatlantic Cooperation Council as priority areas for Azerbaijan-U.S. cooperation. The document refers to understandings reached during Aliev’s U.S. visit last month as providing the basis for drawing up and carrying out these programs. (Turan, September 3)

The timing of the decree very nearly coincides with the signing of the Russian-Armenian military alliance. (See Monitor, September 2) Though almost certainly fortuitous, the coincidence helps highlight the divergent course of the two countries and the deepening rift within the South Caucasus region. Georgia’s orientation is close to Azerbaijan’s despite Tbilisi’s greater vulnerability to Russian pressure.

Nazarbaev Lays Basis for Relations with Persian Gulf States.