The former prime minister in the Azerbaijani Popular Front’s government, Panah Husseinov, reappeared in public at a news conference in Baku to describe president Haidar Aliev as "one of the few politicians capable of tackling Azerbaijan’s problems," particularly economic development and the Karabakh conflict. Husseinov urged "an end to the cold war between opposition and government" and called on "wise men on both sides" to pool their efforts for the sake of national interests.
In a related measure the authorities yesterday released on bail Arif Mansurov, who was dismissed last month as chairman of Azerbaijan’s State Committee for Ecology and Resource Conservation and was arrested on charges of complicity in an earlier coup attempt. (Turan, Interfax, February 7, 10, 11)
The Popular Front, which governed Azerbaijan in 1992-93, fiercely opposes Aliev and his Yeni (New) Azerbaijan party. The government and its Western friends seek to end that debilitating internal conflict, and are planning ahead to ensure the country’s political stability during the eventual transition to a post-Aliev period. Husseinov, in hiding since 1993, was detained in 1996 on criminal charges, but was released last month after a long private conversation with Aliev.
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