U. S. ENVOY TO NATO MAPS OUT COOPERATION WITH BAKU AND TBILISI.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 195
Azerbaijani president Haidar Aliev and his foreign affairs and defense ministers conferred on October 17-19 with the visiting U.S. ambassador to NATO, Robert Hunter, on developing Azerbaijan’s relations with the alliance. Summing up the discussions, Foreign Minister Hasan Hasanov stated that Azerbaijan welcomes NATO’s eastward enlargement. He also recalled Aliev’s declaration in Poland approving that country’s accession to the alliance and stressed Baku’s close relations with NATO member Turkey. Hasanov described Baku’s policy as stemming from its political will to "cooperate with the Western world" and the country’s location as a link between the NATO area and Central Asia. The discussions with Hunter centered on expanding Azerbaijan’s participation in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. Both sides made clear that the question of Azerbaijan joining the alliance is not on the agenda for the foreseeable future.
Hunter also conferred in Tbilisi with President Eduard Shevardnadze on Georgia’s individual program of cooperation with NATO within the PfP framework. Shevardnadze and Defense Minister Vardiko Nadibaidze suggested that Georgia would welcome the holding of NATO-sponsored military exercises on its territory. (International agencies, October 17-19)
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