Azerbaijan May Not Join CIS Security Treaty

BONN (Itar-Tass)–"It is unlikely that Azerbaijan will join the CIS Collective Security Treaty," Azeri Foreign Minister Tofik Zulfugarov–who is now on a working visit in Germany–told Itar-Tass on Friday.

Commenting on the decision of Belarus–Russia–Armenia–Tajikistan–Kazakhstan–and Kyrgyzstan to extend the treaty–he said that "Baku’s position on this document is now being decided–but the attitude to the treaty remains unchanged."

The minister explained that Azerbaijan–which had initially ratified the Collective Security Treaty–but had not instituted the necessary ratification requirement–deemed it impossible its participation in an alliance–where Armenia was a member.

Asked how Baku viewed this treaty–after its adoption by Azerbaijan’s closest strategic partner–Georgia–Zulfugarov stated that "Tbilisi is a member of the Collective Security Treaty–but this will in no way affect cooperation between Georgia and Azerbaijan within the strategic union between Tbilisi–Kiev–Baku–and Kishinev–of course–if Georgia decides to take this step," he pointed out.

Zulfugarov also announced that a meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan–Armenia– and Georgia is to be held in Luxembourg in the coming months.

Commenting on Thursday’s talks with his German counterpart Joschka Fischer–Zulfugarov emphasized that Germany–which now presides over the governing bodies of the European Union–"intends to promote the holding of the summit in Luxembourg before June this year".

The Azeri Minister said the summit would enable the leaders of the three Transcaucasian republics to discuss all urgent problems in a constructive spirit.

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