Azerbaijan to Discuss Regional Security With US

BAKU (Agence France Presse)–Azerbaijan and the United States will have talks in April on regional security in central Asia–a senior Azeri official said.

Novruz Mamedov–foreign relations adviser to President Haydar Aliyev–said Baku attached enormous importance to the discussions–agreed during Aliyev’s visit to the United States in 1997.

Azerbaijan would be raising its conflict with Armenia over the Armenian-populated enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh–deliveries of Russian arms to Armenia–Russian military bases in the region and the security of pipelines transporting oil from the Caspian Sea.

In a message Wednesday to Aliyev–US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright welcomed the fact that he would be attending the NATO summit in April–Mamedov said.

Another aide to Aliyev–Vafa Gulizade–suggested at the end of January that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization–Turkey or the United States base troops in Azerbaijan to counter Russian influence in the region.

Moscow took offense–demanding an official explanation from Baku.

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