Putin Contacts Azeri President Discusses Regional Summit

BAKU (Itar-Tass)–Russia’s acting President Vladimir Putin had telephone conversations with Belorussian President Alexander Lukashenko and Azeri President Heydar Aliyev on Monday.

The presidential press service’s chief Alexei Gromov told Itar-Tass that the conversations addressed bilateral relations.

During Putin’s talk with Aliyev–the sides supported an idea of calling a Caucasian forum in the near future on cooperation and regional stability with the participation of top leaders of Russia–Azerbaijan–Armenia and Georgia. Earlier in the day–Putin held telephone conversations with the presidents of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan–Islam Karimov and Emomali Rakhmonov.

Putin also contacted by telephone the general director of GAZ auto factory–Nikolai Pugin. They agreed that Putin will visit Moscow soon for discussing the factory’s situation.

The Azeri president’s press service said Aliyev and Putin had discussed the forthcoming summit of CIS presidents–due in Moscow–and settlement of Azerbaijan-Armenia confrontation over Nagorno-Karabakh.

They agreed on the need for more efforts for a peaceful settlement.

Aliyev also had a telephone conversation with former Russian president Boris Yeltsin. He congratulated Yeltsin on the New Year and wished him health and happiness.

Aliyev thanked Yeltsin for joint work and praised his activity in the Russian president’s post.

Aliyev stressed Yeltsin’s endeavor to found and cultivate the Commonwealth of Independent States and Russia-Azerbaijan relations.

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