Bush Letter to Aliyev Addresses Azeri Election Violence and Karabagh

BAKU (Baku Today)–In a message to Azerbaijan’s newly elected president Ilham Aliyev–US President George W. Bush expressed concern about the post election upheaval in Azerbaijan–and called the leader to correct the situation in accordance with the rule of law.

"The United States is proud of its close friendship with Azerbaijan. As a friend–we have expressed our concerns and disappointment both publicly and privately with the conduct of the October 15 election. We are concerned as well by the violent behavior of both opposition demonstrators and government authorities–including the arrests that followed these events. I hope you will press hard to rectify these problems in a manner that respects the rule of law and firmly sets your country on a path to democracy–political freedom–and respect for human rights. Our goal is a strong and multifaceted partnership with Azerbaijan whose foundation rests on democratic principles," reads a portion of Bush’s message.

In addressing the Karabagh conflict–Bush said that he seeks a just and durable settlement. "I remain committed to seeking a just and durable settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It is important that we continue to work together for peace and security in the Caucasus region and beyond and continue our common efforts in the fight against terrorism. I am confident that the ties between our peoples and countries will deepen in the years ahead."

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