Baku Denies Likelihood of New Armenian, Azeri Meeting on CIS Sidelines

BAKU (Armenpress)–Azeri Preident Ilham Aliyev’s Foreign Policy Chief on Wednesday denied the possibility of a meeting between the Armenian and Azeri foreign ministers on the sidelines of an upcoming session of the Foreign Ministers Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to be held in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek on Thursday.

“Official Baku has no information that the recurrent meeting of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia will take place in Bishkek, Novruz Mammedov said to Novosti Azerbaijan newspaper. “Such meeting is not planned.”

Foreign Ministers Eduard Nalbandian and Elmar Mammedyarov, both of whom will be in the Kyrgyz capital to participate in the summit, last met on September 26 during a trilateral meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

“Official Baku is currently evaluating the results of talks on Nagorno Karabakh which took place in New York. Therefore there is no reason to conduct another meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers so soon,” Mammedov stated.

He did not, however, exclude the possibility of a brief “exchange of opinions” between the two foreign Ministers while in Bishkek.

“It is not excluded that a short exchange of opinions may take place between the foreign ministers during the session, but it will not carry an official character,” Mammedov said.

Meanwhile, CIS leaders will meet in Bishkek on Friday to discuss a common economic development strategy until 2020 and the world financial crisis, among other issues, a Russian presidential aide said on Wednesday.

"The leaders will consider a Commonwealth of Independent States [CIS] draft economic development strategy until 2020, drawn up by a working group of deputy economic ministers from the member states," Sergei Prikhodko said.

He also said that although it was not included in the agenda, the global financial crisis would be discussed by the heads of state of CIS member countries at their meeting in the capital of Kyrgyzstan.

The previous meeting of the Council of the Heads of State of the CIS was held in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, in October 2007, when Kyrgyzstan took over the organization’s rotating presidency.

The CIS comprises Russia, Georgia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Ukraine is a founding and participating country but technically not a member state. Turkmen’stan holds associate status.

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