Azeri Interior Minister In Yerevan for CIS Meeting

The meeting of CIS Interior Ministers in Yerevan

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Azerbaijan’s Interior Minister Ramil Usubov attended a meeting of his counterparts from other former Soviet republics in Yerevan on Friday in what was a rare visit to Armenia by an Azerbaijani government official.

Surrounded by tight security, Usubov could not be approached by journalists covering the regular session of the Council of Interior Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Nor did he deliver any speeches there.

The chief of the Armenian police, Alik Sargsian, told journalists that he met with Usubov separately before the start of the session. “We did not discuss political issues. Our structures are apolitical,” he told reporters, according to

Russia’s Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev praised the two men for not raising the touchy issue of Nagorno-Karabakh at the ministerial session. “I am glad that this issue is not on the agenda of relations between Ramil Usubov and Alik Sargsian,” he said. “We do realize that there are issues that are directly dealt with by politicians.”

Mutual visits by Armenian and Azerbaijani government officials and other citizens have been rare because of the unresolved conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. They usually take place within the framework of multilateral events.

Azerbaijan has sought to minimize such contacts over the past decade. It considers the presence of Armenian officials and public figures on Azerbaijani soil to be an affront to the country’s honor and territorial integrity.

Usubov’s trip to Yerevan was strongly condemned on Friday by an Azerbaijani pressure group opposed to any concessions to the Armenians. “Nothing can justify that visit,” the Karabakh Liberation Organization said in a statement cited by the SalamNews online service.

“Nothing can justify the fact that Ramil Usubov stepped over the blood of our martyrs, his own relatives brutally killed by Armenians in [the Karabakh town of] Khojaly, and went to visit murderous Armenians,” it charged.

The Yerevan meeting discussed joint efforts to combat transnational crime in the loose grouping of 11 ex-Soviet states, including both Armenia and Azerbaijan. In a joint statement, the CIS police chiefs said they approved, among other things, a strategy of coordinating their fight against cyber crime.

Addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian called for closer cooperation among the CIS police services. “The speed and, sometimes, unpredictability of political processes, negative financial and economic phenomena taking place in the CIS countries as well as their effects make it imperative to work out a strategy of joint actions and reinforce further cooperation among us,” he said.

Also present at the meeting was Ronald Noble, the American secretary general of Interpol. Noble was received by President Serzh Sarkisian on Thursday.


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  1. Christo said:

    “surrounded by tight security”, what was his concern? Was he expecting to be greeted by stone throwing mob? or deep down he was expecting to be greeted by a similar mob who welcomed the Armenian boxers in Baku a few weeks ago.
    To Usubov and his like, you stepped on our holy land and it needs to be cleansed ASAP. Someone in Armenia needs to burn a lot of Sage to cleanse the country.

  2. Hrant (Din) K. said:

    I admire the azeri Minister of Interior-Ramil Usubov’s courage and his confidence in the Armenian

    Law Enforcement Agents and leaders!!! Christo, Mr Usubov’s visit to Yerevan is a loud

    indication of the azeris’ admittance to the Armenians’ UPPER HAND in the South Caucasus as well as

    a frank RECOGNITION of Artsakh’s INDEPENDENCE!!! Otherwise why would President Sarkozy visit

    Armenia for 3 days, where on the other hand he visited Tiflis and Baku for only 3 to 4 hours each, moreover

    the latter 2 visits were labeled as “unofficial” by his press sources!!! This reiterates that our President is

    the Quarterback in the Caucasus; and the Captain in the Near East with his Football Diplomacy, and the

    Referee in the CIS arena!!! (7)

  3. bigmoustache said:

    what, no death threats against his life? no comments like, “yeah you can come, but we cant guarantee your security” (a veiled threat).
    and khojali, khojali, khojali…like the progroms in baku, sumgait and kirovabad mean nothing. like were supposed to leave all artsakh armenians at the hand of the turks again, all for khojali….are these people smoking their opium?
    why do we hear azerbaijan bullshit about refugees, didnt we have hundreds of thousands of refugees when azerbaijan started a war RIGHT AFTER a devestating earthquake that killed 25,000? so go aheah turk, beef up your military..ive seen what my people can do under the toughest circumstances