USA wants more democracy in Azerbaijan - foreign minister

ANS TV, Baku
3 Aug 05

[Presenter] Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, who is
in Washington, is expected to deliver a speech in front of members of
the Azerbaijani Trade and Cultural Centre about the economic reforms
in Azerbaijan.

Mammadyarov spoke about Baku's steps towards democracy at a meeting
with Condoleezza Rice at the US State Department. Following the
meeting, Mammadyarov told journalists that they had talked about the
role of the USA as a member of the OSCE Minsk Group in the Nagornyy
Karabakh problem.

[Correspondent, over video of Mammadyarov-Rice meeting] During the
meeting with Condoleezza Rice, Mammadyarov mainly spoke about the
Nagornyy Karabakh problem. The USA, which is the member of the OSCE
Minsk Group, has made known its position on a peaceful solution of
the issue once again.

[Mammadyarov] It was a very good and wide-ranging discussion. We
discussed bilateral US-Azerbaijani relations. We, above all, discussed
the ways of a speedy and peaceful solution to the Azerbaijani-Armenian
Nagornyy Karabakh conflict.

[Correspondent] Another issue discussed by Mr Mammadyarov with the
US secretary of state was Azerbaijan's moves towards democracy. Rice
personally informed the Azerbaijani foreign minister of the problems
in the sphere of democracy [in Azerbaijan].

[Mammadyarov] We generally talked about democracy. We said that good
and comprehensive relations have been built up between Azerbaijan and
the USA and, of course, the USA would like the democratic process in
Azerbaijan be expanded. From this point of view, we also discussed the
[November parliamentary] election, which is an important factor.

[Correspondent] They also talked about economic and regional
projects. Rice and Mammadyarov discussed the transportation of energy
resources from the Caspian basin.

[Mammadyarov] We talked about some economic projects, including the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan [oil pipeline], the project which has already
been implemented. We also talked about the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum [gas
pipeline] and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway projects. I also noted that
these are important projects for Azerbaijan in terms of energy. We
also talked about international organizations and Azerbaijani-US
cooperation. In general, I am very happy about the meeting.

[Correspondent] Mr Mammadyarov will hold meetings at the White
House and the Pentagon. During his visit which will continue until
5 August, he will also attend meetings organized by the National
Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute and IFES
[the International Foundation for Election Systems].