Armenian peacekeeping not to affect Baghdad's position on Karabakh - envoy

Trend news agency
3 Jan 05

Baku, 3 January: Trend correspondent A. Raufoglu: "The participation
of Armenian peacekeepers will not affect official Baghdad's position
on the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict," the Iraqi ambassador to
Azerbaijan, Umar Ismai'l, told Trend news agency while commenting on
the Armenian parliament's decision to send a military contingent to
Iraq.

"Many peacekeepers can come to our country, but this will not affect
our general policy," the ambassador said.

To recap, the Armenian parliament recently adopted a decision to send
50 peacekeepers to Iraq. "This decision was adopted after military
operations and Armenia wishes to participate only in the current
process of restoring peace. There is a sura in the Koran saying that
'those who declared jihad during the conquest of Mecca are above those
who took this step afterwards'. I do not believe that those who joined
the struggle for the salvation of Iraq and those who did so afterwards
will be perceived equally. In any case, those who arrived first are
more important for us," the ambassador said.

The diplomat pointed out that Iraq has always supported Baku's
position on the Nagornyy Karabakh settlement. Official Baghdad is in
favour of solving this issue only within the framework of Azerbaijan's
territorial integrity, the ambassador said.

"During the latest UN discussions, we voted for the draft resolution
prepared by the Azerbaijani side," the ambassador recalled. "At the
same time, we also announced that the Armenian forces must pull out of
Karabakh and adjacent districts. This policy will be continued in the
future as well," he said.

It must be remembered that there is still no Iraqi embassy in
Yerevan. "This is a very important aspect and Azerbaijan should take
it into consideration. Sincere tendencies and our friends' interests
are an important factor in our foreign policy," Umar Ismai'l said.