Anadolu Agency, Turkey
July 8 2004

Pepe Says They Don't Ignore Problems In Caucasus

BAKU - Turkish Environment and Forestry Minister Osman Pepe said
Caucasus is a very important for Turkey and they closely monitor
developments in this region.

''We won't ignore the problems in Caucasus as we are aware how
important this region is,'' he said.

Pepe who is actually in Baku was received by Azerbaijani Parliament
Speaker Murtuz Aleskerov today. Speaking at the meeting, Pepe said
Turkey has always supported Azerbaijan, stressing that they always
brought to the attention of the participants, the question of Upper
Karabakh, an Azerbaijani territory under Armenian occupation, in
international fora. ''Turkey always stood by Azerbaijan on this
matter and she would support the decision that Azerbaijani people
will take'' he said.

Noting that mutual investments and relations between businessmen were
important to promote friendship between two sister countries, Pepe
said that increase in the volume of investments and commerce will
boost friendship and brotherhood between the two countries.

Aleskerov said, in his part, that relations between Turkey and
Azerbaijan are at a high level, a number of agreements have been
signed in many areas, and the two countries have been cooperating
under the umbrella of international institutions and organizations.

The most serious problem of Azerbaijan is the occupation of Upper
Karabakh by Armenia, Aleskerov said and stated that Azerbaijan has
always gotten support of Turkey on this matter.

Aleskerov said that ''they are in favor of resolving the Upper
Karabakh dispute peacefully and through dialogue, though they have
not get any positive result yet.''

Aleskerov added that he invited Turkish Parliament Speaker Bulent
Arinc to visit Baku.