Croatia backs Azerbaijan over Karabakh conflict

ANS TV, Baku
10 Jun 05

[Presenter Eldaniz Zeynalov] President Ilham Aliyev left for Croatia
on an official visit today and met his Croatian counterpart Stjepan
Mesic. The two parties discussed ways of expanding economic, political
and cultural relations between the two countries, the situation in the
region, as well as the Nagornyy Karabakh problem. ANS correspondent
Ali Ahmadov reports by telephone. Hello Ali, what can you say about
the visit?

[Ahmadov] Hello Eldaniz. President Ilham Aliyev and Croatian President
Stjepan Mesic have held a news conference. Among other issues, they
touched on the Karabakh conflict. President Aliyev said that
Azerbaijani land has been occupied by Armenia and peace talks are
under way to solve the problem in a peaceful way. He said that
Azerbaijan is ready to grant the highest status of autonomy to
Armenians in Karabakh.

[Passage omitted: minor details]

The Croatian president said that Croatia's territorial integrity was
also violated in the past, but then the country managed to restore its
territorial integrity peacefully. He said that no country should
refuse to restore its territorial integrity or allow it to be
violated. He said that not a single inch of Croatian land can belong
to any other country.

The one-to-one meeting between the presidents and the expanded meeting
between the sides ended in the signing of several agreements. One of
the agreements was related to cooperation between the Azerbaijani and
Croatian foreign ministries. Another agreement was signed between the
culture ministries.

The presidents also adopted a mutual communique. Signing communiques
is a normal practice between countries, but this communique expresses
Croatia's open support for Azerbaijan in the Azerbaijani-Armenian
conflict.

[Passage omitted: similar ideas reiterated]

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress