06.05.2009 14:44 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The U.S. and Azerbaijan have a very close
relationship on many important issues, U.S. Secretary of State said.

"Today, we're going to discuss how we can expand and deepen that
relationship. I'm delighted that the minister could come so early in
the Obama Administration so that we could begin these discussions,"
Mrs. Hillary Clinton said welcoming Azerbaijani Foreign Minister
Elmar Mammadyarov.

"As you know, Azerbaijan has a very strategic location that is one
that is important not only to their country, but really, regionally
and globally. And so they're in a position to take increasing
responsibility and leadership on these important matters," she said.

For his part, Mr. Mammadyarov said it's a great pleasure to be back
in Washington and back to State Department. "I'm appreciative for
this invitation. And I am absolutely sure that this meeting will move
forward the strategic partnership which exists between Azerbaijan
and United States. And I am ready to discuss all the issues of mutual
interest; in our mind, it's global or it's regional or it's bilateral,"
he said.