ROBERT SIMONS HOPES FOR JOINT EXERCISES TO BE CONTINUED



YEREVAN, OCTOBER 4. ARMINFO. Robert Simons, NATO Secretary General's
Special Representative to the Caucasus and Central Asia, hopes that
although the "Cooperative Best Effort 2004" exercises in Baku failed,
the practice of joint military exercises will be continued.

In his interview to the "Izvestiya" newspaper Simons stated that the
Euroatlantic Partnership Council has a fundamental principle: all the
member-states have the right to take part in joint activities. "In
this case, the Azerbaijani authorities were not ready to ensure
Armenian representatives' participation in joint exercises, though so
much had been done to prepare them. We clearly stated our position to
the Azerbaijani Government," he said.

According to Simons, the problem was in Azerbaijan's allowing Armenian
servicemen to arrive, but not in its being not ready to take part in
the joint activities. "If the exercises had been held in a third
country, we would receive them gladly there. Other exercises are being
and will be planned," Simons said.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress