ANS TV, Azerbaijan
Sept 29 2005

AZERI, FINNISH PRESIDENTS DISCUSS KARABAKH, INTEGRATION INTO EUROPE

[Presenter] As a country that will chair the OSCE from 2007, Finland
will help Azerbaijan resolve the Nagornyy Karabakh problem, visiting
Finnish President Tarja Halonen has said.

[Correspondent over video of the ceremony to welcome the Finnish
president ] Opportunities for developing bilateral relations between
Finland and Azerbaijan should be expanded. This issue topped the
agenda of the one-to-one and expanded talks Halonen held as part of
her two-day visit to Baku.

The presidents held a news conference after an agreement on avoiding
double taxation and preventing tax evasion and a memorandum of
understanding were signed by the foreign ministers. They expressed
their satisfaction with the level of the political dialogue in
relations between the two countries. [Azerbaijani] President Ilham
Aliyev said that the state will support the common interests of
private companies in tomorrow's business forum. Aliyev said that
stability is the main condition for investing in Azerbaijan and that
conflicts like the Nagornyy Karabakh problem prevent development.

[Aliyev speaking in English at the news conference with Azeri
voice-over] The South Caucasus region has common problems. The
settlement of the conflict and the implementation of political,
economic and social reforms are priorities of our policy. We attach
great importance to integration into Europe. The EU's New
Neighbourhood Policy can make a great contribution to this issue.
Integration into Europe is the main direction of our policy and we
have been actively working on this sphere.

[Correspondent] Finnish President Halonen said that they are
interested not only in Azerbaijan's rich economic potential, but also
in political processes. She said that Finland was closely watching
the November parliamentary election and hopes that the Council of
Europe principles would be observed. Halonen supported the peaceful
settlement of the Karabakh issue and pledged that as a country that
will chair the OSCE from 2007, Finland would make more efforts to
solve the issue.

[Halonen, speaking in English with Azeri voice-over] We all know that
a good condition for one country may not be regarded as good for
another. Therefore, one of the sides does not always agree with
compromises. I think that both sides should be satisfied with the
agreement. You can discuss the issue together with Armenia in the
Council of Europe, the OSCE and the European Union. As the president
of the country that will chair the EU and the OSCE, I can say that we
will do everything we can to contribute to the resolution of the
conflict. We will try to ensure people's security.

[Correspondent] Halonen said that Azerbaijan had great prospects for
integrating into Europe and that Azerbaijan would benefit from the
EU's New Neighbourhood Policy. The key to stability in the South
Caucasus is in the hands of peoples living there, end quote.

Zamina Aliyeva, Emil Babaxanov, ANS.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress