Zamina Aliyeva, Sehrac Azadoglu, ANS.

ANS TV, Baku
31 Aug 05

[Presenter] US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard
Lugar and Senator Barack Obama ended their visit to Azerbaijan today
[31 August].

[Passage omitted: reported details of the senators' meetings with
Azeri leader and opposition representatives]

Lugar gave a news conference on the results of the visit. Lugar,
who is described as a grey cardinal behind the Orange Revolution in
Ukraine, said that he was expecting no revolution in Azerbaijan.

[Correspondent over video of news conference] The USA is concerned
about the composition of electoral commissions, the failure to
ensure that one person will cast one vote and the creation of equal
conditions for candidates in the mass media, US Senate Foreign
Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar and Senator Barack Obama
said after their meeting with the Azerbaijani opposition which was
held behind closed doors. At their news conference, the senators made
some other statements about the [6 November] parliamentary election.

Lugar said that they praised Azerbaijan. Lugar, who is believed to
have a special position in the implementation of orange revolutions
[as heard], also answered questions about the possibility of revolution
in Azerbaijan.

[Lugar in English, with Azeri voice-over] I do not stage revolutions.
I want the world to know me as a person bringing optimism. I expect
no revolution in Azerbaijan. I believe that fair and free polls will
be held. We learnt at the talks with opposition representatives that
the registration of candidates passed off without trouble. This must
be regarded as a step forward.

[Correspondent] Senator Lugar believes that the polls would be
undoubtedly fair if the instructions signed on 11 May by the president
[on improving electoral practices] is carried out, voters are not given
several voter ID cards, exit polls are held and international observes
are enabled to observe the voting process without obstacle. The
Nagornyy Karabakh problem was also discussed during the senators'
visit. Senator Lugar regarded as absolutely normal the allocation
of funds to Nagornyy Karabakh by the USA. He expressed the hope that
the conflict would be settled through talks.

[Lugar speaking in English, with Azeri voice-over] The USA allocated
humanitarian aid to Nagornyy Karabakh. We are trying to give equal
aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan every year. I can add that more aid
would be allocated to Azerbaijan within the framework of the Lugar
initiative programme and this will be added to funds which are to be
allocated to the country. We hope that the conflict will be settled
peacefully and regrettable consequences will be coped with.

[Correspondent] Senator Barack Obama of Illinois defended valiantly
his signing of the Armenians' letter about the so-called genocide.

[Obama speaking in English, with Azeri voice-over] The letter was
full of historical facts about the killing of thousands of Armenians.
I express the position of the state which I represent. I think that
the killing of civilians is inadmissible.

[Correspondent] Commenting on the killing of hundreds of people in
Xocali [Armenian-occupied Azeri town], Mr Obama confined himself to
saying that he had information about that. The senators also touched
on the ongoing production of nuclear weapon by Iran and said that
this posed a threat to Azerbaijan as well. The guests expressed
their satisfaction with cooperation with Azerbaijan in the security
sphere and said that the two countries would start cooperation for
border protection.