RUSSIAN PRESIDENT TO AZERBAIJAN AMID KARABAKH TENSIONS

Journal of Turkish Weekly
Sept 2 2010

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is due to open an official visit
to Azerbaijan today amid heightened tensions between Azerbaijan and
neighboring rival Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory.

The Russian president's visit follows reported deadly clashes on
August 31 between Azerbaijani forces and ethnic Armenians in Karabakh.

The two sides have given conflicting casualty tolls, with Azerbaijan's
Defense Ministry saying three Armenian and two Azerbaijani soldiers
were killed, while Karabakh Armenian officials said four Azerbaijani
troops were killed and one Armenian was wounded.

A resolution on the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region that Azerbaijan
wants passed by the UN General Assembly is due to be considered next
week. It reportedly would uphold Azerbaijan's territorial integrity
of Nagorno-Karabakh and the right of Azerbaijanis "expelled" from
the breakaway Azerbaijani region and Armenian-controlled territories
surrounding it to return to their homes.

Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a six-year war over the territory,
an Armenian-majority enclave located inside Azerbaijan, that ended
with a cease-fire in 1994. However, the territory's final status
remains unresolved.

The Kremlin said Medvedev plans to discuss efforts to settle the
Karabakh dispute, as well as international cooperation in the Caspian
Sea area, during his talks in Baku with Azerbaijani President Ilham
Aliyev.




From: A. Papazian