During Key West Talks
For the Resolution of the Karabakh Conflict

Azeri Public Increasingly Bellicose - President Tells EU Official

BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom, May 23, 2001

Text of report by Azerbaijani TV station ANS on May 22 .
[Presenter] The patience of the Azerbaijani people has been exhausted regarding the unsettled Karabakh problem, and the nation is now demanding that the conflict be resolved through war. This was stated at [Azerbaijani President] Heydar Aliyev's meeting with European Union representatives. Aytan Safarova has the details from the presidential executive staff.

[Correspondent over video of the meeting] Heydar Aliyev recalled that Azerbaijan became a full member of the Council of Europe this year and he expressed the hope that the republic would become a member of the European Union as well. However, the European Union's requirements are stricter, the president said. He added that the union's 15 member states were among the world's most developed countries. He said that Azerbaijan would definitely achieve what it wanted through developing its economy.

Heydar Aliyev said that the Karabakh conflict was the only factor hampering Azerbaijan's attempts to achieve this and - quote - unfortunately, the world community is not actively involved in the conflict settlement process - end quote. Heydar Aliyev said that he had been holding meetings with Armenian President Robert Kocharyan since 1999 to resolve the conflict peacefully and stressed that Yerevan officials were in a superior position and did not want to compromise.

[Heydar Aliyev] It is natural that our public's dissatisfaction is increasing. There is a growing public mood in favour of waging war again and liberating the occupied territories.

[Correspondent] The Azerbaijani president did not ignore the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group cochairmen, aimed at settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

[Heydar Aliyev] They say that they will accept any agreement reached between the two presidents. If this is the case, what was the purpose of setting up the OSCE Minsk Group in 1992?

[Correspondent] Asking what the European Union could do to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the head of the European Union delegation, Ursula Schleicher, received the following answer: Azerbaijan's territorial integrity should be restored, Armenia should withdraw from the occupied territories and the refugees should return home.

Aytan Safarova and Musa Gulammirzayev, ANS.
Source: ANS TV, Baku, in Azeri 1600 gmt 22 May 01
/BBC Monitoring/ © BBC.
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