POLITICS


COLIN POWELL: ‘PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH HIGHLY APPRECIATES THE FRIENDLY AND CLOSE PARTNERSHIP RELATIONS WITH AZERBAIJAN’

Ceremony of oath taking by the newly appointed ambassador of the United States of America to Azerbaijan held

On 12 August, a ceremony of oath taking by the newly appointed ambassador of the United States of America to Azerbaijan was held at ‘The Hall of Contracts’ of the US Department of State Reno Harnish, AzerTAj correspondent informs from Washington.

In his opening remarks, the US Secretary of State Mr. Colin Powell said that President George Bush ‘highly appreciates the friendly and close partnership relations with Azerbaijan’. And that in these days, when President Heydar Aliyev is under treatment, the ‘thoughts and prayers’ of the American side are directed to the Azerbaijani people. Noting the role of Azerbaijani leader in the development of the Caspian energy resources, the Secretary of State said the two countries are partnership in this deal.

Emphasizing that along with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, the United States also tries ‘for peaceful, fair and strict’ settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, Colin Powell also stressed the existing ‘close partnership’ between the two countries in combat against international terrorism.

Reminding that Azerbaijan has ‘established the first democratic Republic in the Moslem East’ head of the foreign policy department of the United States expressed a hope for the coming fall presidential elections that will promote Azerbaijan to continue marching ahead by along the path of democracy.

Secretary of State spoke in details on the US support for multi-version pipeline routes to transport the Caspian energy resources to the world market. Noting that Azerbaijan actively cooperated with the United States in combat against international terrorism even before the 11 September 2001 terror acts, the Country’s participation at the peacemaking operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan, he stated that Azerbaijan would send peacemaking forces to Iraq either. Colin Powell said George Bush was very thankful to the Republic of Azerbaijan for this partnership.

Stressing that Azerbaijan is known as the Gate of East, the Secretary of State on behalf of President Bush expressed a hope that in 21st century the Country with its position at junction of the world development, would become an important gate to the East.

Touching upon the necessity of strengthening of democracy by the new democracies, protection of human rights, establishment of optimal state administration, Colin Powell said that the leadership of Azerbaijan creates just such a society.

Then, he invited Mr. Reno Harnish to take oath as an ambassador of the United States to Azerbaijan.

The Ambassador said he would try to work with the leadership and people of Azerbaijan, assist the development of partnership and cooperation in combat against terrorism to reach great progress at the coming presidential elections in comparison with the pervious elections. He, in particular, underlined that the joint border assistance program was possible due to waiver of the 907 Section.

Mr. Harnish gave a high assessment to the energy projects, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan MEP and ‘Shahdeniz’ projects. Speaking of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, the Ambassador said the United States makes every effort to reach the peaceful settlement of the conflict, and that the United States recognizes territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

The new ambassador seems to know Azerbaijan well and he used Azerbaijani proverbs and aphorisms in his speech.

Some 90 people representing the US National Security Service, Department of State and state agencies attended the event.

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