An article, giving a detailed analysis of the meeting held by Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev with the First Under Secretary of the United States Richard Armitage was published in the Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

On the eve of Ilham Aliyev’s departure, there were no reports on any scheduled official meetings, the article reads. However, experts said that the agreement on this meeting has been previously settled. In the situation when West’s point in pre-electoral process is key, Washington’s approval is a serious claim for victory. Supporters of the President took congratulations of the US government on Ilham Aliyev’s appointment as Prime Minister in this way.

Speaking on importance of the meeting of the Prime Minister of Azerbaijan with the First Under Secretary of USA, the newspaper writes, that the issues of bilateral cooperation and settlement of a prolonged conflict in Nagorno Karabakh were discussed. The participants of the negotiations underlined the necessity of development of Azerbaijani-American political and economic ties, intensification of joint terrorism combat efforts.

The issue of the upcoming presidential elections in Azerbaijan was touched upon at the meeting as well. Transparent presidential elections in Azerbaijan will be an important step in democracy development in the republic, Mr. Armitage said. Majority of Azerbaijani political scientists appraised this meeting as a serious support of the nominee of Prime Minister at the upcoming presidential elections in the country.

Further, the newspaper writes, from this point of view the visit to Baku of the US Congress delegation headed by a republican Curt Weldon scheduled soon is not accidental. The delegation will consist of congressmen, representing both republican and democratic parties. It should be remarked that the head of the delegation Weldon is one of the most prestigious congressmen, Vice-chairman of a key committee for US Armed Forces, head of the subcommittee for military assignments and developments.

The delegation of congressmen is arriving in Baku to negotiate with Ilham Aliyev and handing him over an oral message of the US President George Bush. The official aim of the visit is to set close relations with the national assembly, creation of a Congress-Majlis working group. Besides, the meetings with key figures of the government of Azerbaijan had been scheduled as well.

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