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Azerbaijan's Envoy To Ukraine Justifies Ban On Election Observers

7 November 2005 -- Baku's ambassador to Ukraine, Taliyat Aliyev, today accused the Ukrainian youth movement Pora of supporting Azerbaijanis seeking to organize "public disorders" in Azerbaijan.

Aliyev was commenting at a press conference in Kyiv. He justified the decision by Azerbaijani authorities to deny entry to a group of Ukrainian observers of Sunday's parliamentary elections.

"Does a person who is coming to observe elections have the right to bring along 13 students to Azerbaijan with flags and T-shirts of your Pora civic organization?" Aliyev said. "We are already aware of Pora's actions in Azerbaijan -- they have sent packages of T-shirts, ties, and other paraphernalia to certain individuals to help them organize public disorders in Azerbaijan. Naturally, such people could not be allowed into Azerbaijan."

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry earlier criticized the entry ban, and demanded an explanation. Ministry spokesman Vasyl Filipchuk said the incident "spoils the atmosphere for the development of friendly bilateral relations" between Ukraine and Azerbaijan.

(Ukrainian Television)