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Azerbaijan: President Flies To Turkey For Medical Checkup

Baku, 3 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- News reports today said Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliyev flew to Turkey for a medical check-up. Turkey's NTV private television channel said Aliyev had arrived in Ankara and that preparations had been made to receive him at the Gulhane military hospital. Sources in Aliev's staff confirmed the reports, but there has been no official word from the presidential office.

Two weeks ago, Aliyev collapsed twice while delivering a speech at a Baku military academy. His office said he had experienced a sudden drop in blood pressure.

On 28 April, Aliyev received Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi at his home.

Aliev, who will turn 80 later this month, has a history of heart and other health problems and has been treated in the United States and Turkey on several occasions.