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Turkish Leader Making Official Visit To Azerbaijan

30 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and Recep Tayyip Erdogan are due to hold talks today in Bak during Erdogan's first official visit to Azerbaijan as Turkish prime minister.

The Turkish and Azeri sides are expected to sign a number of documents, and the the Turkish leader is expected to address Azeri parliamentarians and meet with Turkish and Azeri business people.

Reports say the Azeri and Turkish leaders are expected to discuss issues including cooperation in the oil-and-gas industry and steps toward a possible settlement of Azerbaijan's dispute with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Reports have said the Turkish leader is also expected to urge Azerbaijan to pursue democratic reforms ahead of the country's November elections.

Earlier this week in an interview with CNN-Turk television, Aliyev said he ruled out the possibility of a popular uprising in Azerbaijan similar to those that occurred in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.

Aliyev however pledged that the November vote would be "bright, democratic and transparent."


See also:

Azerbaijan President Says No Revolutions In His Country