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Azerbaijani, Russian Presidents Hold Talks

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (left) with Russian President Vladimir Putin (ITAR-TASS) November 9, 2006 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Moscow today on energy cooperation and regional issues.

Aliyev arrived in Moscow from Brussels, where he discussed with EU and NATO officials the security of energy supplies from the Caspian Sea region to Europe.

Putin congratulated Aliyev on a "very practical, concrete" visit to Brussels and on "important agreements" reached with the EU "regarding Azerbaijan's participation in European efforts in the energy field."

Putin also called for increased trade and energy cooperation.

Aliyev said strengthening bilateral relations would contribute to regional security.

Few details about the agenda were released ahead of the talks. Russian officials said the two presidents were expected to also discuss Nagorno-Karabakh, the situation in the South Caucasus, and preparations for a summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States on November 28.

(ITAR-TASS, Interfax,