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Azerbaijan: President Ends Washington Leg Of Visit

Washington, 1 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - President Heidar Aliyev of Azerbaijan concludes the Washington leg of his visit to the U.S. today with a White House meeting with President Bill Clinton.

Aliyev is making his first official visit to Washington. He is scheduled to meet Clinton for a luncheon and a round of talks. The U.S. is trying to strengthen its ties with Azerbaijan. The Clinton Administration is on record as endorsing a repeal of a U.S. Congressional ban on economic aid for Azerbaijan.

Later today, Aliyev is scheduled to meet Secretary of State Madeleine Albright before leaving Washington for a visit to the oil producing state of Texas. Aliyev is scheduled to return to Baku on Tuesday after a trip to the midwestern city of Chicago.

Yesterday, Aliyev was accorded a welcoming ceremony at the U.S. Department of Defense. The Defense Department says Aliyev reviewed an honor guard before starting talks with Secretary William Cohen. The substance of the talks was not immediately disclosed, although the two were expected to discuss issues of military cooperation.

Aliyev arrived in Washington three days ago for his first official visit to the U.S. capital. He had a round of meetings scheduled yesterday at the Departments of Commerce, Energy and Treasury. He also met with World Bank President James Wolfensohn.