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Azerbaijan: President Pleased With Washington Visit

Washington, 4 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliyev says U.S. President Bill Clinton has promised to try and convince the U.S. Congress to grant economic aid to Azerbaijan.

Aliyev told reporters outside the White House Friday that Clinton told him that a Congressional prohibition on aid to Azerbaijan should be repealed. Congress enacted the ban because of Azerbaijan's economic blockade of Armenia. Aliyev contends the ban on aid is unjust and is hindering the development of his country.

Aliyev met Clinton for more than two hours Friday. The U.S. and Azerbaijan signed a joint statement on further development of bilateral relations, and Azerbaijan signed oil agreements with four big American firms.

The Azerbaijani president was on his first official working visit to Washington. He told the press that he had many important and successful meetings in the U.S. capital.

He continued his U.S. trip with a stop in Houston in the oil-producing state of Texas.