WASHINGTON–At a reception held by the Embassy of Azerbaijan in honor of the President of Azerbaijan Gaidar Aliyev–Tuesday evening–more than 400 American-Armenia’s demonstrated outside of the Willard Hotel in Washington.
The four hour protest–organized by the Armenian National Committee of Greater Washington–attracted American-Armenia’s from a broad cross-section of the community from as far as Baltimore–Maryland–to Richmond–Virginia.
A second demonstration–organized by the Armenian Youth Federation "Ani" Chapter was held at Georgetown University where Aliyev was speaking about the history of the Caucasus. More than 50 youth attended the mid-morning protest.
According to Itar Tass News Agency Aliyev arrived in Washington Tuesday afternoon following a stay in New York where he met with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. The two discussed on Tuesday the problem of settling the Armenian-Azeri conflict around the mostly Armenian populated Azeri enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.
"I hope that the co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk group on Nagorno-Karabakh-Russia–the US and France-will do everything possible to liven its activity and resolve the rather stalled problem as soon as possible," Aliyev told a press conference at the UN headquarters following the meeting.
Some 100 displaced Baku Armenia’s–who left because of pogroms initiated by Azerbaijan–participated in a demonstration organized by the Armenian Assembly of America.
Answering to a query about his attitude to the participation of multinational forces in the settling of the conflict–Aliyev reminded that a decision was taken recently in Budapest to create peacekeeping forces of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and a motion was put forward to send them to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
According to Aliyev–Annan supported the motion during their talks Wednesday. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be discussed during forthcoming talks in Washington.
He emphasized that this is his first official visit to the United States as the president. That is why "much attention is attached to talks with President Clinton–congressmen at the State Department and Pentagon".
He expects much from his official visit to the US which–according to him–will become "a stage" in relations between the two countries.
"We have achieved gold relations with the United States–but my visit gives an opportunity to develop them," the Azeri president said.
During his visit to the UN headquarters–Aliyev signed the Treaty on the universal prohibition of nuclear weapon tests–approved by the UN General Assembly a year ago.
Aliyev will depart for Houston on Friday–after which he will visit Chicago for two days. Further details regarding the Aliyev visit and the reaction of the Armenian-American community will be published at a later time.