YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A reporter from Armenia working for the BBC Russian Service–Karen Topchian–was in Azerbaijan’s capital–Baku–July 6-11–as part of the delegation from the International Confederation of Journalists’ Unions of the CIS and the Baltic States to become the first journalist from Armenia to visit Baku at such a high level over the recent years. Throughout his stay in Baku–Topchian was accompanied by an Azeri presidential guard.
Topchian told Noyan Tapan that in Baku the delegation members met with Azerbaijan’s president Haydar Aliyev–as well as the country’s prime minister–members of parliament–the mayor of Baku and representatives of national minorities. Problems of occupied territories–"millions of refugees" from Armenia and their poor living conditions in Azerbaijan were addressed during all meetings. "It’s a pity that there is such a strong anti-Armenian sentiment in Baku," said Topchian.
The schedule of the Baku visit had been devised by the Journalists’ Union of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan’s presidential administration together with the Confederation of Journalists–which is headed by an Armenian from Moscow–Ashot Jazoyan.