US Prepares To Move
Troops To Azerbaijan

The United States will ensure political stability and continuity of power in Azerbaijan. Azeris base this conclusion on reports in the Western and Turkish media that the US is going to move about 15,000 of its troops from Germany to Azerbaijan, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports.

Such reports appeared earlier, but they seem more plausible now that the influential American newspaper Wall Street Journal has specified this information. Citing sources in the Pentagon, the WSJ reported about the number of the contingent and the purpose of the operation ö the protection of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and the fight against international terrorism, according to the Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

Azeri experts believe that Washingtonâs aim is to strengthen its position in the strategically important region. This implies a long-term deployment of an American contingent in the country, which in its turn requires stability in Azerbaijan and predictability of the Azeri authorities.

It seems that Washington will monitor Azerbaijanâs presidential elections scheduled for October 15, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports. This is confirmed by the fact that the Americans have already succeeded in coordinating the activities of the opposition forces in Azerbaijan. So, it has recently been decided that the three main political parties ö Yeni Musavat, National Independence and Peopleâs Front of Azerbaijan - will be represented in the Central Election Commission of Azerbaijan. The composition of the Commission was approved by the Azeri parliament on June 13. In fact, this means that the opposition abandoned its idea of boycotting the elections and agreed to the Election Code signed by President Geydar Aliyev, although it branded this document as undemocratic and unconstitutional earlier.

Under the circumstances, Washington is unlikely to help the opposition, the newspaper believes. Rather, its aim is to organize the opposition forces, so that they would not get in the way of Bakuâs clear election plans and Washingtonâs strategic plans. According to observers, the United States is not interested in the change of power in Azerbaijan. For, Washington, the most important is stability in the country, and it does not matter at what price it will be achieved.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Baku Ross Wilson said on Monday that the United States was not going to move troops to Azerbaijan. Commenting on the reports that American troops might be moved to Azerbaijan from the Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey, Mr. Wilson said he did not have such information.

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