From the talk of President of the Azerbaijan Republic Heydar Aliyev with the delegation headed by the chair of the French-Azerbaijani friendship group Senator Jan Buaya - 10 September, 2001

Heydar Aliyev: Mr. Senator Jan Buaya, I am very pleased to meet You and the guests arrived in Azerbaijan together with You.

You, as the chairman of French-Azerbaijani friendship group in the French parliament have been working for many years and contributed to the development of the French-Azerbaijani relations. And therefore, I feel a sense of great gratitude each time when I meet you. Please.

Jan Buaya: Mr. President, thank You very much. My visit here pursues two goals. Above all, I have come here as a senator to meet You, to express my gratitude and say farewell to you, i.e. at the end of September, I shall take part in the elections to the Senate.

Mr. President, my second goal is to introduce You Senator Ambroise Dupont, who will replace me. I shall propose his candidature to the post of the chair of this group in the Senate and I hope that my proposal will be accepted.

Mr. President, I want to say that I cannot think without emotion about my post and my chairmanship in the friendship group, since You know well that we established this group several years ago with Your consent and approval. You know well that we made great efforts during our activity. In particular, we directed them to the issues connected with your relations to the neighbours.

Mr. President, my friend, Mr. Dupont, is sitting next to me. I will ask him to protect henceforth our goal and Azerbaijan even more. I am confident that he will cope with this task. In essence, he is one of the 40 senators who voted for Azerbaijan.

Mr. President, I want to tell You that I hand the keys from the house built by us to Mr. Dupont with great trust and confidence. I express my gratitude that You shared Your concerns with me and spoke about the problems of your country during our informal meetings. It is a great honour for me. I would like to ask You to continue such a dialogue with Mr. Dupont.

Mr. President, I want to assure You that this activity will continue henceforth. I covey You the greetings of the chairman of the Senate, Your friend. He addressed to me with the request to convey to You his best regards. As before, he holds his previous position and thinks that we should gather together and solve jointly the arising problems.

I know well from the world press that You have always work tirelessly for the establishment of peace and tranquility in this region. Your great friend, Mr. Jacques Chirac, is also together with You. I have to say that he is a peace loving person, too, and he will always continue his efforts in search of peace together with You.

My primary wish is to have the intellect and the wisdom prevail over emotions. Mr. President, You are a wise person. Therefore, You will always occupy the correct position. And it will always remain in my heart as the most valuable thought and idea. Thank You very much.

Heydar Aliyev: My dear friend, I highly appreciate You.

I have mentioned that You, as the chairman of the French-Azerbaijani friendship group, has done much for the development of bilateral contacts. And now, as long as You leave this post, I express You deep gratitude for Your activity.

We can say with confidence that the contacts between France and Azerbaijan have developed in all the areas, including the intensive inter-parliamentary links. The same can be said about the trade and economic links. Big oil companies of France such as "Total" and "Elf Akitaine" operate in Azerbaijan. But it is not sufficient. However, our major achievement is that we have been able to make our people and counties know each other better.

France is a large and ancient country. It contributed to the development of the western civilization and world culture, as well as to the implementation of democratic processes ongoing in the world. And therefore, people know France and the French as a large country and big nation with a great history, and also are aware of their achivements. But Azerbaijan is a young independent country, independent state. This year, we celebrate only the 10th anniversary of declaration of our independence. And therefore, we are certainly young in everything. I do not say that the French are not young and they have become old. I mean just the country, the state. And therefore, Azerbaijan was not of course known in France as it was not independent. After gaining the independence, we had to make great efforts to make Azerbaijan be known in France.

Owing to our team-work, fulfilled both by France and Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan has gained definite reputation in France. The Azerbaijani community could also learn much about France not only from manuals of geography and other books, but from extremely important issues linked with the processes ongoing in the country, its contemporary position, its place and role in the world policy.

I want to mention once more Your merits in this work. The basic point is that You are known in our country both by the authorities of the country and by the community as a French senator with warm and friendly attitude to Azerbaijan. But from now on, I regard You as my closest friend.

Very sincere and friendly relations have been established between President Jacques Chirac and me. In particular, when France together with Russia and the United States of America became co-chairs of the OCSE Minsk Group for the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict Our contacts with President Jacques Chirac widened and deepened. He is a person who has great merits in the international community, as well as in the world policy, and he is respected both as President of France and as a personality.

In January and February, this year, I met him twice in Paris. We also spoke to him by telephone and communicated by correspondence. I am very pleased with these friendship relations. I feel and see that President Jacques Chirac makes sincere efforts for the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. All this progress has been achieved by us within the recent years due to our contacts.

I regret that You are leaving Your post because you have become a very close friend of Azerbaijan. We have always been sincere to Azerbaijan. But as you please. I cannot prevent it. If You had asked for my advice, I would have proposed You not to resign and take part at the elections again. However, You have said that Your friend, Mr. Dupont, will actively continue Your work. I am very pleased that You have found a man as you are. I believe that he will also strive for the development of French-Azerbaijani contacts like You and establish warm and friendly relations with us.

I ask to convey my greetings, respect and esteem to the chairman of the Senate. I appreciate You once again and wish You success in Your further work and happiness in Your life.

Jan Buaya: Thank You very much, Mr. President.

Translated from the "Azerbaijan" newspaper, 11 September, 2001

Brief essays


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Azerbaijani-French relations

Historical backgrounds

Azerbaijan - Europe