Statement of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the end of a meeting with the President of Turkey Ahmet Necdet Sezer - March 12, 2001

Your Excellency, President of Turkey Ahmet Necdet Sezer,

Dear friends, brothers,

I cordially greet all of you and convey to you the best wishes of the people of Azerbaijan.

Mr. President,

I thank you for inviting me to pay an official visit to Turkey and I think this visit is very important for the further development of the Azerbaijani-Turkish relations.

Mr. President, you have informed about the work that we shall carry out here. Thus, I have no intention of repeating it. But I want to point out that the relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey have always been friendly and fraternal to this day and this will continue. This and the cooperation in economic, commerce, scientific, cultural and other fields are the basis of our relations. All of them we can say are at a high level, but these relations should be continued and strengthened. Therefore, by visiting Turkey we show that the Turkish-Azerbaijani friendship and brotherhood are of great importance for us once more. However, we want to take the necessary measures for the further development of our cooperation. The Program of my visit allows it. Thus, I am very pleased that we shall do our best to implement the tasks we face.

Mr. President, of course, all the theme you touched upon the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the export of the Azerbaijani gas to Turkey and the economic and trade relations are very important to us. But the most important and most significant for us is ensuring peace and security in the Caucasus. This is important both for Turkey and Azerbaijan, as well as for all countries of the Caucasus. The significance of this for Azerbaijan is in the fact that over 12 years Azerbaijan has been in a military conflict with Armenia. As a result of this conflict, the Armenian armed forces for some reasons have occupied 20 percent of the Azerbaijani territory and more than one million Azerbaijanis have forcibly been expelled from the occupied lands and become refugees. They now live in tents, in the heavy conditions.

Mr. President,

When you were in Baku you saw the situation of the displaced persons located in the capital of our country. But the place you saw was not the worst one. The situation of refugees living in tents is much worse. Therefore, the question of resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is the main issue for us. Turkey and Azerbaijan cooperate closely in this area for many years. At this stage, we have a great need for negotiations and consultations with the Republic of Turkey and the government in order to determine the directions of the peaceful settlement of the conflict. I hope that this will take the main place in our meetings, negotiations are discussions. We shall receive the necessary support from Turkey to resolve the issue.

Mr. President, I once again express my gratitude for inviting me to pay an official visit to Turkey. I wish peace, stability and prosperity to all the brotherly and friendly people of Turkey. Thank you.

Brief essays

General historical background

Azərbaycan - Türk dünyası

Historical backgrounds

Azərbaycan - Türk dünyası