From the conversation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the meeting with Husamiche Masataka president of the company "Nissho Iwai" - Tokyo, residence of the President of Azerbaijan, February 26, 1998

Mr. Masataka,

I express my gratitude to you for appreciating my official visit to one of the most influential countries of the world - to Japan as a historical event. Thank you also for the information about me in the "Land of the Rising Sun" and describing me as a powerful, prominent public figure and that my activities are closely watched. I am very grateful for your appreciation that a strong stability has been established in Azerbaijan in the recent years and the process of reforms for the establishment of the principles of the market economy are going on.

Indeed, the achievements of our country, both in political and economic spheres forecast that Azerbaijan will soon become one of the developed countries. I welcome your intention to open a branch of your company in Baku. You said that your company is displaying great interest in the implementation of the operations of export-import, financing of projects in connection with the application of the highest technology in various spheres of economy. I have great hopes for the joint development of oil and gas deposits in Azerbaijan, reformation of refineries, I appreciate the fact that you are willing to invest in the construction of pipelines and, in general, the fact that we shall successfully materialize all of the discussed projects. I want to stress the importance of development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and "Nissho Iwai" company. Independent Azerbaijan attaches special importance to strengthening cooperation with all countries of the world, including Japan which has a lot of experience and is a supporter of the progressive development of these relations. I hope that the proposed projects will be successfully implemented and our cooperation will bring peace, welfare and prosperity to people in the region.