From the conversation of Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev with the ambassador of USA Stanley Escudero - October 9, 1999

Heydar Aliyev: I was told that today you wanted to meet with me. Really, I have a lot of works today. And tomorrow I will leave to Nakhchivan. But each time I try to comply with Your request.

StanleyEscudero: Mr. President, You have done a kindness to me, that you have found time in your official schedule and received me. I know that tomorrow You`re leaving to participate in the celebrations devoted to the 75 anniversary of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. I hope that on Tuesday, that is to say on 12, I will join to you.

Heydar Aliyev: Yes, I wish you were present there.

StanleyEscudero: Mr. President, I will never lose this opportunity. Some months ago when I was in Nakhchivan, I had made my mind to return to this land once again.

Heydar Aliyev: Very good! I am pleased.

StanleyEscudero: Mr. President, today early in the morning, I received a letter by telegraph from the vice-president Albert Gor. This letter, directed to You, and he makes a request to possibly deliver this letter to you during this day.

It is known that along with President Clinton and Secretary of State Ms. Olbrayt, the vice-president Albert Gor also attaches great importance to the strategic relations with Azerbaijan and the interests of the United States of America in Azerbaijan. Our vice-president follows closely and with great interest the negotiations which you conduct with the President of Armenia Pobert Kocharyan during last months. I would say that these negotiations are very courageous and far-sighted.

The other day the State Secretary Ms. Olbrayt informed the vice-president Albert Gor about the meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of both countries in New-York. That is to say, she informed about the meeting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Zulfugarov with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Askanyan. This meeting has very much inspired the vice-president.

So, the vice-president asked me to deliver this letter personally to You. In this letter there was expressed the respect of Mr. Albert Gor and the President Mr. Clinton. The vice-president expressed a hope that by means of negotiations You, in the name of happy future of Azerbaijan, could remove main obstacles in a quiet and peaceful conditions.

We understand that these negotiations pass in very difficult conditions. At the same time the vice-president does not lose a hope, that by manifesting resolution, you can remove these obstacles, you will overcome them.

It is known that the present negotiations as You think, will bring peace and stability into this region. He expresses his hope in the letter, that you should come to any common agreement and make a declaration with Kocharyan at this stage, that is to say, at the stage preceding to the summit meetings at OSCE which to be held in November in Istanbul, all the organization of OSCE and also the vice president of the United States of America will be with you and to work shoulder to shoulder, and a certain decision will be adopted. At the end of the letter Mr. Gor expressed his confidence, that successful conclusion of negotiations would promote the further development of Azerbaijan. That is to say, it would help to the development of cooperation of Azerbaijan in this region, and also even more enlarge the cooperation of Azerbaijan with Euroatlantic Council.

Mr. President, I have told to You the main content of the letter and its essence. If you permit, I`ll give this letter to you. We do not mind that this letter will be published in your press.

Heydar Aliyev: Esteemed Mr. ambassador, thank you very much. First of all for this important letter directed to me by the vice-president Mr. Albert Gor. You know that during my activity as a President of Azerbaijan I highly estimated the relations with the United States of America, and I made efforts for the development of these relations.

I am very satisfied, that the government of the United States of America shows constant concern and attention to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is known as very important country for the United States of America, and the President of the United States of America Bill Clinton, the Vice-President Mr. Albert Gor, the Secretary of State Ms. Olbrayt repeatedly expressed their ideas on this occasion.

I am very pleased that I have very warm, friendly relations with Mr. Bill Clinton, Mr. Albert Gor and also with Ms. Olbrayt. I believe them. I am very satisfied that they refer to me very attentively and carefully. And this is undoubtedly has very great importance for the development of relations between our countries.

I am very glad in his message the vice-president Albert Gor supports me in the problem of peaceful settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict, inspires me to the conducting of more decisive negotiations.

It is natural, that my last meetings with the President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan, it is possible to say to this day, have never during all the period of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict were so intensive. Really, it is perceived unambiguously in our country. But I consider that the majority of our citizens approve and support my policy line, my actions, approve and believe in my initiatives, that is to say, have confidence in my meetings. But at the same time you know, that our oppositional forces never produce any proposals, but totally reject all the work done by us and consider themselves as the most courageous, resolute fighters in the name of liberation of the Upper (Nagorno) Garabagh. But it is of no significance for me. As a President of Azerbaijan I have undertaken great responsibility and I realize it. I realize my responsibility not only for today, but for the future history. Just for this reason, I carry on negotiations and declare about the necessity of making a number of mutual compromises.

My purpose is to reach peace in a short time. My purpose is to liberate the Azerbaijani lands peacefully occupied by armenian armed forces. My purpose is to return our citizens, who have become refugees, to our native lands who live in hard conditions. My purpose is to establish firm and lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan as well as in the future. My purpose is to serve to the creation of peace in Caucasus, in particular on Sourthern Caucasus. And therefore, I undertake very courageous steps and I will undertake them in the future. If no courageous steps, no real policy and real actions, we can not achieve anything.

I completely share the opinions of the vice-president Mr.Albert Gor noted here. And I consider that should there be any grounds for the settlement of the issue between the President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan and me, so the next month we can bring very good contribution to the summit of the OSCE. I will try in this direction in the future. Naturally, it does not depend on me alone, but at the same time it depends on president of Armenia.

I will meet with the President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan on the Armenian-Azerbaijan boarder on the 11th of the month. The letter directed to me by Mr. Albert Gor on the eve of this meeting encourages me even more.

I ask you to give my gratitude to Mr. Albert Gor. I shall necessarily reply to his letter within the limits of possible time when I am back from Nakhchivan and I shall inform him about our negotiations. Thank you once again.

StanleyEscudero: Mr. President, probably, You will not be surprised if you hear that my government will approve what You have said. It is clear that I completely agree with you, with all about what you have just told. While returning to embassy, I shall inform the vice-president about this meeting. I am absolutely assured and that he will read with great interest Your writings about Your meeting with President Kocharyan.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank you, as you have said, I will immediately give the letter to the press. Let our citizens, the community of Azerbaijan also get acquainted with this letter.

"Azerbaijan" newspaper, October 10, 1999.

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