Joint declaration on the occasion of the official visit of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium Mr. Jean-Luc Dehaene to the Republic of Azerbaijan

The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium Jean-Luc Dehaene paid an official visit to Azerbaijan on April 13-15, 1998 at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev. It was the first official visit which became an important step in the development of bilateral relations.

During his visit Jean-Luc Dehaene met President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, chairman of the Parliament Murtuz Aleskerov and Prime Minister. Artur Rasi-zade.

Both sides reviewed the main spheres of bilateral cooperation, as well as the international issues of mutual interest. The visit was a new step in strengthening the bilateral relations. The concrete results of negotiations will give a new impetus to the development of the relations in all the fields. The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium attach great importance to the continuation of regular dialogues on bilateral economic and political issues. For this purpose, they agreed for having consultations. The form of these consultations will be determined through diplomatic channels.

The Azerbaijani side informed the Belgian delegation about the current situation in the country, as well as the main directions of democratic reforms of the government in political and socio-economic fields. The Belgian delegation expressed its support to these reforms and emphasized the importance of the ongoing efforts.

Both sides paid special attention to the ways of strengthening the bilateral cooperation in the spheres of industry, trade and investment. Both sides noted that Azerbaijan and Belgium create necessary conditions for such cooperation, adopt legal documents for strengthening and developing cooperation in various fields.

The both sides noted the special importance of the participation of the Belgian company Petrofina company in the consortium established for the development of the oil deposits “Lankaran-Deniz” and “Talysh-Deniz” in the Azerbaijani Sector of the Caspian Sea. Referring to the visit of a Belgian economic mission to Azerbaijan in September 1997, the Prime Minister of Belgium underlined their interest in studying the ways of strengthening the activities of the Belgian business circles in Azerbaijan and their involvement in the Azerbaijani economy, including oil and gas sector.

In various meetings the both sides exchanged views on the development of relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the European Transatlantic organizations. They also noted the importance of the further development of the European and Transatlantic architecture in order to remove all dividing lines and circles of influence, which existed in the past, and prevent the birth of new ones. Such a European and Transatlantic architecture will ensure the prosperity and security of each state, regardless of its size and geographic location in the OSCE zone.  

In this regard, the both sides noted the special importance of the treaty on partnership and cooperation signed between Azerbaijan and the European Union on April 22, 1996 and underlined the necessity of its ratification as soon as possible. At the same time, they appreciated the further development of the relations between Azerbaijan and NATO, as well as the Council of Europe.

The both sides appreciated the role of OSCE in the settlement of conflicts in the European region and agreed that the role of OSCE in preventive diplomacy and removing crises must further strengthen. Based upon their obligations on strengthening peace and security, they will help to solve the armed conflicts peacefully and prevent the birth of new beds of conflict on the European continent. The both sides consider that support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan will contribute to maintaining peace and stability in Europe.

By confirming the significance of the principles and obligations undertaken by OSCE member-states on security and stability in Europe, they supported immediate and peaceful solution of the Mountainous-Garabagh conflict and agreed that such a regulation must be based on the constructive contribution of the Minsk Group and the three principles adopted at the OSCE Summit in Lisbon. The both sides stressed the importance of stability and progress in the region.

Recognizing and confirming the universally accepted principles of international law, they affirm their adherence to the principle of territorial integrity of the states, inadmissibility of violation or threats in inter-state relations and change of internationally recognized borders of the states by violation.

Signed in the city of Baku on April 13, 1998

President of the                                                         Prime Minister of the 

Republic of Azerbaijan                                            Kingdom of Belgium

Heydar Aliyev                                                            Jean-Luc Dehaene