Introductory speech of the Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev at the ceremony of signature documents on giving a share of Azerbaijan at the International Oil Consortium to ''Exxon'' Oil Company of the USA - Gulustan Palace, April 19, 1995

Distinguished Mr. William White!

Distinguished Mr. Greg Laflain!

Distinguished quests, ladies and gentlemen!

We have gathered here on the occasion of a very important event. The big oil company of the USA ''Exxon'' is going to join the consortium of international oil companies for joint oil development in the Azerbaijani Sector of the Caspian Sea, and to the oil contract signed last September. Extensive talks were hold to include ''Exxon'' into this consortium and to the contract signed on September 20. As a result of negotiations the participation of this company in the developments of oil fields was considered expedient, and it was resolved to sign a contract on the said between ''Exxon'' and the Oil Company of Azerbaijan.

The share of ''Exxon'' in the consortium is 5 per cent which belongs to SOCAR. The share of Azerbaijan in the contract signed in1994 is 20 per cent, 5 per cent of this share was given to the Turkish Oil Company and an agreement signed on it. Another 5 per cent of the share was given to ''Exxon'' and now we have assembled here to sign this contract. 
Speech of the Azerbaijani President after the signature of documents
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen!

I congratulate SOCAR, guests coming from the USA and the public of our Republic on the occasion of the signature of the agreement of the joint oil developments in the Azerbaijani Sector of the Caspian Sea..

When "Exxon" joined the oil contract signed in Baku the number of the companies of the United States of America participating in the operation of Azeri, Chirac, Guneshli oil deposits rose to five. The cooperation of five great USA oil companies with Azerbaijan and durability of these relations undoubtedly will assist to the development of economic relations between two countries.

As it was said here, ''Exxon'' is a big oil company. It is one of the biggest companies among other oil companies of the world. Participation of such a big company in the development of the oil deposits of Azerbaijan will play an important role in the development of economy, oil industry, and in application of modern technology into this sphere. For that reason we gave preference to ''Exxon'' and accepted its proposals.

The contract signed in Baku last year and is called ''The Contract of the Century''. The USA President Mr. Bill Clinton called like that in his letter to me. Participation of ''Exxon'' in the Contract of the Century raised its importance. But the main aspect is that with such a step we proved once more that Azerbaijan is open to the world market, and we are our decisive to integrate into the world economy.

I want to declare once more that the work of five oil companies in our country creates favourable conditions for the growth of the economic, and all other relations.

The sovereign Azerbaijan tries to expand its relations with the developed countries of the world for using its recourses effectively.

As it was said in 1994 at the Gulustan Palace, I want to declare again that we expect to get great economic results from this contract at the present and in future. I am sure that the population of Azerbaijan will see its yields.

Mr. William White spoke about the activity of oil workers of Azerbaijan and the USA during in the period of the Second World War, and emphasized their great role in the victory over the fascism. This is absolutely true that the oilmen of Azerbaijan had great a role at the war waged against the Hitlerite Fascism by the Soviet Union. Then 70 per cent of the Soviet oil was produced by the oilmen of Azerbaijan. Mr. White noted that ''Exxon'' was the company producing most of the oil in the USA during the Second World War. I fully agree with this opinion that if ''Exxon'' and the Azerbaijani oilmen had not produced oil, then the result of the war would be completely different.

It is very characteristic that the agreement is being singed between Azerbaijan and ''Exxon'' on the eve of the 50 anniversary of the war, and the oilmen of the two countries start joint activities. I do not doubt that this activity will be directed to the establishment of peace and security, in favor of Azerbaijan and the USA, at the same time to ending the war in the Caucasus and in the region, and the population of Azerbaijan will live in peace and security in its territories.

I congratulate the people gathered here with this desire and wish. And wish good luck both ''Exxon'' and SOCAR on the realization of this contract.

Thank you, let it be profitable and successful!