Historical background to the document of "Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the meeting with the President of NATO Parliamentary Assembly Rafael Estrella and General Secretary Simon Lann" (January 18, 2002)

The Republic of Azerbaijan participates actively at the NATO PA, an inter-parliamentary cooperation institution of the NATO members and partners. Since 1997, Azerbaijan was an observer and later as an associate member of the PA. (Ali Hasanov, Contemporary international relations and foreign policy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, "Azerbaijan" publishing, Baku-2005, p.522.)

NATO PA representatives repeatedly visited Azerbaijan to get acquainted with the situation, to hold meetings and negotiate for strengthening of cooperation. One of the visits at a high level was made by the president of the PA Rafael Estrella and general secretary Simon Lann, on January 17-19, 2002. (http://www.nato-pa.int/)

Heads of the Assembly held meetings with the parliament speaker, defense and foreign ministers and representatives of political parties of Azerbaijan and visited a place of living of the IDPs, forced out of their lands because of the Armenian aggression. During the visit, Rafael Estrella stated that NATO was interested in the reinforcement of the stability in the Southern Caucasus. (http://www.rferl.org/)

Rafael Estrella and Simon Lann met with the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on January18, 2002. In his conversation with Heydar Aliyev, Rafael Estrella said he was satisfied with the participation of Azerbaijan at the NATO PA and declared he regretted the non-compliance with the UN SC resolutions concerning the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. He indicated that insurance of security of the Southern Caucasus was a priority in discussions between NATO and Russia. The Assembly president noted that the Azerbaijani delegation was involved in this issue too.

Heydar Aliyev declared it was urgent that international organizations, including NATO took necessary measures to insure the security of the region.

Cooperation between Azerbaijan and the NATO PA continues. The delegation from Azerbaijan participates at the sessions of the Assembly.

The president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev gave a speech at the NATO PA session in Paris, on May of 2006. He stressed that keeping on the lands of Azerbaijan under occupation by Armenia, was dangerous for the whole region. (http://www.news.baki.info/)

Historical background was compiled o February 22, 2007.