Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the official reception organized by the French Parliament in honor of the President of Azerbaijan - Paris, January 14, 1997

I want to thank you for the friendly meeting held today. It is the second time that I am here in the parliament in a friendly atmosphere together with the Friendship Group of France-Azerbaijan. It is pleasant that we have such persistent, unshakable and reliable friends in the French parliament. I hope that today we had an open, sincere and direct talk on many issues. I spoke very openly on certain points. It may seem that these words might offend someone. However, all of this is because here we feel a friendly attitude towards us.

Feeling sincerity in relations, one does not hide anything and speak openly about all. Therefore, we talked openly about questions that worry us here in France. Naturally, it concerns the activities of the Armenian lobby and diaspora. At the same time, I feel that you want the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict to be resolved as soon as possible with all your heart. Thank you for it.

Thank you for the objective appreciation of the situation. This objectivity and fairness is a factor of paramount importance for us. We want to have a strong friendship with France and to develop the French-Azerbaijani relations in all directions. There are great prospects for our cooperation not only in the oil industry, but also in other areas. Many French companies are already functioning in Azerbaijan and all this is a good way to strengthen and develop our friendship. I am sure that in the face of Azerbaijan France will acquire a reliable, sincere and honest friend. In this regard, the parliament, in particular, its powerful members and our friends around the table can do a lot.

When talking I look at you and think that most of you are part of the history of France: during the reign of Charles de Gaulle, Pompidou and the other presidents you were ministers and now work in the parliament. What a great joy! Personally, I have great respect for history, as well as for the history of my people and other peoples. Now we have to know the price of everything that has turned to history and evaluate it all objectively. The French Republic has a rich history and we have borrowed much from the history of the French Revolution. Thus, we want to be friends with you.

Thank you for that warm welcome. I want to wish you good health and well-being. Visit Azerbaijan often and send us the members of the parliament. To your health! For France, for the French Republic! For the French-Azerbaijani friendship!