Speech of the Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev at the official reception, organized on behalf of the German Federal President Roman Herzog in honor of the Azerbaijani President - Bonn, July 2, 1996

Mr. President,  ladies and gentlemen!

I welcome you cordially on behalf of the Azerbaijan people, the independent Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan is a young independent state, it achieved independence five years ago. The partner relations, established between Azerbaijan and Germany in this period are of great importance for both of us. As a result of this cooperation for the first time the Azerbaijani President has paid an official visit to Germany. Since our first step into Germany yesterday we were met with great hospitality, and since yesterday we began meetings in Germany, in Bonn in the atmosphere of friendship and sincerity. For this friendly, sincere attitude and hospitality I express my gratitude to Germany to the German government, to its President Mr. Roman Herzog and the Federal Chancellor Mr. Helmut Kohl on behalf of all the Azerbaijani delegation.

Today since the morning we had very useful, interesting and  important negotiations and meetings with the President of Germany Mr. Roman Herzog, the Federal Chancellor  Mr. Helmut Kohl and other officials of the country. During these meetings and negotiations we analyzed the relations between Germany and Azerbaijan in detail, and we highly estimated our cooperation existing up to now. We disclosed  our views on taking measures for the further expansion and development of cooperation between Germany and Azerbaijan, and achieved a certain agreement. I highly appreciate these meetings and negotiations, the agreements which we reached I wish to express my confidence that the German-Azerbaijani  relations will develop more speedily in the future on this basis.

The relations between Germany and Azerbaijan, the German and Azerbaijan peoples have   a long history. Mr. president, who spoke before me, has told very valuable words on this occasion. In the beginning of the last century, the Germans for the first time arrived in Azerbaijan. Today, with a feeling of satisfaction I can tell that when the Germans came to live in Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijan people met them friendly  and in the next years they lived and created together with the Azerbaijanis.

In the Second World War the Germans were departed  from Azerbaijan, nevertheless they have left their traces in our country, and the work done in Azerbaijan by them are very valuable for Azerbaijan. In the end of the past and in the beginning of this century the German capital, the German businessmen come to Azerbaijan. The traces of their works have remained  up to this day. The representatives of the German company “Siemens” have  found  a part of the electric work in recent researches in Azerbaijan, conducted by "Siemens" in Baku in 1905, and have taken a part of them  to Germany as a museum exhibit.

All this demonstrates the history of the German-Azerbaijan relations and displays the benefits which these two nations received from this friendship and cooperation.

The great and rich history of the German people was always very interesting for us and we had a sympathy for it. The German people have made a great contribution to the history of mankind, to the world civilization. It is highly estimated by the whole world.  The works of Heine, Goethe, Schiller and others who form the form of the peak of  the German literature, have been translated into Azerbaijani and the Azerbaijanis read them with great interest.

The German composers Beethoven, Wagner, Strauss and others are famous in the world of music are widely known in Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijanis love them very much and the achievements in the classical music have been obtained under the influence of their music in Azerbaijan.

All of this are the great history of Germany and the German people. The achievements of he German people in our century in the recent years are worthy of estimation, too. After the Second World War, the German people went through  very giant and difficult history. He German people achieved great successes owing to their talent, diligence. They turned Germany  to one of the most advanced countries of the world from economic and cultural point of view. The greatest achievement of the German people was unification of Germany five years ago. I want to note that it was met in Azerbaijan very positively and restoration of justice as the existence of the German people within the limits of the indivisible state has been met as a fair result of the processes ongoing in the world.

After the unification , Germany began to use its opportunities more widely. The present achievements of Germany play  very important role and its reputation has grown  in the world. Successes of Germany in the development of science and techniclosly, economy and culture, democracy and free economy are  parameters for all the countries, including Azerbaijan. I congratulate you on these achievements and I want to note that in independent Azerbaijan we successfully use your achievements and experience in state building, development of democracy, in implementation of economic reforms.

We  attach a special significance to the relations between Azerbaijan and Germany and consider them to be strategically important for Azerbaijan as friendly  relations. I am very glad that Germany estimates properly the role and  place of  Azerbaijan in the world community. Words about Azerbaijan, about its geostrategic importance, mentioned by Mr. President Herzog in his speech pleases us very much.

I am sure that the relations between Germany and Azerbaijan have a good future. I want to assure you that we shall use our best for the expansion, development of these relations. Our duty is to strengthen and provide the irreversibility of Azerbaijan independence. We build a democratic, legal, civil state in Azerbaijan and we shall follow this way to the end. We use the achievements and experience of the world in the field of democracy, and we shall follow the road of democracy to the end.

Our basic purpose is conduct reforms in economy, in market economy and, in particular, in privatization of property. I am very glad that the achievements in the fields of democracy and economy in Azerbaijan were highly appreciated in the speech of the German President Mr. Roman Herzog. Last November the first democratic Constitution was adopted in Azerbaijan by a national referendum and democratic parliamentary elections were held. All this shows democratic image of the Azerbaijan in the world.

The agreement signed by us in April with the European Community, and admission of Azerbaijan in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe with the status of a special guest shows that  Azerbaijan is a parter of Europe, and at the same time it is the appreciation of the achievements of our country in the field of democracy. We cooperate with Germany in the realization of all our achievements, aspirations and concerning the processes going in around Azerbaijan and think that this cooperation is effective.

The gravest and most painful problem for us is elimination of consequences of the aggression of  Armenia against Azerbaijan, liberation of the occupied lands and return of over one million refugees home. Today I declare again that we wish to solve the conflict with Armenia  peacefully way, and we will adhere to it hence. In it we the help of the world community, the European Union, including Germany.

Thus, the relations, cooperation with Germany have great prospects and opportunities. We shall try to take advantage of these opportunities effectively. Our  negotiations and meetings today make give us confident that we can successfully move forward. Once more, I heartily congratulate the German people and the government of Germany with their achievements. I wish the German people, all Europe peace and stability. I wish the German people good luck and happiness.

I ask you to raise the glasses in honor of the Federal Republic of Germany, in honor of the German people, in honor of the President of Germany Mr. Roman Herzog, in honor of the federal chancellor of Germany Mr. Helmut Kohl, in honor of the German-Azerbaijan friendship!