Statement of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev in the briefing for journalists at Ataturk airport in Istanbul on his way home - June 10, 1994

I came here for a short business visit at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Turkey Suleyman Demirel, and now I am leaving for Azerbaijan. We had important meetings for Azerbaijan. The aim of my visit to Turkey at the invitation of my friend and brother Suleyman Demirel is to negotiate and exchange opinions about the rapid development of the Azerbaijani Turkish relations.

We had detailed discussions with President Suleyman Demirel and discussed all important questions for our countries. I had meetings with the Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Ciller and the first deputy prime minister Murat Karayalcin. We discussed the development of friendship and brotherhood relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey and agreed on many questions. It was the main goal of my visit and from this point of view I am very pleased with my visit.

We discussed the current situation in Azerbaijan, Armenian's aggression to Azerbaijan and the ways of solution of this problem with distinguished Suleyman Demirel, Tansu Ciller and Murat Karayalcin. The world community already knows that Azerbaijan and me as President are for the peaceful settlement of a conflict and ceasefire. We made proposals for several times but unfortunately haven't been able to achieve anything yet.

Azerbaijan has determined the terms for the peaceful settlement of the conflict. According to these terms the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored, the Armenian armed forces must be withdrawn from the occupied Azerbaijani territories and the Azerbaijanis must return home. We support the peaceful settlement of the conflict on these conditions and we endeavor to take the advantages of the CSCE and its Minsk Group.

We endeavor to take advantages of the big states (most of them are members of CSCE, UN and UN Security Council) of the world. We had many activities in this sphere. The Russian Federation also makes initiative as a negotiator in this conflict. Recently, the CSCE Minsk Group and its chairman Jan Eliasson gave its consent to Russia to take a special part in this issue. The Minsk Group considered it necessary to involve CIS in this conflict.

We built our work in this direction. I met the ministers for foreign affairs of many countries taking the opportunity of their being in Istanbul. I met the USA Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Great Britain Douglas Hurd, Swedish minister for Foreign Affairs Margaretha af Ugglas ( you know that Sweden is the chairman of the Minsk Group, Swedish representative chairs this group. Until recently Mrs. af Ugglas was CSCE Secretary- General. She concerned with these problems and knows them well. We had a meeting with Margaretha af Ugglas when she was in Baku. ), EEC chairman, Greek minister for Foreign Affairs Karolos Papoulias.

In these meetings we exchanged views and conducted debates about the peaceful settlement of the conflict, putting an end to the war and finding the ways out of the difficult situation. I consider that our meetings were very fruitful. Azerbaijan declared its position, expressed its desire for the big and European states take part in this process. The ministers for Foreign Affairs of these countries also supported the idea of solving this problem within CSCE Minsk Group and informed me about their future activities in this direction.

That is why, I think that though my visit to Turkey was directly connected with the increase of the Turkish Azerbaijani relations, it also gave me a chance to discuss very important issues concerning Azerbaijan.

That is all I want to tell you. I am very pleased with my short term visit to Istanbul. I express my thanks to the President of the Republic of Turkey Suleyman Demirel for this invitation. I thank the Turkish prime minister Tansu Ciller and first deputy prime minister Murat Karayalcin, minister for Foreign Affairs Hikmet Chetin and other friends and our brothers for the hospitality, respect, friendship and brotherly relations. I express my respect and love to the Turkish people once again, and wish them to live a happy life.

Translated from "Azerbaijan", June 11, 1994

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