Speech of President of the Azerbaijan Republic Heydar Aliyev at the banquet given in honor of minister of foreign affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany Klaus Kinkel during his official visit to Baku - Presidential palace, 22 December, 1995

Honorable Mr. Minister!

Honorable guests, ladies and gentlemen!

I warmly greet you in Azerbaijani land and express my deep satisfaction that such a respectable and big delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany at the head of vice-chancellor Klaus Kinkel has arrived in independent Azerbaijan. It is the first visit of minister of foreign affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany to the independent Azerbaijan Republic and the first such a big delegation that has arrived from Germany to Azerbaijan.

This visit convincingly witnesses that the German-Azerbaijan interstate contacts are developing and the intent of Azerbaijan and Germany to reach the acceleration of process of even greater development of our relations is realized in practice. We welcome it. Honorable guests, I want to assure you that we will make all efforts for the rapid development of contacts between Azerbaijan and Germany in all the directions.

Germany is the largest country of Europe and one of the world countries having rich traditions in the field of culture, science and art, as well as rich democratic traditions and wide economic and intellectual potential. German people made a ponderable contribution to the history of humanity and human civilization by its great achievements. Today, the German Federal Republic plays an important role in all the global processes and it is natural that many aspects in the solution of international issues much depend on Germany`s position.

Germany, having endured the great tragedy and being cleaved for approximately 50 years, has thoroughly restored now its territorial integrity and takes serious steps towards implementing objectives standing in the light of German people and Germany. Recently, we have had an opportunity to greet and congratulate cordially the German people on the fifth anniversary of the reunification of Germany. We consider it as a very essential factor of stability both in Europe and all over the world. We, just as the people of other countries of the world, look with big hope at the close participation of Germany in global processes, global economic integration and solution of many global problems troubling mankind at the present stage.

Warm relations between Germany and Azerbaijan and the people of our countries have rather longstanding history. As early as at the beginning of XX century, Azerbaijan transported large quantities of oil and oil products to Germany and due to statistical information, 20 percent of Germany`s demand for oil products and kerosene was supplied by the production sent from Azerbaijan. As early as at the beginning of the last century, German companies regarded with big interest the natural resources of Azerbaijan and opportunities of joint activity here, which was carried out rather successfully.

The great number of Germans lived in Azerbaijan in the past. Our people protect solicitously all the inherent signs of German culture in Azerbaijan and our joint habitation. Despite all the difficulties of 50-year period that went down to history, about 700 families of German nationality live now in Azerbaijan. Our past contacts, as well as warm and friendly interstate relations established between Germany and Azerbaijan make good grounds for successful cooperation between our countries and development of our relations in all the spheres.

I state that we intend to develop and strengthen this cooperation and highly estimate the attention given by Germany to the Azerbaijan Republic. Germany plays an essential role in the European Union and other international institutions. Therefore, I want to stress with gratitude that when the issues related with Azerbaijan and especially, the possibility to render assistance to Azerbaijan by the European Union are considered in international organizations, Germany takes positive line.

I want to appreciate Germany and especially all of you, dear guests, that Germany made great contribution to the aid received by Azerbaijan from the European Union and especially for the aid rendered to supply the need of more than a million refugees for foodstuff.

The independent Azerbaijan Republic having friendship relations with Germany upholds the positions of Germany in all the international organizations and considers them to be fair.

Honorable Minister, honorable friends! Four years ago, we gained state independence in Azerbaijan and we are building a legal, democratic and civilized state. The four-year way of Azerbaijan to the independence was very difficult and intensive due to many complicated external and internal political processes. However, the aggression of the Armenian Republic against Azerbaijan is the most difficult problem for us. This military aggression has been lasting for already seven years. As a result, Armenian troops have occupied 20 percent of the Azerbaijan territory. Over a million Azerbaijan citizens have been banished from the occupied lands and live today in hard economic conditions.

Within the past years, our situation got more complicated by the fact that very serious processes were going on in Azerbaijan itself. The attempts of coup d'etat and outrages of numerous armed units and gangster troops broke stability in the country. All this put our country in 1993 before the danger of a civil war. We solved this problem and we are still solving our internal problems. We ensured political stability in Azerbaijan. We obviated difficulties bound with the activity of various criminal groups and armed bandit troops. We achieved the establishment of stability. And it allowed us to adopt the first constitution of the independent Azerbaijan Republic on November 12, current year, and hold the first democratic elections to the parliament of the democratic Azerbaijan Republic. Our parliament has already been formed and functions.

We experience internal difficulties connected with the transition period, the transition from one social system to another. We took strong position towards the democratization of economy and implementation of market reforms and we are following this way. However, of course, it also causes crisis situations in economy. We will eliminate all these difficulties, but in spite of this, we firmly adhere to the position of independence and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, the position of development of democracy in all the spheres of our republic and the integration of economy of Azerbaijan into the world economy.

Our objective is to get free from the military aggression of Armenia, provide the territorial integrity and full sovereignty of our republic. We have also taken peaceful and constructive position. We do not want war, we want peace. We want good neighborhood relations with all the neighbor states, including Armenia. We adhere to the position of peaceful settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh conflicts. We undertake practical steps and make concessions. 19 months ago, on 12 May, 1994, we signed the agreement on armistice and cease-fire with Armenia and we have been observing the cease-fire regime for already 19 months and live in the condition of armistice. We do not want the resumption of military operations, we want the peaceful settlement of the situation and strongly believe in the activity of the OSCE Minsk group and the assistance and support of global community, as well as great powers of the world.

Germany participates actively in the OSCE Minsk group and the German envoy in the Minsk group, ambassador Lambach deals closely with our problems. However, I hope that after German federal minister of foreign affairs personally visits Armenia and Azerbaijan and studies the situation in our region, Germany will make more efforts for the peaceful and fair settlement of our problem.

I welcome the visit to Azerbaijan of the representative businessmen group, the members of parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany and other representatives of state bodies and regard it as the demonstration of attention to the opportunities of development of economic cooperation between Germany and Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan has vast natural resources, as well as huge industrial, economic and intellectual potential. Our country is open for the cooperation with foreign companies and joint economic activity in the future. I invite representatives of German business circles, financial and bank structures to cooperate with Azerbaijan and I assure you that all the necessary favorable conditions for investment and active cooperation will be guaranteed.

We are pleased with the progress of German people and the Federal Republic of Germany. We know that Germany has reached the high level of scientific and technological progress and I hope that Germany, making use of its opportunities, will render more active assistance to young countries following the way of independent development, democracy and market reforms. We look forward to an active cooperation. We rely on active assistance and support by Germany.

In honour of the Federal Republic of Germany, in honour of german people, in honour of even greater progress of Germany, in honour of federal chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl, in honour of President of Germany Mr. Roman Herzog, in honour of minister of foreign affairs of Germany, vice-chancellor Mr. Klaus Kinkel, in honour of our esteemed guests, to your health, our respected guests!

"Our independence is eternal", vol. 5, p. 203