Speech of Heydar Aliyev, Preisdent of Azerbaijan in the ceremony of the signature of three oil contracts between SOCAR and the USA companies "Moncrift Oil", "Exxon", "Mobil" in the building of the US Senate in Washington D.C. - April 27, 1999

Distinguished Senator Hutchinson!

Distinguished Secretary Daley!

Distinguished Senators and Congressmen! Ladies and gentlemen!

I welcome you all sincerely. I am very satisfied of this ceremony held today in the building of the US Senate.

Distinguished Senator Hutchinson, I thank you for your kınd words about me and Azerbaijan. You are right, I am a loyal friend of the USA.

The participation of Secretary Daley, the senators, the congressmen and other high officials of the USA at the ceremony is a high mark that shows you attach great significance to the signature of these contracts. I am glad and proud that the oil strategy of Azerbaijan declared in 1994 is being implemented into life continuously and succeeds.

A big contract was signed in Azerbaijan in September 1994 and it got the name of the "Contract of the Century". With this document we made a big step on joint use of the energy resources of Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea and opened great perspectives for future. I`m stating gladly that our contract is being implemented into life due to the schedule. We acquired the first oil in November 1997. It is exported via the Northern Route Baku-Novorossiysk Pipeline. On April 17 the second, the western route pipeline was put into operation. Now the Azerbaijani oil is delivered to the world market via the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline, too.

The oil strategy of Azerbaijan has reached new stages during the recent years. Since the "Contract of the Century" we have signed 16 new contracts and are engaged in their implementation. I declare with great pleasure that the US companies have significant roles in all those contracts. Since then those companies have invested a lot of money to the economy of Azerbaijan; the American companies have a leading role in the implementation of the oil strategy of Azerbaijan.

Our oil strategy is paid attention and highly appreciated worldwide. However, there were negative attitude towards our oil course, even efforts to prevent it. We`ve passed the difficulties; in this work the US government has always supported us.

Therefore, I thank the US President Mr. Bill Clinton and the government which supported us.

Since 1994 the most of the investment for implementation of the oil contracts in Azerbaijan was made by the American companies. The American capital of more than USD one billion has come to Azerbaijan, while the total amount of investments to be made for the implementation of the oil contracts is nearly USD 50 billion.

The contract to be signed by Exxon and SOCAR today will require USD 5 billion for the development of the oil deposits "Zefer" and "Meshel" in the Azerbaijani Sector of the Caspian Sea; According to the contract to be signed by Mobil and SOCAR, the amount of the investment for the oil deposits "Savalan", "Dalga", "Lerik-deniz" and "Janub" in our sector will be USD 4.5 billion. Moncrif Oil will sign a contract with SOCAR on the onshore oil deposits in the Padar area.

Distinguished friends!

On August 1, 1997 four contracts were signed between SOCAR and the USA companies in the White House, Washington D.C. It is of great significance for us to sign three new oil contracts in Washington D.C, but in the Congress this time.

The most interesting feature of today`s event is that we are initiating the cooperation in a new field, which is also important, medicine. A contract on the establishment of a medical centre in Azerbaijan by De Bukas Centre will be signed here today. This proves the development, strengthening and expansion of the relations between Azerbaijan and the USA.

We have established a strategic partnership with the USA; we are trying to develop it. The contracts signed in the economic sphere and the achievements create great opportunities for the development of relations in political, economic, scientific and cultural fields as well. We highly appreciate it and assure you that we will do our best to for the further development of the relations.

Senator Hutchinson introduced me as a friend of the USA. I am a real friend and proud of this friendship. Distinguished friends, we consider the USA our great friend, and we shall remain loyal to this friendship.

Our policy has secured the independence of Azerbaijan. Our current relations with the USA demonstrate the independent policy of Azerbaijan and prove the eternality of our independence. You can be sure that Azerbaijan will remain loyal to its duties as a friend and partner of the USA.

I congratulate you all with this significant event. I wish you all the best. I wish the American nation peace and prosperity, its government new successes. Thank you

Brief essays


General historical background