Historical background to the document "From talk of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan with the US Ambassadors to the Caucasian and Caspian countries and high officials of the different ministries of the United States" (January 20, 2000)

Cooperation between the US and Azerbaijan has expanded in all the spheres after the first official visit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev to the USA on July 27-August 7, 1997. Especially very important steps were taken in the end of 1999 and early 2000.

The Istanbul Declaration, the most important agreement on the construction of the main oil pipeline, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, for the delivery of the Azerbaijani oil to the West, was signed by the US President Bill Clinton, Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev, Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on November 18, 1999, in Istanbul.

An important diplomatic mission from the US visited Baku in January 2000, to hold discussions and take concrete steps on the issues of the US partnership in the Caucasus and the Caspian region, and especially with Azerbaijan. The delegation included the US Ambassadors to the Caucasian countries, Kenneth Yalowitz from Georgia, Michael Lemmon from Armenia, representatives from the Embassies in Turkey and Russia, high officials of the different ministries of the US coordinator for assistance to the newly independent states William Taylor, special advisor on the energy issues in the Caspian region Steven Mann and President of the US Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan Kenny Housie.

The broad issues as the bilateral US-Azerbaijani cooperation, energy projects, construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were discussed at the meeting of the delegation with the representatives of the Azerbaijani government. An agreement on cooperation in the sphere of finance was signed between the governments of Azerbaijan and the US after discussions and talks. At the same time, the taxes and customs agencies of Azerbaijan and relevant agencies from the United States agreed to expand their cooperation. During the visit of the high-level delegation the opening of the office of the American-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce took place.

The US diplomats on the Caucasian and Caspian regions and high officials from different ministries of the United States were received by the President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev on January 20, 2000. All the issues concerning security, energy projects, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, economic cooperation, the US role in the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were reviewed during the meeting. In their speeches, the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Stanley Escudero, John Wolf, William Taylor and Kenny Housie said that the US-Azerbaijani partnership was at a high level and there were great opportunities to move forward in all the issues.

President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev said that the rapid development in the Southern Caucasus is possible in case of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and signature of a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Historical background was compiled on July 12, 2006.