From the conversation of the Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev with the ambassador of France - December 7, 1999

Heydar Aliyev: Recently I met the delegation from your country. But I didn`t see you last night; I was told that you had something urgent to do.

Jean Pierre Gignout: Mr. President, there was a misunderstanding. I am sorry for not being able to use such an opportunity. Mr. Rostropovich is a great musician. Therefore, I regret that I was not present at the meeting with him that night.

Mr. President, it was a beautiful week for the fans of the classic music indeed. It is wonderful to have a president like you, who deeply loves and cares for music. On behalf of all the fans of music, I express my gratitude to you.

Heydar Aliyev: After the concert, I gave a reception in honor of Mr. Rostropovich and other guests. But I saw that one of the places near me is vacant. When I asked the reason, I was informed that it was the seat for the ambassador of France, who could not attend the reception.

The concert was magnificent. Conversations with Rostropovich are also interesting. He is a friend of mine and of the French president Jacques Chirac. Thus, when I met Mr. Chirac in Istanbul, we asked each other to deliver our regards to Slava. Since I met Rostropovich after Istanbul, I delivered Mr. Chirac`s best regards to him.

I want to say that I had a remarkable meeting and talk with my friend Jacques Chirac in Istanbul. Of course, our conversation covered several issues. But the primary one was the peaceful solution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. We reconfirmed that our opinions on this issue are the same. President Chirac attaches great importance to my direct meetings with the Armenian president. Like me, he also hopes that these meetings and the activity of the Minsk Group, of which France is a co-chairs, will lead to the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

I am very pleased with that meeting. Please, convey my regards and gratitude to Mr. Chirac for that meeting and negotiation.

Jean Pierre Gignout: Mr. President, you know very well that Mr. Chirac is always interested in your health and tries to learn the situation in the region and the development in Azerbaijan.

Mr. Chirac has been paying attention to the resolution of the conflict since his meetings with you in 1995-1996. He promised that he would do his best for the peaceful resolution. The position of Mr. Chirac has not changed and will not change.

Mr. President, our meeting today also takes place within the framework of your negotiations and relations with President Chirac. I would like to convey some thoughts of Mr. Chirac to you. I would like to say that your conversation had a great impact on him and on the French government. It proves once more that both you and Mr. Chirac are seeking the ways for the solution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

Mr. President, I would like to share with you some of my thoughts on the renewal of negotiations within the framework of the Minsk Group.

Translated from "Azerbaycan", December 8, 1999.

Brief essays


General historical background

Azerbaijani-French relations

Historical backgrounds

Azerbaijan - Europe