From the conversation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the meeting with Toshinobu Wada, president of the Japanese company "Japex". Tokyo, residence of the President of Azerbaijan, February 26, 1998

Mr. President,

I express my sincerest gratitude to you for taking the time and meeting me during my stay in Japan. You stated that my official visit opened a new phase in the continuous development of the Azerbaijani-Japanese cooperation, calling this visit historic at the same time. I am very grateful to you. I am pleased with my first official visit to Japan at the invitation of Prime Minister Hashimoto.

You emphasize that the business community in Japan closely follows the progress of this visit, which will take a significant place in the development of cooperation between our countries. You highly appreciate the reforms that carried out in our country and its achievements in the recent years. There are great opportunities for the Japanese companies in Azerbaijan, which is rich in energy and raw material resources. We need to exploit these opportunities rationally. Once more, thank you for wishing Azerbaijan to be one of the most developed countries in XXI century. I appreciate the interest of your company "Japex" in establishing mutually beneficial relations with Azerbaijan and I hope that this cooperation will have positive results for both countries.

We attach great importance to the development of cooperation in the all fields in Azerbaijan which has gained independence, chosen the path of the market economy, built a legal, democratic, secular state, implemented reforms successfully and opened its doors widely to foreign businessmen with the countries of the world, including Japan. I am pleased with the interest of "Japex" in our country. I want to emphasize my meeting and the talks held with the Prime Minister. I am confident that this meeting and the signed documents will help to develop the Azerbaijani-Japanese cooperation.