Statement of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the joint press conference dedicated to the results of the negotiations held between the presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Islamic Republic of Iran - October 28, 1993

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen!

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mr. Hashemi-Rafsanjani and the high officials accompanying him are on a 3 days official visit in Azerbaijan. I want to note that this is the first visit of the such a high level delegations of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Azerbaijan since its independence. Documents signed between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Islamic Republic of Iran as a result of these negotiations are the first documents signed at a high level between these two republics. We are satisfied with this visit, meetings, as well as the negotiations. I hope these documents would be the beginning of a new stage for friendly and cooperative relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

During the visit of President Rafsanjani and the high officials accompanying him, Azerbaijan faced a new difficulty. In these days, the Armenian armed forces have attacked several settlements of Azerbaijan. It is already 3 days that the district Zangilan is in blockade. We exchanged views about the aggression of Armenia .Mr. Hashimi -Rafsanjani made some efforts and held negotiations with Armenia for ceasing the fire in the front.. We hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially President Hashimi -Rafsanjani will continue the efforts in this direction and do his best to put an end to the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan.

I want to add that we are also satisfied with the meetings, negotiations and documents, as Mr. Rafsanjani. As to us, this visit is very productive. Our friendly and cooperative relations will develop in future. I express my gratitude to Mr. Rafsanjani for his official visit to Azerbaijan and wish success to all the guests from the Islamic Republic of Iran. Thanks.

Question: Mr. Hashimi Rafsanjani, it is already 3 days that you are in Azerbaijan and held several meetings. I want to know which of these meetings will remain in your memory for a long time not only as the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but also as a citizen?

Hashimi-Rafsanjani: It is very difficult for me to answer this question. All the 3 three days were very memorable. From the moment I came, I was met warmly by President Heydar Aliyev and other representatives and statesmen of Azerbaijan. I feel at home .All the places where we have been - cultural centers or enterprises- were interesting for us. Visits to the military hospital and Martyr's Avenue have left traces in my memory. The most important and practical point is that there is mutual understanding and sincerity between the two republics. It can be a good guarantee for our future relations. Another important points is that the Azerbaijani people met us in high spirits. This lays grounds to hope that everything will develop well in future.

Question: Messrs. Presidents, has the territory of Iran become the object of discussions for an approximate route of oil pipeline to be stretched up to Mediterranean in future and if war restarts, can Azerbaijan appeal to Russia, Iran or any other country for military aid?

A.Hashimi-Rafsanjani: Let`s make precise your first question? I mean the question about the oil pipeline from the territory of Iran stretching to Mediterranean. Whom did you ask this question?

Journalist: I would like both of the presidents to answer. .

A.Hashemi-Rafsanjani: The question concerning the oil pipeline from the territory of Iran has not yet been documents .What concerns whether will tie through the territory of Iran,I must say that Iran is our own territory, our home and we can speak about it any time.

H.Aliyev: I think the rouse of the oil pipeline is not known. There is no necessity to advance these issues. Negotiations will be held with he mutual consent of several countries. All will depend on the results of these negotiations and contracts. I thank to Mr. President for his consent to the passage of the pipeline through the territory of Iran. As regards the second part of your question, I think , the situations very critical, we are in the state of war . No doubt, we must defend our country and rely on ourself liberate our lands from the Armenian occupants with our own power. It is not known yet what other means will be used for this purpose.

Question: My first question is to Mr. Rafsanjani. The situation is very tense on the borders with Iran in connection with the occupation of Zangilan of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Will the Iranian government take any measures in this regard in the nearest future or not?

A Hashemi-Rafsanjani: Yesterday we sent an appeal to the Armenian President. We reminded him that they should not move forward, even an inch from the occupied position. I also reminded that as a result of the attacks, a lot of people have became refugees, in its turn it has created additional problems. In the afternoon I was told that the fire ceased. Mr. Aliyev also was told that the fire ceased in Zanguilan. We hope for the best.

Question: My second question is to Mr. Heydar Aliyev. Many contracts have been signed today; there are no any treaty on defense or military issues. Do you intend to sign such documents?

H.Aliyev: If we had them in mind , we should have signed them.

Question: Mr. Aliyev, observes say that the situations in Zangilan is connected with the refusal of Azerbaijan not to accepted the Russian proposals?

H.Aliyev: This might be your own opinion. We have no such information. Because we haven't made any proposal regarding return of the Russian forces to Azerbaijan. It can be your own opinion.

Question My first question is to President Heydar Aliyev. Mr. President as the weather getting cold, so the tension in the political sphere grows. I would like to know, have any talks regarding the accomodation of refugees. And did Iran promise to take any step?

H.Aliyev: Yes, we had. We exchanged views about these issues with Mr. Hashemi-Rafsanjani and we hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as president Hasemi-Rafsanjani will continue their rendering support to our refugees.

A.Hashimi Rafsanjani: I expressed my opinion to Mr. Heydar Aliyev saying that your refugees remind our own refugees while we were at war. They can live and be citizens of Iran any time they want. But it would be better for them to return to their homes and live there. To be a refugee, of course, is not good. And we want them to stay in their places. From our own experience ,we know that when people do not leave their places, they can achieve their aim. Look at Palestine. The Palestinian who left their lands couldn't return there any more. But those who remained there , successfully struggle against the Israeli invaders. The situation is the same in Bosnia. We help, but we don't agitate people to become refugees. If women, children are compelled to be refugees position, the youth should not follow that way. They must struggle courageously and bravely. Thanks.

Question: All the world has come to such a conclusion that Iran is really a peaceful country in relation to the events in Azerbaijan , Afghanistan and Bosnia- Hersoqavina . We would like to have a look in events in Tajikistan. What measures are expected to be taken by Iran for the restoration of peace and tranquility in Tajikistan?

A.Hashimi-Rafsanjani: When I visited the Central Asian republics bordering with Tajikistan, we decided together with the statesmen and presidents of several countries to take joint measures. The meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Iran and Tajikistan for discussing the restoration of peace and tranquility were undertaken as the first action by us. If God permits, it will be the first issue for us to be discussed as soon as we return to Tehran.

Question: My question is to Mr. Heydar Aliyev. What's the relation of CIS member countries to the events in Azerbaijan since Azerbaijan became a CIS member, and what measures have been taken in this direction?

H.Aliyev: When Azerbaijan joined CIS, the aim was not to take new measures for the solution of the Armenian- Azerbaijani, Nagorno Karabakh conflict. But as you know, recently we hold negotiations with the mediation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia in connection with the aggression of Armenian armed forces . Other CIS members haven't yet disclosed their positions in connection with the conflict.

Question: My question is to Hashami-Rafsanjani, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran,. Mr. President, can Iran take concrete practical actions after negotiations and statements conducted around Nagorno Karabakh? If possible and, in what case?

A.Hashami-Rafsanjani: I hope there is no need for practical actions. Of course, we'll try to make all possible efforts not to make such effort?

Question: Mr. Hashimi-Rafsanjani and Heydar Aliyev, I would like to know if activity of international organizations in the solution of the conflict does not yield any result , how can Azerbaijan rely on their support?

H.Aliyev: We always rely on the international organizations, including UNO, the UESCO, and OSCE. It is obvious that their activity has not given its positive results up to now. But we cannot refuse these authoritative organizations recognized by the world community, as well as representing the world community. On the contrary, we tried and will try to make use of these organizations. Yesterday I applied to the UNO and its Security Council in connection with the aggression of Armenian.I asked to discuss this problem urgently.

A.Hashami -Rafsanjani: I also think that the activity of international organizations can be useful. And there is no need to refuse them. Of course, the belligerent parties must think about it. Because they know each other better.

Question: My question is to Mr.Rafsanjani. The western press taking into consideration the historical ,social, and cultural affinity of Turkey and Iran to Azerbaijan, states that Turkey and Iran compete for the expansion of relations with Azerbaijan. What can you say about it?

A.Hashami-Rafsankjani: Of course, there always have been such satanic actions in the press of the imperialist circles. Unfortunately , such things sometimes appear in our press, too. Sometimes even the same. . Of course, there must be competition in establishing relations, as well as economic relations. Country, various organizations, associations compete in some fields. It is natural. Certainly, establishment of economic relations by us with Azerbaijan doesn't mean that we came here in search of influence . We only want to co -operate. I hope Turkey's position will be the same.

Question: My question is to you, Mr. Hashami-Rafsanjani. What problems do the occupation of the south-west of Azerbaijan by Armenia, as well as the control over 70 km of the Azerbaijan-Iranian border by Armenian create for Iran?

A.Hashami-Rafsanjani: I said about it in my previous answer. I have appealed to the Armenian President. We can not agree with such situation anyhow.

Translated from "Azerbaijan" newspaper, October 29, 1993.

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