From the talk of President of the Azerbaijan Republic Heydar Aliyev with President of Syria Hafez Asad - Tehran, 9 December, 1997

Hafez Asad: I warmly greet You as my old friend and express great satisfaction at a meeting with You stressing at the same time the great interest of Syria in deeper contacts with Azerbaijan.

Heydar Aliyev: Honorable Mr. President, Hafez Asad, I am satisfied to have a new meeting with You after a long break. I underscore that I consider important to enlarge mutually beneficial cooperation of the independent Azerbaijan Republic with Syria. I regard You as my close friend. We first met in Azerbaijan approximately 30 years ago. Subsequently, we had meetings in Syria and other countries. I always took keen interest in You at that time and wanted Your work to run successfully.

I will remind that in 1972, I was in Syria, in Halab city and visited the grave of Famous Azerbaijani poet Nasimi.

Hafez Asad: I will also mention that I have never forgotten an outstanding statesman Heydar Aliyev, I have always remembered the meetings with him and followed attentively big progress attained by Azerbaijan within the latest years and I was glad for your sake with all my heart.

Mr. President, when You worked at the highest posts in the Soviet Union, I was whole-heartedly proud of You and Your successes. I know well that You were the first Muslim among the leadership of the Soviet Union. And today, I also regard You as my closest friend and I am very pleased to meet You.

Heydar Aliyev: I will emphasize the great importance of VIII Summit of Organization of Islamic Conference in strengthening the unity of Moslem world and prevention of serious problems faced by some countries. However, our state has faced a number of difficult problems. The most painful of them is the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan. As a result of this aggression, 20 percent of our territory has been occupied by armenian occupant troops and over a million Azerbaijani citizens have been banished from their houses and live now in hard conditions in tents. A huge material and moral damage has been caused to our republic.

The negotiations are held within the OSCE Minsk group to settle this conflict and a number of new proposals have been advanced by the co-chairs.

We want Azerbaijani lands occupied by armenian troops to be liberated in a short time and more than a million our citizens forcedly repatriated from their lands and living now in hard conditions to return to their homes.

I express my confidence that the VIII Summit of the OIC will adopt important documents strongly denouncing armenian aggression against Azerbaijan.

I will stress the necessity of further expansion of bilateral cooperation between our countries in all the areas and inform that ambassador of our republic to Egypt Israfil Vakilov, has also been appointed the ambassador to Syria.

Hafez Asad: I am highly satisfied with it and I will soon appoint the ambassador of Syria to Azerbaijan.

The "Azerbaijan" newspaper, 11 December, 1997

Brief essays


General historical background

Azerbaijan - Arabic world

Historical backgrounds

Azerbaijan - Arabic world