From the talk of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev with the minister of energy of Great Britain John Battle - London, Residence of the Azerbaijani President, July 21, 1998

Heydar Aliyev: Mr. Battle, I want to greet you and express my satisfaction for the level and success of my visit to Great Britain.

I want to emphasize that the negotiations and talks with Her Majesty and Prime Minister were the most important events of my visit to this country. I inform you that a document which was signed together with Mr. Tony Blair, the joint declaration on friendly relations and partnership of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will play an important role in the future development of the relations between the countries.

I draw to your attention to the fact that the new agreements signed between the companies of Great Britain and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) on the joint development of oil deposits of Azerbaijan created new perspectives for the cooperation of the countries. I want to mention the importance of intensification of relations in other fields, too. I also highly appreciate the document signed by the heads of «Morrison» company and the Executive Power of Baku.

Please, bear in mind that an international agreement on the investigation of the promising structure of «Inam», its development and production sharing agreement has been signed between SOCAR and «AMOCO» from USA, «Monument Oil and Gas» from Great Britain, and central fuel companies of Russia. I am sure that the joint work of the companies from various countries plays an important role in improving the relations among the peoples of those countries.

I am not only satisfied with the relations in the field of oil, but also with the mutual development of beneficial relations in the field of policy, economy, science, and culture. I want to draw your attention to the importance of utilization of the potential opportunities in both countries efficiently and to the study of experience of Great Britain, one of the prominent countries of the world.

John Battle: Mr. President! I want say that I am honored to meet with one of the prominent political leaders, who is Heydar Aliyev. I am thankful to you for your official visit to Great Britain at the invitation of the Prime Minister. I am sure that this visit will open a new stage in the incessant development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Great Britain.

To emphasize the positive feedback of the United Kingdom to measures taken under the wise supervision of President Heydar Aliyev is very pleasant for me. Let me note that the historical agreements on the joint development of the deposits in the Azerbaijani Sector of the Caspian Sea have created a strong foundation for the intensive integration of the Azerbaijani economy into the world economy.

Mr. President, I thank you for giving a large portion in the oil agreement to the companies of the United Kingdom. It is a pleasure for me that more than 100 companies of our country operate in Azerbaijan.

I have certain information about the history of oil production in Azerbaijan. We want to use the experience of Great Britain which has gained in the field of development of deposits in the Northern Sea in Azerbaijan, too.

The United Kingdom considers the Republic of Azerbaijan, which plays a crucial role in the region, a worthy partner. I want to mention with pleasure that we are aware of the achievements of Azerbaijan in providing a normal operation of the European- Caucasian- Asian corridor and we are interested in the cooperation with your country.

Heydar Aliyev: I highly appreciate the reputation of the British companies in the world and their activities. I consider the meetings held with the heads of «Shell» and «Lazma» in London beneficial.

Our Republic attaches great importance to the transportation of oil into the world market through various routes. While talking about the construction of these pipelines and their opportunities, I want to mention that the main pipeline will be built in the direction of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC).

I emphasize that Europe-Caucasus-Asia transport corridor has important perspectives and Azerbaijan attaches special importance to the beneficial utilization of this corridor. For the restoration of the ancient «Silk Way» we intend to hold an international conference within the framework of the TRASECA program of the European Union in September 7-8, in Baku.

John Battle: The United Kingdom also is interested in this conference. Mr. President, your astonishing sagacity in the field of restoration of the ancient «Silk Way» has special importance. We carefully follow the economic and democratic advancements in Azerbaijan under your presidency and we are sure that your republic will become one of the most developed countries of the world in the nearest future. You know the history, economy and culture of your country thoroughly and want to raise the young independent country to a new stage on the base of them. As a minister, I remember my first visit to Azerbaijan among foreign countries, my meetings with President Heydar Aliyev and our talks. I want to mention with satisfaction that the relations between your republic, which has a high potential and the United Kingdom in all the fields have a bright future.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank you for the pleasant and frank words. Mr. Battle, I invite you to visit Azerbaijan once again.

John Battle: I accept this invitation with pleasure. Mr. President, I consider that each visit to Azerbaijan and meeting you will give an impetus to strengthening the relations between our countries.

Translated from «Heydar Aliyev: Our Independence is Immortal» (statements, speeches, interviews, letters, appeals, decrees) - Azerneshr, Baku -2005, 16th volume, pg. 269-372