From the speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev with the delegation of the secretary of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe Gianni Buciccio - Presidential Palace, 30 November, 2000

Heydar Aliyev: Distinguished Mr. Buciccio! 

Dear guests!

I welcome you, I am very glad to see you again in Azerbaijan. I think that corporation between Azerbaijan and the Venice Commission in the recent years is very useful. This corporation lays ground for the development of our relations. Please, the floor is yours.

Gianni Buciccio: Mr. President, let me express my gratitude to you for the reception of the representatives of the Venice Commission.

I should note that this year, for the first time I have the honor for being received by you. It shows that the relations of Azerbaijan with the Council of Europe and the Venice Commission are becoming intensive from day to day.

Mr. President, using this chance, on behalf of the Venice Commission and our representatives, I would like to express my condolences in connection with the death of people as a result of the earthquake.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank you.

Gianni Buciccio: Thanks God, though the earthquake was very severe, its results are not so terrible.

Mr. President, 2000 and 2001 are years of great importance for Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe. Generally, in the last years, we have exchanged views about the European values, shared practice in these issues with You. As a result of this close corporation we would like something important take place in our relations this year. We are satisfied that this year the Cabinet of Ministers of this international organization has adopted a decision on the admission of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe. We hope and look forward to the admission of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe till the end of January.

Mr. President, as you said in our meeting this spring, after the admission of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe, the duties of Azerbaijan will get more difficult.

But You noted that the administration of Azerbaijan isn’t afraid of realization of such hard duties, and it will advance democracy firmly.

Generally, democratic stability, social and economic development are the necessary factors for the prosperity of the society. The realization of the first factor is significant for ensuring peace in this region. We thank you for your personal will to settle the Armenian- Azerbaijani conflict, the Nagorno-Karabakh problem peacefully. We hope that your efforts will soon yield necessary results.

Mr. President, I would like to introduce you the members of our delegation: Mr. Gerard Batliner is the deputy chairman, Mr. Laslo Sholyom is the former chairman of the Constitutional Court of Hungary, he is the professor of the Budapest University. Georg Holte is the professor on civil law at the Gettingen University in Germany; Mr. Juan Lopes Agiler is a member of the Spanish parliament. Mr. Rudolf Shnuts Durr and Mr. Poll Torhalson are my colleagues at the Venice Commission.

You see, the whole Europe is here. There members of many countries of Europe are here. Mr. President, I must say that even the representative of Canary Islands is here.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank you. Your delegation consists of many respected members. They represent many countries. So, you are very influential delegation. It is a serious attack.

Gianni Buciccio: It is a friendly attack.

Heydar Aliyev: Afriendly attack. We shall try to do all our best to fulfill our duties which we are responsible for.

Admission of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe took a little longer not because of us, but because of the Council of Europe. Perhaps they want to test us.

You are right, at our previous meeting I said that it is not so easy for us to be admitted to the Council of Europe. We shall have more responsibilities there. But at the same time we realize that we need the Council of Europe as much as the Council of Europe needs us. The Council of Europe needs to unite the countries of the Europe. It is a good idea, a sound goal. From this point of view we know our responsibilities and we shall act accordingly.

It is a long time that the European values are being implemented in Azerbaijan. Of course, after the admission to the Council of Europe, the implementation of these values will be ensured in all spheres. At the same time, every country has its own characteristics, its history and mentality. Attention must be also paid to these features. Universal values- European values in Azerbaijan must be applied on the basis of synthesis of these factors.

In general, while cooperating with the Venice Commission we have discussed these issues in our meetings several times. And now we have new responsibilities.

Azerbaijan is a serious country and state. If we undertake an obligation, then we shall do all our best to fulfill it properly. That is why, we shall cooperate frankly with You. We all remember your comments on problems. This year we were not admitted to the Council of Europe, but in January it will take place. It mostly depends on our cooperation with you. We have quite friendly corporation with you and we are ready to continue it.

You will have several meetings here, moreover you will have necessary consultations and exchange of views. I hope they will be successful.

Azerbaijan wants to be a member of the Council of Europe. We have done all our best and we shall do it in future, too. You have opportunities to discuss these issues here.