Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the meeting with representatives of the public connected with results of the OSCE Lisbon summit - Presidential palace, December 6, 1996

Dear ladies and gentlemen! Today's meeting is devoted to results of the OSCE Lisbon summit. Representatives of the public of the Azerbaijan Republic, ambassadors, heads and representatives of foreign countries and various representations in Azerbaijan, all of heads of the international organizations in our republic, representatives of local and foreign mass media have been invited here, to this meeting.

Dear participants of the meeting, I welcome you and assure you that I will try to give you all necessary information about the Lisbon summit. Unfortunately, for the present we have no opportunity for simultaneous translation. Therefore, I apologize to participants of the meeting who do not know Azerbaijani, and I ask to use all opportunities available here. I hope that by means of their colleagues or other means they will understand everything about what I am speaking in Azerbaijani language.

The Lisbon summit of OSCE is great and significant event in the international arena. It is the organization which aspires to provide security and cooperation in Europe from the date of its foundation up to date. Principles of OSCE have been approved by the Helsinki Document and since 1975 till now, OSCE tries to establish these principles in Europe and in all other countries. I consider that OSCE has done great work and achieved much success during this time. It has carried out a valuable work and attained necessary results in the field of maintenance of peace, security, development of democracy, protection of human rights in Europe and other countries. That is why, OSCE as an organization, has gained great respect and authority all over the world.

Azerbaijan was accepted into the membership of OSCE after gaining its state independence. Azerbaijan considers the membership in OSCE as the important way for carrying out its policy in the world community and providing the state independence.

A lot of questions and documents related to actual problems were discussed and adopted in the OSCE Lisbon Summit. The first basic document was devoted to the security model for Europe in the XXI century. It is very important document. It proves that OSCE already looks ahead, it is worried about cares connected with problems of the XXI century and consequently now, at the summit at the end of 1996, devotes its first document to this issue. We participated in the preparation and adoption of this document, supported it and voted for it. In general, this document was unanimously adopted by members of OSCE.

It may be said that the preparation and discussion of the final document of OSCE on security and cooperation in Europe passed in a very complicated and intensive conditions. Because a number of clauses were reflected in this document on problems, conflicts, mutual relations of many countries of OSCE, attitudes of these countries to themselves or to the community states. That was why, during the preparation of the document, the discussion was held intensively and hardly both in Vienna and in Lisbon. Being interested in this document, Azerbaijan also actively participated in all stages - in its preparation, discussion and adoption, aspiring to achieve reflection of our country`s position in it.

You are familiar with these documents by means of TV and press. But I would like to give you more extensive information on questions concerning Azerbaijan. I suppose, both you and the public of Azerbaijan have information on it. Because it was televised and the press wrote about it. And nevertheless, I want to tell you about processes going there, about a stage in which the question connected with Azerbaijan was solved, about the discussion of all problems concerning Azerbaijan, in particular, the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the Lisbon summit.

You know that it was the third summit of OSCE after Azerbaijan gained its state independence. The summit of OSCE was held in Helsinki in 1992. Azerbaijan was already the independent state then, and its delegation led by the then president participated at the Helsinki summit of OSCE. Later the summit of OSCE was held in December, 1994 in Hungary, Budapest. And the Azerbaijan delegation including the present president of Azerbaijan took part at this meeting. And here, at last, on December 2-3 of the current year, one more OSCE summit was held in Portugal, Lisbon, and we also took part in it. There is no any mention of Azerbaijan, the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in the documents of the OSCE Helsinki summit of 1992. That is, in available documents, it is not clear whether the question was discussed there or not. But there is not any document concerning Azerbaijan and Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

However in 1994, in Budapest summit of OSCE, very important decision connected with Armenia-Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was made. You remember that on the eve of this summit we carried out wide activity, great work for the acceptance of this decision. And after my official speech at the Budapest summit, and also after bilateral and multilateral negotiations, as a result of all work carried out by us, at last, we reached the acceptance of the important decision concerning Azerbaijan, once again I emphasize, concerning the Armenian -Azerbaijani conflict. I would remind you that the essence of this decision was that OSCE once again declared the necessity of the prompt settlement of the conflict peacefully. It noted the importance of cease-fire regime existed during seven months and recommended to continue this regime, intensify negotiations and work of the Minsk group directed on the termination of the conflict, on the settlement of the question peacefully. If the Minsk group functioned under the leadership of one chairman before, in December its structure was changed, and two co-chairmen - Russia and Finland were appointed in Budapest. The necessity for elimination of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, the realization and securing further peace agreement and employing of the peace-keeping forces was taken into regard.

As you know, before the Budapest summit it was supposed that the peace agreement should be reached, certainly, peace-keeping forces would come here, and these forces would be from one country only. However, the decision was made in Budapest that first, multinational peace-making forces of the OSCE should be formed, and these forces should be used for implementation of the agreement which would be reached with the purpose of the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. The essence and the major point of the decision is that.

After the Budapest summit, the activity of the Minsk group has really strengthened. Within these two years, the Minsk group has conducted set of meetings; its representatives have repeatedly visited our region and carried on negotiations and did a lot of work. As you know, within these two years, we tried to make use not only of the help of the Minsk group, but also all other opportunities, and our purpose consisted of the prompt maintenance of peace, clearing the occupied lands, maintenance of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and returning of citizens of Azerbaijan, expelled from these places, to their native homes. For this purpose we have constantly carried out active work within the limits of the Minsk group. At the same time we have tried to fruitfully make use of bilateral meetings with heads of states and governments, from meetings held in Azerbaijan, my meetings during visits to foreign countries, from bilateral meetings within the limits of the international organizations and from every possible meeting.

At the same time, we have tried to use opportunities of the international organizations, that is, using a tribune at the meetings of the international organizations, we have given information about the condition in Azerbaijan, about the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and called these organizations to join the process. When I say the international organizations I mean the United Nations Organization, OSCE, the Organization of Islamic Conference, Organization the Economic Cooperation, CIS, European Union, Council of Europe. We have tried to make use of every opportunity of all these organizations rationally.

During these two years, we have always tried to make the fair decision on settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. But, unfortunately, within this period, having attained the preservation of the regime of cease-fire and as a whole, of maintenance of stability, we could not reach our overall objective - the big peace agreement. And the reason of this fact is the unconstructive position of Armenia - using a situation that the part of the Azerbaijan territories is under occupation, on the one hand, always declared its adherence to the peace settlement of the question, on the other hand - tried and aspired to get the status of independence for Nagorno-Karabakh by all means in negotiations.

This year, we have opened a new channel for carrying on direct negotiations with Armenia. We have organized regular meetings of the special representative of the President of Armenia and the special representative of the President of Azerbaijan. These meetings have been repeatedly held in some countries of Europe. We have tried to make use of these meetings too. At last, many times personally I met, conducted talks with the President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan at sessions, meetings of the international organizations, tried to explain a position of Azerbaijan, showed our constructive steps directed to the settlement of the problem peacefully.

One of such meetings took place in April in Luxembourg, when we were in the European Union. For the first time, presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia acted there with a joint statement on peaceful settlement of the conflict. However, I am repeating, all this has not led us to a final result. Therefore, during the preparation for the Lisbon summit, we have tried to carry out very wide activity and we could have done it.

We have always tried to accelerate work of the Minsk group and use its mediation, and establishing our ties with delegations, heads of states of the Minsk group - with the Russian Federation, the USA, Germany, France, Turkey and others, we have paid special attention to strengthening activity of the Minsk group. Meeting heads of these states, we have tried to create a basis for the acceptance of the decision directed to the acceleration of this work and providing the settlement to this question by peace way in Lisbon summit.

For this purpose, in the beginning of November, I sent letters to heads of states and governments of all OSCE member-countries. In these letters I have tried to explain this problem in detail once more, prove that Azerbaijan takes a constructive position, and put forward specific proposals of our republic. I have asked heads of governments and states to make necessary efforts for realization of our offers up to the Lisbon summit. Some heads of governments and states of OSCE participant-countries answered to these letters in written and some in oral form and in general, our positions are supported in all these answers.

As you know, the US president Bill Clinton sent a letter as a response to my letter on November 8. It was published in the press. He supported our principles. I am repeating that we have received such letters as well as from heads of Russia, Great Britain, France, Turkey and many other countries. Besides, in November we met and carried on negotiations with all the membership of the Minsk group, a big delegation of the USA and Russia who arrived in Azerbaijan.

We have pursued everywhere only one purpose. Certainly, the OSCE summit has no opportunity to make a decision on the termination of the conflict. However, the acceptance of the main principles connected with the settlement of the conflict by peace way based on the principles of the OSCE would help to carry out the work promptly and successfully after the summit in 1997. Therefore, in all my addresses to heads of states and governments, and as well as in all my negotiations we have explained that these principles should consist of three elements: recognition of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan by Armenia. As you know, till now Armenia rejected to recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and you also know by that the decision made in 1989 Nagorno-Karabakh had been included in the structure of Armenia and this decision has not been cancelled till now - therefore, it is a question of principle.

The second element of our formula is granting Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) a high status within Azerbaijan. The third element - the Armenian side constantly insists on it, is about a guarantee of security for all the population of Nagorno-Karabakh. We have repeatedly offered this formula consisting of three basic elements to the Minsk group, and in my letters sent to heads of states and governments of the world countries. We have put forward them in all meetings held on the eve of the Lisbon summit. Our purpose was that if the Lisbon summit accepted these principles for the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict by peace way, it would mean that the subsequent negotiations, activity of the Minsk group would be carried out on the basis of these principles. You should know it and the fact is that the Minsk group, accepting these principles, could bring up these principles for the discussion, because of the protest of Armenia at meetings of the Minsk group and representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Consequently, we tried to achieve the acceptance of these principles in the summit for making these principles a basis of the discussion. Therefore on the eve of the summit, in Helsinki, at the last session of the Minsk group, we have very sharply raised this question. We have put forward these principles as well as in work of the group which has organized the Lisbon summit in Vienna and, at last, in Lisbon, prior to the beginning of work of the Lisbon summit, we have insisted on inclusion of these principles in the document of the summit. But, unfortunately, first in Vienna and then in Lisbon, absolutely an other article was turned out in the prepared project of the declaration. And in that article it was said that the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict should be solved by peace way, negotiating process should be intensified, the parties should come to the mutual consent, compromise should be reached, regime of cease-fire should be preserved and peace talks should be continued.

They explained that as the Armenian side had not given a consensus our proposal, the project was not included even into the draft of the document. There was such a note under the 18-th paragraph. In Lisbon we tried and achieved to remove this note from there and the paragraph under the 20-th paragraph reflecting these principles was included into the Lisbon document.

I want to note that it was very difficult problem. Owing to the support of members of the Minsk group and representatives of many other countries, we have achieved inclusion of this paragraph. I consider the inclusion of this paragraph was our first and very successful step, because the former, unsatisfactory paragraph was replaced by this paragraph.

However, you know that OSCE functions on the basis of a consensus. Armenia put a veto upon this paragraph and made the resolute protest to its acceptance. Our subsequent work was directed to achieving the preservation of the paragraph. You should know about all, - even though this paragraph did not satisfy us completely. Because the formula of three elements was recorded in this paragraph, but at the same time it was said there that the summit regretted it was not adopted because of absence of a consensus, it was recommended to continue negotiations. We also tried that these principles to be reflected in the document of OSCE for the first time. As this formula had not found its expression in the previous documents of OSCE, that is, questions on recognition of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan by Armenia and status of Nagorno-Karabakh within Azerbaijan had not been included into any document till now. Therefore we aspired to preserve that paragraph, article. However, Armenia set a veto on this and stood on this veto up to the end.

In this condition, we did not have another way out. We made many discussions and analyses. As a result of it, I tell you frankly, I came to very risky decision. It consisted of that prior to the beginning of the Lisbon summit, that is, before the session of the summit, on December 1, in the evening I put a veto upon the last document of the Lisbon summit. The right of a consensus gives such an opportunity. Certainly, it caused a great anxiety and alarm. Because such a step was, probably, unexpected. But we made this step. Then the new stage in our work started.

And on December 1, prior to the beginning of the summit and on December 2-3, I held many meetings, it is possible to tell, with the majority of heads of states and governments, both during the preparatory period and after the beginning of work of the summit, and during breaks, and the receptions organized by the president, and prime minister of Portugal. I conducted personal meetings with heads of states and governments, explained our position to them. Each member of our delegation at his level explained this position and tried to prove it was true.

However, alongside with these numerous meetings, I held special meetings with heads of some states and governments, Ministers for Foreign Affairs to discuss these questions and get certain support there. These were special and independent meetings. I held special meetings and negotiations with vice-president of USA mister Albert Gore, Russian prime minister, the chief negotiator of this country Victor Chernomyrdin, Turkish president Suleyman Demirel, president of Finland mister Marti Ahtisaari, president of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma, prime minister of Portugal Antonio Gutierrez, prime minister of Israel mister Benjamin Netanjahu, president of Kazakhstan Noursultan Nazarbayev, president of Georgia Edward Shevardnadze, repeatedly met with the acting chairman of OSCE, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Switzerland Flavio Kotti, president of Armenia Ter-Petrosyan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Russia Eugenie Primakov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany  Klaus Kinkel, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Great Britain Malcolm Rifkin, Minister for Foreign Affairs of France Evre de Charett, the assistant to the US state secretary madam Lynn Davis and tried to explain our position to them.

At these and other meetings they explained to me that the step undertaken by us could lead to very serious consequences for Azerbaijan. If Azerbaijan put the veto on document of the Lisbon summit completely, it means, no document would be adopted. The summit would pass without any document. Thus, 55 states would be dissatisfied with Azerbaijan. In this case, Azerbaijan would be isolated. I thought that probably, it could be understood in a different way and drawn another conclusion.

At these meetings, I was persistently asked to override the veto, to accept the document of the Lisbon summit. And in my answer, I told them that how they spoke and addressed to me, they should speak and address to the president of Armenia and make him override the veto from the 20-th paragraph. Certainly, talks were carried out as well as with him. I was getting information about it and he was addressed with such offer too. But they were also very tough on this question as they considered that if they agreed, it would badly affect their common matter and domestic situation.

In the evening of December 2, I held the meeting and all-round negotiations with Levon Ter-Petrosyan. I tried to explain to him that it was wrong on his side to set a veto upon 20-th paragraph and because acceptance of 20-th paragraph might render great help in our subsequent negotiations. I repeatedly explained it to him. But he remained of the same opinion. At these negotiations, I explained also other questions. I wish to inform you on them. On the eve of the Lisbon summit, the adviser of the Armenian president Libaridyan made several statements that they would not give an opportunity to adopt documents and they would put a veto on it.

President Levon Ter-Petrosyan made a statement saying that Azerbaijan ostensibly, made use of internal complexity, in the certain sense and unstable condition in Armenia, took advantage of this situation and put pressure upon Armenia. He declared that no pressure would affect Armenia. He stated such an idea that no document would be adopted in Lisbon. Therefore, at my meetings with President Levon Ter-Petrosyan I refuted these ideas.

Today I am also expressing these ideas that despite the certain complications and instability in a domestic situation of Armenia, we never want to take advantage of any situation. This position of our republic turns out not today, we have adhered to it a year, two years ago.

My speech at the Lisbon summit is known to you. You were acquainted with it in the press. In Lisbon I spoke sharply, that is, informed them on a reality that Armenia has made aggression against Azerbaijan, Armenia is an aggressor, Armenia occupied Azerbaijan`s territories, Armenia takes unconstructive position, Armenia wishes to make Nagorno-Karabakh an independent state. And I emphasized that we could not agree with any of them. We will never admit Nagorno-Karabakh to gain the state independence. We will never agree with the foundation of the second Armenian state in territory of Azerbaijan. But at the same time, in the second part of my speech, I sounded our opinion about a peace step. I addressed to the leadership of Armenia and to its people to understand that the conflict lasting for eight years has given them anything neither today, nor will give in future. It is necessary to give up all that and start peace talks. As I said, I put forward there principles consisting of three elements.

In the meeting with me Levon Ter-Petrosyan said that I spoke very sharply against them. And therefore, he ostensibly acted so. You know that in his speech he sounded such an idea, that if Nagorno-Karabakh remained within Azerbaijan, supposedly Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh would constantly be under threat of genocide and their security would not be provided. As though, in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 genocide was perpetrated against Armenians in Azerbaijan and such genocide could be continued. I protested to him for these words. And he explained to me that I named them an aggressor and they were compelled to answer so. But I told him that I always spoke about military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, it was not a new word.

In a word, my meeting with Ter-Petrosyan was insufficient. He remained in his position. However, I felt that he was very concerned about being ineffective of the Lisbon summit.

Once again I note that in the talks with me concerning this question, they wished to convince me that if I continued to prevent the adoption of this document up to the end in the future, it would create very complex situation for Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan would be isolated from OSCE and from other states. However I knew it and understanding it, I made this step. I repeatedly declared that if 20-th paragraph was removed, no document would be adopted.

Undoubtedly, everyone who wanted the adoption of the document of the summit, feeling my resolute, sharp position, simultaneously offered me a number of alternative variants. There were variety of them, therefore I did not accept them.

Finally, half an hour prior to the beginning of the last session of the summit, the statement known to you, was presented to me that the chairman of OSCE expressing the will of members of the OSCE, and all of those participants of the summit, made a statement in which these principles were approved. Thus, though not being included into the basic document, but entered the statement, it would be accepted as the document of OSCE. It would appear then that all other states, except Armenia, supported these principles. The European Union separately addressed to me as well. The member-states of the European Union having gathered, agreed and made an appeal to me requesting that if I gave consent they also protect it as members of the OSCE, and at the same time support these principles on behalf of the European Union. On my part, I told them that I should see these principles in real form first and then I would make a decision.

Last night, the last session of the Lisbon summit was broadcasted on TV, you already saw this situation; I don`t want to speak about it. In the last session, I did not accept the appeal of the presiding prime minister of Portugal. I said that I was not going to override the veto. Then the representative of the United States of America made an initiative and asked what if they made this statement. I told him that if such statement was made, then probably, I would override the veto. They suggested Armenia to override the veto, but it did not accept it.

At last, the statement known to you was declared. After that, I overrode the veto. Thus, the document of OSCE was adopted. The document of great value paramount importance was adopted for Azerbaijan.

Undoubtedly, many meetings were held with me during this session. They took place just in the hall, in a lobby, in rooms where head of each state declared, if I agreed, they would deliver a speech and support our position. However, it was not necessary to make all these speeches, because everything was already known.

After this statement of the acting chairman of OSCE Flavio Kotti on behalf of all participants of OSCE, the heads of the Minsk group - these were two states - Russia and Finland and the head of the Russian delegation mister Chernomyrdin addressed to the summit. I consider that his speech was perfect. The president of Finland Ahtisaari, the co-chairman from another country, delivered a speech. On behalf of 15 member-states of the European Union, the prime  of Ireland, the representative of Turkey made a speech. Everybody supported this statement, and thus this document was adopted. It is known to you, but once again I want to read it:

"The statement of the OSCE acting chairman".

All of you know that progress has not been reached in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and concerning territorial integrity of the Azerbaijan Republic within the last two years. Unfortunately, efforts of co-chairmen of the Minsk conference to reconcile positions of parties on principles of the settlement were unsuccessful.

Three principles which will provide the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have been recommended by co-chairmen of the Minsk group. These principles are supported by all member-states of the Minsk group. These are:

- Territorial integrity of Republic of Armenia and Republic of Azerbaijan;

- Legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh defined by the agreement on the basis of self-determination which grants Nagorno-Karabakh the highest self-management within Azerbaijan;

The-guaranteed security for Nagorno-Karabakh and for its all population, including, mutual obligations to provide the implementation of clauses of the settlement by all sides.

I regret to say that Armenia could not accept it. These principles have been supported by all other participant-states.

This statement will be included into documents of the Lisbon summit.

This statement was made and such a document was adopted in the Lisbon summit. I think that the work carried out by us yielded positive results. I consider that the adoption of such document of OSCE is the confirmation of principles desirable for us, not only for us but also it is unique principles for the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict by peace way. First of all, it is a recognition of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, granting the status Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) within Azerbaijan. The document adopted for the first time within the limits of OSCE - all this has great value for us. It is not casual that after the announcement of this document, the president of Armenia spoke and protested to it. He even expressed such an idea that this document ostensibly contradicted the Helsinki final act and the decision of the Budapest summit. Undoubtedly, these ideas are incorrect, erroneous, however everyone takes a position of his own.

I consider that such document of the OSCE summit makes a good basis for us in the future for effective work of the Minsk group, for reliable maintenance of position of Azerbaijan in the Minsk group. I estimate it highly and I consider that it is a successful step, positive result among the works carried out in structure of OSCE. Once again I note that it gives us a good basis for conducting peace talks in the future and forms the basis for promotion of signing great peace agreement on the basis of these principles.

In my speech in Lisbon, I said and today again I am declaring that despite very intensive, complex, sharp, disputed, dramatic position and despite sharp clash of positions of Armenia and Azerbaijan, we again declare our peace-loving policy. Today I am again declaring that first, the document adopted in the Lisbon summit will form a basis for us, we will observe it, we will build our activity on its basis in the future. At the same time, we will support the regime of cease-fire, continue negotiations process directly carried out by special representatives of two presidents. All steps will be undertaken on our side for restoration of negotiating process between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In Lisbon I said it to the president Ter-Petrosyan, however, today once again I am declaring before representatives of press, - Azerbaijan never takes advantage of processes going on in Armenia to get something. I completely reject these rumors and opinions. Processes going on inside Armenia are its internal business. We do not interfere in the internal affairs of Armenia. Armenia itself deals with its internal questions and, I hope that stability will be established inside Armenia. I told president Ter-Petrosyan that we had had also a heavy condition at home. However, I have never declared that Armenia had aspired to use the sharp situation created inside Azerbaijan in 1994 or 1995, - I have not declared it anywhere. That is why, this statement is groundless. I denied it and today I deny it too.

Once again I am saying that giving a high estimation to that document, we will aspire to continue the peace process and achieve the settlement of the question by peace way on its basis in the future.

At the same time, another great value of the Lisbon summit for Azerbaijan was that we revealed the essence of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict at this meeting and enabled to make known it both to participants of the summit, and all world community.

It should be noted regretfully that since the beginning of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict up today, the propaganda of Armenia in foreign countries, especially in Europe and America, has always been stronger than ours during these eight years. They were strong in propaganda and their diaspora and lobby backing them in these countries have done much. There were separate structures which always supported them and they exist as well as today. And therefore, Azerbaijan, though under occupation, unfortunately, is looked differently in many countries, the question was represented as if we oppress Nagorno-Karabakh and do not give a chance to its inhabitants to enjoy their rights. That is, the Armenian side and namely Armenia and its patrons abroad have invented such propaganda and impression which is not in our favor, but in favor of Armenia.

However, because of the disputed situation in Lisbon and especially after my setting veto on that document, each state, each delegation began to be interested, what had happened and what was the main point of the matter? Undoubtedly, they wanted to study and to penetrate deeply into an essence of the question. For instance, the Prime Minister of Portugal only in last hours or an hour and a half prior to the beginning of the last session of the summit, invited me to meet. After I explained him the situation, he said that they had already known everything and that we were right, and advised not to break this summit, they and the government of Portugal as a host country were in bad situation.

I want to make one more point that after putting the veto on this document, non a delegation, non head of the state caviled at me in our conversations. Each of them notified that this step had a ground, I had the right to it, not only right, but also sound basis. That is, these principles actually should be reflected in the general document. We tried to do it. But because of a principle of a consensus, one state, a member of OSCE, taking advantage of its right to set veto, impedes to it. Then I said that I had also the right to set veto, and I would make use of it. And nobody caviled at me. The only thing wanted to explain something to me, asking me, addressing me was that to override the veto. Because it would be a big international failure.

I am reverting again to my previous opinion. One of the positive results of the Lisbon summit was that in those days all attention of the world community, Mass Media of the world - newspapers, TV and radio - was focused at Lisbon, including the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. It was natural, because a big international event was being held there.

As a result of such a wide attention of the world community to this problem, at the same time, as a result of studying and deep investigation of the problem, search of ways for its solution by representatives of the world community, we could demonstrate a just cause of Azerbaijan to the entire world. I consider it one of the positive results of the Lisbon summit for Azerbaijan.

Giving this information, I once again wish to note: we will conduct peace talks on the basis of the document of the Lisbon summit as well as in the future, aspire to get the peace resolution of the conflict. It is necessary that the public of Azerbaijan, and the population deeply understood these processes and the way along which we can act more resolutely in the future. I want to express my confidence that the public of Azerbaijan will worthily estimate the activity of the Azerbaijan delegation in the Lisbon summit and our public, people as a peaceful nation will always support us in the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

At the same time, it is clear that the question must be solved. The heads of some states, including, for instance, the prime minister of Russia Chernomyrdin noted in his speech that after the adoption of this document very intensive negotiations should be followed, and in 1997, this question should be solved by peace way. We are of the same opinion too, and I enclose my speech by these thoughts of mine. Thank you for your attention. I am ready to answer questions.

Representatives of mass media are invited here. However, I see representatives of our public have applied to express opinion. Therefore, I consider that I should not speak alone, it will be better to give representatives of the public an opportunity to speak. Let they express their opinions and then I am ready to answer questions of representatives of mass media.

I know that representatives of the Russian mass media and other countries are also taking part here. Therefore, I will speak about it in Russian, and then I will ask the interpreter to translate it into English.

Some representatives of the public have expressed their desire to speak on this question. I think, it is time to let them speak in brief, then I am ready to answer all questions of representatives of press, and I am not only ready, but have to answer.


- Dear ladies and gentlemen!

Today's meeting once again proved the peace-loving policy of Azerbaijan to the public of our republic and to the entire world. This meeting once again supported the activity of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic directed on the peace settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by means of negotiations. This meeting once again confirmed our solidarity, unanimity on this important issue. Therefore, I consider that all the public of our republic, our people and citizens will support the document adopted in the Lisbon summit concerning the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, and it will create more ample opportunities for us to function in this direction as well as in the future.

Once again I assure you that henceforth we will work persistently to achieve the restoration of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, provide inviolability of borders of the republic, free the occupied lands, return our brothers and sisters to their native lands who are expelled from the native homes and now living in heavy conditions in tents.

Sound mood, dominating at this meeting today, a support of the policy of the Azerbaijan state by orators and the true way taken by us, give us more energy and belief. You can be sure that we will always work with this belief and protect the sovereignty of the Azerbaijan Republic as the apple of our eyes.