Meeting of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev with the Supreme Religious Leader of Iran Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Baku, May 19, 2002

Kindly and friendly welcoming President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said that he was pleased of every meeting with President Heydar Aliyev and expressed his confidence that the official visit of President of Azerbaijan to Iran would open a new era in the relations between the two friendly and neighboring countries.

Expressing his gratitude for the kind words and warm attitude, President Heydar Aliyev said that he was pleased with the official visit to Iran and with the meeting with the Supreme Religious leader of Iran Sayyed Ali Khamenei and expressed his satisfaction with the hospitality shown to the Azerbaijani delegation and with the meetings and negotiations held during the visit. Expressing the hope that the visit will have a significant impact on the development of the Azerbaijani-Iranian relations, the Azerbaijani president stressed that there are broad prospects for the development of cooperation with a friendly and neighboring Iran in all the areas.

They discussed the joint participation of the two countries in the project of the North-South transport corridor, which has great importance for the region, and the issues on cooperation in the Caspian Sea in details. It was noted that the Caspian Sea should be a sea of ​​peace, friendship and good relations.

Stressing that the most painful problem for our country is the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorniy-Karabakh which has been going on for years, President Heydar Aliyev reminded that 20 percent of our lands is still under occupation and over a million people have been expelled from their native homes, live in tents in critical conditions, and then he focused on the process of negotiations held for the peaceful settlement of the conflict.

Highly appreciating the close historical, spiritual relations between Azerbaijan and Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said that the visit of the President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev is important for the development of relations between the two countries in all the fields. Stressing that the conflicts in the Caucasus hamper the establishment of peace and security in the region, Ayatollah Khamenei said that his country condemned the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan and emphasized the necessity of the immediate peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorniy-Karabakh.

During the meeting, which was held in a warm and friendly atmosphere, there was an extensive exchange of views on the perspectives of the Azerbaijani-Iranian relations, on the situation in the region and other issues of mutual interest.