President of the Azerbaijan Republic Heydar Aliyev met President of France Fransua Mitterrand - 20 December, 1993

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On December 20, in the evening, a ceremonial parade in honor President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev was held by the administration of France in the Elysees Palace. The guard of honour lined up in the yard of the palace. The ceremonial march sounded, as the caravan of cars with the President of Azerbaijan and accompanying him persons entered the broad square in the yard of Elysees Palace. President of France Fransua Mitterrand met the Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev at the palace stairs. Then the negotiations between the Presidents of both countries started.

The opportunities of cooperation between Azerbaijan and France were discussed thoroughly at the meeting. The war ongoing in Azerbaijan and the issues of Nagorno-Karabakh were the main topic of negotiations. Fransua Mitterrand openly stated that France recognized and supported the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Heydar Aliyev informed the French President on the realities of Azerbaijan. He changed the opinion of the French President about Azerbaijan and about the ongoing processes there. They exchanged views on the prospects of long-term cooperation between the two countries in economic, cultural and other fields. This historical meeting laid the foundation of cooperation between Azerbaijan, France and other European countries.

Fransua Mitterrand possesses great experience and authority among the political figures of the world, his special attention to Azerbaijan caused great interest in the observers.

After the negotiations the Presidents entered the Myurat hall of Elysees Palace. Fransua Mitterrand and Heydar Aliyev signed an agreement on friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation between Azerbaijan and France.

In addition, Heydar Aliyev signed the document according to which Azerbaijan joins the Paris Charter for a new Europe - one of the primary documents of OSCE. Then, the Presidents made statements in the presence of reporters of France, Azerbaijan and other countries.

Appealing to Heydar Aliyev President of France Fransua Mitterrand said: “I am pleased to meet you here. Our contacts are not so frequent and therefore your visit to Paris allows discuss closely the principal problems.

You just signed the Paris Charter for a new Europe and we both signed the agreement on friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation between our countries. By signing the Paris Charter you took the commitments in the framework of CSCE and demonstrated your loyalty to the principles of UNO”.

Then the French President said: “You can be confident that France will support you in the immediate restoration of peace, which is so essential for all of us. Our bilateral agreement is proof of it. This document will be an important step in the development of the French-Azerbaijani relations, it determines the frames of our future bilateral and multilateral cooperation. We mean the cooperation in the field of politics, economy, culture, science and technology, as well as in the efforts for ensuring security. And it proves our joint efforts for the expansion of our limited contacts”.

Continuing his speech, Fransua Mitterrand said that France followed closely the expansion of the Karabakh conflict and expressed his regret that the peaceful population suffered there. We help this population and shall increase our help. He said that they are against the forcible alteration of borders and at the same time, solution of the conflict by using force. We respect the independence and sovereignty of Azerbaijan. We proposed to convene an international conference within the frames of CSCE. We call on all the interested parties to demonstrate good will. However, these principles have not been observed, where the forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan oppose each other. Today the greatest hardships are observed in the territory of Azerbaijan. I have said to the Armenian administration about it, too.

Only by relying on the international law one can win the sympathy of the world community. We shall continue my meetings with you and rendering assistance to you. This time we shall rely upon the international principles. These principles are obligatory for all the democratic countries.

In conclusion, Fransua Mitterrand said: We are pleased to receive you here. I wish other events were held beneficial for our both countries.

Appealing to Fransua Mitterrand President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev said:

Mr. President, I thank you for the invitation to pay a visit to France and I am pleased to be in this historical and grand palace. I am very satisfied of the talk with you. During this talk, I felt your positive attitude to the situation in Azerbaijan and believed in your sincerity. I believe that you will to help our republic to get out of this crisis. I appreciate your promise to make efforts. I signed the Paris Charter together with you with great pleasure. Thereby, Azerbaijan demonstrates its adherence to security and peace.

The treaty on friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation which we just signed is a new stage in the international contacts of Azerbaijan. The foundation for lasting cooperation between Azerbaijan and France has been laid in the Elysees Palace. It is an important historical event for Azerbaijan which gained its independence just two years ago.

Then Heydar Aliyev declared that the cooperation with such a great country as France with an ancient history, which has enriched the world civilization with cultural values, is able to exert influences actively on the international politics and is of great significance for us. France, which displays democracy, humanism and love for peace, is our important partner for us. We are pleased that we have signed this treaty with you and we rely on its realization, efficiency and practical results.

The Azerbaijani President said: “I appreciate your anxiety concerning the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict, as well as your statement on the primacy of law and inviolability and safety of borders of every state. I hope that making use of your personal influence and that of France, you will prevent the aggression of the Armenian armed groups against Azerbaijan and establish peace in our region. We pursue a constructive policy and rely on your efficient help. You may be sure that France will have a reliable partner in the person of Azerbaijan for many years. We shall be always loyal to the principles of peace and security, respect human rights and principles of democracy and pluralism. Building a young independent state, we shall certainly use the rich experience of France on statehood and democracy.

Mr. President, we are looking forward to your visit to Azerbaijan. I hope the development of our contacts will promote the expansion of mutual cooperation between our countries, which will benefit the Azerbaijan people. I express my gratitude for the attention to our republic and our people.


“Azerbaijan 1993, from Anarchy to Stability”, Baku, 2000, p.380