Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the meeting with Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the secretary general of the United Nations in the Presidential Palace. October 30, 1994

Dear Secretary General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali!

Once again I sincerely welcome you in the Republic of Azerbaijan, on the Azerbaijani land. I express my gratitude to you for your interest, attention to the Republic of Azerbaijan and for your visit to our country.

The independent Republic of Azerbaijan has been founded 3 years ago and it is a member of the United Nations Organization. The visit of the Secretary General of the United Nations to Azerbaijan, undoubtedly, should play an essential role in the resolution of problems, facing by the Republic of Azerbaijan. We, the public of our republic, pin our hopes on it.

It is well-known, that the United Nations Organization constantly deals with the problems of Azerbaijan. The Republic of Azerbaijan has been exposed to military aggression by Armenia more than six years. From the date of gaining of independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan till today - three years as the United Nations and its Security Council constantly have been engaged with the solution of this problem. Much work was done in this field. The United Nations, its Security Council and the Secretary General have carried out great activities in this sphere. I thank you, Mr.Boutros-Ghali, for all done work, the taken decisions on behalf of the people of Azerbaijan.

The Republic of Azerbaijan as the state which has recently gained its independence, has met many problems. Azerbaijan, as well as other republics being in the recent past in the structure of the Soviet Union, only now has found independence, experiences a transition period. During these three years, we tried to maintain and strengthen independence of Azerbaijan, on the other hand, we tried to lead the republic on a new way, a democratic way.

The people and Republic of Azerbaijan being in the structure of the Soviet Union for long years, living under influence of socialist, communist ideology, have already refused these principles. The process of construction of the independent state is underway in Azerbaijan. Our purpose is construction of the legal, democratic state, foundation of a civilized and legal society.

The great changes in the economy of Azerbaijan are envisaged. Our republic began to develop its economy on the basis of principles of market economy. Carrying out of economic reforms, opening of a way to free economy, creation of opportunities for initiative, entrepreneurship are our basic way in the sphere of economy. We have started realization of principles of privatization in economy with this purpose. In a word, in economic sphere Azerbaijan goes and will go on a free economic way and wishes to build contacts with world economy, to be integrated into it and join the world economic community.

The transition period in a life of Azerbaijan has undoubtedly created the big problems inside the country. Transition from one social, economic, political system to another, certainly, requires certain time, and also very serious steps. But no matter how it is difficult for us, we go and we will go on this way. We wish to provide independence of Azerbaijan by this way only.

Now the Republic of Azerbaijan is in a condition of social and economic crisis. As I have already said, it is connected, on the one hand, with a transition period and on the other hand, Azerbaijan is in condition of war for the last six years. But, despite all these difficulties, Azerbaijan goes on a way of strengthening of the independence. The people of Azerbaijan lived dream of national freedom and the state independence within long years and centuries. Gaining of the state independence of Azerbaijan is a historical event for our people. Our goal and our way are to protect the independence forever, and I am sure, that we will achieve success on this way.

The foreign policy of Azerbaijan is directed on the establishment of legal mutual relations with all countries. In my speech, on September 29, at the session of General Assembly of the United Nations, I declared a position of Azerbaijan in this issue.

Once again I want to note, that for the three-year period of independence, in particular for last year, Azerbaijan has made serious steps in this sphere and has established rational and favorable mutual relations with many countries. Azerbaijan, going on this way, has declared its openness to all world. We address with the offer to make investments into Azerbaijan, to all world community, the international organizations, the companies and the firms interested in this business, to cooperate with our republic and we build relations with them.

On the 20th of September this year the main contract was signed with the authoritative oil companies of foreign countries for joint exploitation of oil deposits of Azerbaijan Republic in the Caspian Sea. We will henceforth also create all conditions for foreign countries, for the companies and firms to make investments in Azerbaijan. In a word, Azerbaijan as an independent state aspires to take its worthy place in the world community, in the United Nations Organization.

But as you know, the most difficult, heaviest and the most important problem for our republic is prevention of the military aggression directed against Azerbaijan. I noted that the United Nations, its Security Council and personally you, the Secretary General, constantly prosecute this issue, and these problems are known to you. I think that the most part of our conversations should be devoted to this problem during our meeting. It is known that your arrival, in a certain sense, is connected with these questions. After Azerbaijan you will visit to Georgia and Armenia. It means that the situation in our region interests you, and we are very much interested in using your opportunities for establishment of peace and prosperity in our region.

I noted that as a result of the six-year war, the armed forces of Armenia occupied twenty percent of territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The occupied lands are the territories of Nagorno Karabakh, belonging to Azerbaijan, and territories of seven districts around Nagorno Karabakh. More than one million Azerbaijani citizens became refugees from the occupied areas. They are in very hard situation, the majority live in tents, and those who do not live in tents have no even the minimal conditions in places of residing. All this extremely intensify both social and economic and political social tension in the Republic of Azerbaijan.

You know, and once again I want to emphasize that Azerbaijan has not begun the war. Azerbaijan, simply speaking, has been involved in war. Armenia started aggression against Azerbaijan six years ago to capture Mountainous Garabag, being territory of Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, Armenia achieved to occupy a part of the Azerbaijan lands because of the reasons concerning to Azerbaijan and, in the greater degree, as a result of the assistance rendered to Armenia by separate forces.

As a result of this war, Azerbaijan has lost more than 20 thousand citizens. They were killed. Over hundred thousand of Azerbaijan citizens were wounded became invalids. The apartment houses, factories, mills, social objects in the occupied territories have been destroyed and burnt down. Thus, this war has inflicted people of Azerbaijan both moral, and a great material damage. Despite all this, Azerbaijan takes a peaceful position, aspires to achieve the peace settlement of these problems. But the peaceful steps made by us still have not yielded the results.

You know that the question connected with the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan was repeatedly discussed by the Security Council of the United Nations Organization. The Security Council has adopted four resolutions connected with this question. In April, 1993, resolution 822-nd was adopted in connection with occupation of the region of Kalbajar, then 874-th, 884-th resolutions were adopted in connection with occupation of the regions of Fizuli, Jebrayil, Zangilan, and Gubadli. in all these decisions adopted by the Security Council of the United Nations.

There was a requirement of an unconditional, implicit withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories and liberation of these territories.

Except these resolutions the chairman of the Security Council made six statements concerning the aggressive actions of the Armenian armed forces in the territory of Azerbaijan. Personally you, Mister Secretary General, did serious statements several times. But, unfortunately, none of these resolutions and statements has been implemented. The Armenian party did not obey the decisions of Security Council of the United Nations, the United Nations as a whole, and till now does not obey them. Unfortunately, their infringement of the international norms and insubordination to these norms remains unpunished till now.

We closely cooperate both with the United Nations and CSCE for the settlement of problems in the peace way. As special Minsk Group was established in the framework of CSCE in the connection with the conflict. The Republic of Azerbaijan constantly cooperates with the Minsk Group, CSCE and we, on our part, have tried to create all conditions for carrying out serious activity of the Minsk Group in this sphere.

Last years, some states independently have shown the initiative for the resolution of these problems as well. The initiatives were shown by the states of the United States of America, Russia and Turkey. We try to take advantage of these initiatives.

Recently Russia carries out a great activity under its initiative, tries to play an intermediary role and shows serious aspirations for the settlement of our problems. We tried to make use of the intermediary activity of Russia. Because our purpose is the settlement of a question only and only by the peace way. Therefore, we accept the activity of the country showing the initiative for the just and, true resolution of this conflict.

You know, that due to the mediatory act of the Minsk Group and Russia, and as a result of direct negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, there has been a ceasefire already more than five months. We count it the important achievement. But at the same time, we try to use expediently a regime of cease-fire for the creation of the great peace. In this sphere we cooperate with the Minsk Group, and also with Russia. Our purpose is establishing of the great peace and to put an end to the war.

Undoubtedly, we have also our own terms to be made on this issue. The essence of the term is that for achieving the great peace and the termination of war, aggressive military units of Armenia should leave the territory of Azerbaijan. Laying down the issue like that way we count that at the first stage, the Armenian armed forces should abandon the occupied areas of Azerbaijan, including, the regions of Lachin and Shusha. The problem on Nagorno Karabakh should be solved in the second stage. After clearing the occupied lands, the refugees should return to their homelands. If we reach it, including condition of clearing the regions of Lachin and Shusha, only after that, in the second stage of negotiations, it will be possible to discuss the status of Nagorno Karabakh, and we can make certain steps in this sphere.

While forwarding these offers, we, undoubtedly, take into account the security of the Armenians living in Mountainous Garabagh. It is obvious, that all refugees who can return to their homes, they should return. The safety of all Azerbaijani citizens should be ensured. The demographic picture in Mountainous Garabag should be restored. As together with Armenians, Azerbaijanis lived in Mountainous Garabag as well. They also should return to their places. Certainly, as a result of the war, continuing for six years, there arose a mutual distrust and contradictions. Therefore, these problems should be solved stage by stage.

As a result of all this, the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, inviolability of borders of our country should be provided. The Republic of Azerbaijan as the independent, sovereign state should become the owner of its territory and borders. We hope, that in solving these problems, the United Nations, its Security Council, in particular you, the Secretary General, can do a lot of work. We prefer this conflict to be solved in the framework of CSCE, by means of the Minsk Group because the settlement of this problem is connected with CSCE and the special Minsk Group was established in order to solve this problem.

Highly estimating the mediatory efforts of Russia and considering its opportunities available in our region, we support the cooperation of Russia with the Minsk Group of CSCE. We think that this cooperation should be directed on the fair settlement of questions in our region.

Undoubtedly, the United Nations Organization is the most authoritative, great organization, which solves problems happening in the world. The United Nations working for 49 years, carries out effective activity in all corners of the world, in all regions. I want to express hope, that before the 50th anniversary, the United Nations Organization, using all opportunities, is capable to solve the problems in our region.

Mr. Secretary General Boutros-Ghali, we, the people of Azerbaijan know you as a distinguished diplomat, the person having the great merits in world politics. The activities carried out by you for restoration of the peace and prosperity are obvious, and the people of Azerbaijan highly estimate them. I want to express hope, that you, using personal authority, respect, opportunities, will help Azerbaijan to get out of this hard situation. We were waiting for you with these ideas and wishes and with these wishes I start the negotiations with you.