From the conversation of the tete-a-tete meeting of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium Jean-Luc Dehaene - Presidential Palace, April 13, 1998

Distinguished Prime Minister!

I cordially welcome you. I think that our meeting will be very useful for both sides to strengthen mutually beneficial relations between Azerbaijan and Belgium.

Mr. Jean-Luc Dehaene! I remember with great pleasure our meetings and negotiations held at OSCE Summit in Lisbon in December 1996, Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Council Summit in Madrid in July 1997, European Council Summit in Strasbourg in October 1997.

I am satisfied with the present state of cooperation between our countries within the frames of international organizations. As a result of successful reforms for legal, democratic and secular state building, great successes have been achieved in our young nation. Aimed at the close integration of its economy with the world economy, Azerbaijan pays special attention to strengthening relations with foreign countries. But our most important task is to liberate our lands occupied by the Armenian armed forces as a result of Armenia`s aggression against Azerbaijan, restore our territorial integrity, return over one million citizens of Azerbaijan, who have been forced to live in hard conditions as refugees and IDPs to their native lands. We support the peaceful solution of the conflict based on the principles adopted at OSCE Summit in Lisbon. The recent proposal of the co-chairs of the Minsk Group - Russia, the USA, France, offers a two-stage peaceful process. A strong socio-political stability has been created in Azerbaijan. A democratic constitution was adopted in 1995. A democratic parliament was elected on multi-party system. Market economy has been chosen as the main way of economic development, great changes have taken place in our economy within a short time thanks to the successful privatization program, lands have been privatized, big flood of foreign investments have begun to stream into Azerbaijan. Historical contracts were signed on joint development of the deposits in the Azerbaijani Sector of the Caspian Sea. Belgium`s Petrofina has a big share in the development of the Lankaran-Deniz and Talysh-Deniz projects, which is of special importance in development of relations between our countries. Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the restoration of the ancient Silk Road and more efficient operation of the Europe-Asia corridor. Azerbaijan takes an active part in realization of the TRACECA program of the European Union.

Democracy is developing in Azerbaijan, while favorable conditions emerge for the activities of political parties and pluralism of opinions. We always pay special attention to strengthening these principles. Located at the junction of Asia and Europe, the Republic of Azerbaijan is aimed at playing a key role in reviving the mutually beneficial relations with the European organizations and strengthening the relations between the countries of these continents and will further attach an importance to this issue.

I highly appreciate the interest of the Belgian companies in Azerbaijan. We are also interested in the steady development of the cooperation between our countries. The contracts to be signed between the governments of Azerbaijan and Belgium today will play a significant role in strengthening and expanding our mutual relations in many fields.

Brief essays


General historical background

Azerbaijan - Europe

Historical backgrounds

Azerbaijan - Europe