The Statement of Heydar Aliyev, Executing Authorities of the President of Azerbaijan, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the Joint Press Conference with Mario Rafaelle, Chairman of the Minsk Conference of OSCE on Mountainous Garabag - Baku, July 14, 1993

Good day, dear representatives of Mass Media. Our today`s press conference is devoted to the results of the visit of representatives of the Minsk conference within the framework of OSCE, on the problems of Mountainous Garabagh lately to our region, to Azerbaijan and to Armenia. As there is a translation into Russian, I hope, that you will not object, if our answers will be in Russian, but, undoubtedly, questions can be given both in Azerbaijani, and in Russian, and also in other languages.

I will briefly inform you on our negotiations and about the achieved results, then mister Raffaelli, chairman of the Minsk conference of OSCE will inform you, and we will be ready to answer your questions. I think, you will apologize us that the press conference appointed to yesterday was not held. It is connected with the schedule, being prepared jointly by us and mister Raffaelli, intending returning mister Raffaelli from Mountainous Garabagh, Khankendi to Baku at 6 o`clock in the evening. But it was suspended for some technical reasons, as mister Raffaelli spoke about it, because of weather conditions. Therefore, they have arrived only today.

When we met, mister Raffaelli informed about the results of negotiations held in Khankendi. Having exchanged opinions, as a whole already summing up our meetings, and we came here to meet you. You know, that the Minsk conference within the framework of OSCE started the activity at the beginning of 1992, and both this conference, and the OSCE on whole, prosecutes subjects of peace settlement of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Mountainous Garabagh. During a meeting with mister Raffaelli and delegation which he heads, we had an opportunity to analyze briefly the activity of the Minsk conference for the expired period, but not pressing, certainly, in a detail, and therefore there is no necessity to stop on it as well as now.

On our part it was simply ascertained, that despite having great authority, the Minsk conference, OSCE as honorable international organization and the United Nations Organization, the work and efforts done by OSCE, and the Minsk conference for the expired period on peace settlement of the conflict of Mountainous Garabagh, have not given any results. We notify with great regret, that, on the one hand, for this period the Minsk conference as well as the of OSCE initiated in the direction of peace settlement of the conflict, and on the other hand, during this period the war continued, blood was shed, the Armenian armed units repeatedly carried out aggressive attacks on the territory of Azerbaijan, and during which the part of territory of Azerbaijan was occupied, captured by the Armenian armed units.

It is necessary to remind, that for this time the Republic of Azerbaijan has lost such a city as Shusha, that is Shusha and the region around it were captured by the Armenian armed units, the region of Lachin was captured as well. It happened in May last year and at the end of March - the beginning of April of this year.

The Armenian armed units completely have captured the region of Kalbajar and, having completely possessed the territory of former Mountainous Garabagh Autonomous Region and going out beyond its limits, they occupied the settlements of regions of Aghdam, Fizuli, and Zangilan, even some areas in the western part of Azerbaijan. From this point of view, it is possible to come to a conclusion that for this time, the efforts of the international organizations, in particular OSCE and the Minsk conference, have not yielded any results. I just remind all these as a cursory review to emphasize the necessity of acceptance more effectual measures now by the international organizations - the United Nations Organization and OSCE. At the same time it is necessary to note, that after the occupation of the region of Kalbajar by the Armenian armed units, the resolution 822 has been adopted by the Security Council of the United Nations, and then activity of OSCE and the Minsk conference were considerably substantiated. We know, that the tripartite document were signed by the Republics of Azerbaijan, Armenia and representatives of Mountainous Garabag communities, and on the basis of this document the Minsk conference of OSCE proposed the plan starting a withdrawal of the Armenian armed units from territory of the Kalbajar region and already practical peace settlement of the conflict.

Implementation of this plan and calendar of OSCE and the Minsk conference was planned in June, but in connection with known events which happened that month, the realization of the plan has been postponed approximately for a month. As you know, we have received information about the intention of chairman of the Minsk conference mister Raffaelli and his delegation to arrive in Azerbaijan on July 5, and we were ready to receive them. But now, as it turned out, on any misunderstanding, and lack of enough trustworthy information - the visit of mister Raffaelli was postponed till July 9. We agreed with it, because we cherished and cherish great hopes for the activity of OSCE and the Minsk conference.

We received the second program on July, 9, but in general its realization failed as well as that. At last, at night from July 9 to 10 mister Raffaelli has arrived in Baku with the delegation and our negotiations began on July 10.

I should say, that our negotiations proceeded in spirit of mutual understanding, frankness, and efficiency, and we, certainly, found out desire of mission of mister Raffaelli to provide practical implementation of the envisaged program and the made schedule. Mister Raffaelli has sent the program of the visit here prior to his arrival in Baku intending that his arrival should be 9-th, and then all was changed for another day. It was planned a meeting with a leadership of Azerbaijan in Baku, then a visit to Yerevan and meeting with a leadership of Armenia, then returning to Baku and be in Aghdam and visit Khankendi through Aghdam, be in Khankendi, returning to Baku through Aghdam and a summarizing the activity of mission on the given interval of time.

But we accepted this program with gratitude and started its realization. On July 10, we have had a detailed conversation and we found out mutual understanding in all issues. On July 11 mister Raffaelli with his delegation was in Yerevan and by the evening, they came back to Baku, and on July 11, a new meeting was held in the evening. Mister Raffaelli informed us on the results of the negotiations with a leadership of Armenia, President Levon Теr-Petrosyan, other persons, and there was a question on visit to Aghdam, and also to Khankendi on July 12.

But this time there was a problem, set forth by the Armenian party and, in particular, as mister Raffaelli noted, by those persons who now rule the Mountainous Garabagh. They have informed that to pass from Aghdam to Khankendi was impossible, because as if all the border in that part where the positions taken by the Armenian armed units were mined, and it was necessary to go Khankendi through Armenia. This question was put before mister Raffaelli when he was still in Yerevan. It was offered to go Khankendi from Yerevan through the Lachin corridor. Surely mister Raffaelli and all his delegation did not agree with it, he had told us about it when he was still in Baku, and he told about it after returning from Yerevan.

Certainly, we could not agree with it in any way, therefore on July 11, in the evening we spent a lot of time to search ways how to pass to Khankendi through Aghdam, because it was necessary to be in Aghdam on July 12. But when the question was put firmly by the Armenian party that they did not guarantee a safety in connection with the mined territory, there was a variant of visiting Khankendi through the region of Fizuli of Azerbaijan. However, the answer has followed on the part of Armenia that this area was mined too.

Certainly, we did not trust in this and do not believe it now. I think, that mister Raffaelli will tell, that he did not believe this as well. Nevertheless such statement was made - that the Armenian party did not provide security.

Therefore, by all means we have found a compromise variant for the mission of mister Raffaelli to come to the end, that the Minsk conference could start implementation of the program and the planned schedule of a withdrawal of armies from the region of Kalbajar: thus mister Raffaelli with his delegation flies to Tbilisi from Baku, flies to Khankendi from Tbilisi by military helicopters, back to Tbilisi from Khankendi and then they return to Baku.

On July 12, when mister Raffaelli and all his delegation visited to Aghdam, they have personally seen those destructions which happened there and the diificult situation in the region of Aghdam as a result of aggressive actions of the Armenian armed units.

Mister Raffaelli himself will apparently speak about it, but I am saying it just to remind him not to forget. He told, that he was in Aghdam one year ago and, certainly he was very much sorry for the essential, very serious changes, meaning destructions of the city as a result of military actions, attacks and bombardments by the Armenian armed units. On July 12, in the evening when we met mister Raffaelli, he told that there were not any mines visible and in general, it was clear the reasons of the requirements put forward by the Armenian party.

Therefore we agreed with the variant of visit to Khankendi through Tbilisi, and mister Raffaelli early yesterday flew for Tbilisi by the plane, and then, as already it is known, - to Khankendi by helicopters, and yesterday we were waiting for him from Tbilisi back. But already late at night as I told to you, we appointed the press conference to the end of day and then it was postponed to 23 o`clock. However, later it became known, any technical reasons and weather condition did not allow. In short, the members of the delegation had to spend the night in Khankendi and this morning they flew to Yerevan by helicopters, therefrom by plane - here, to Baku.

Right now we have had final negotiations and we came to you to a press conference. I, certainly, do not want to stop on details, but to our great regret, the schedule which was offered by the Minsk conference and by the mission of mister Raffaelli and which was accepted by us, and as mister Raffaelli noted, was accepted as well as by a leadership of the Republic of Armenia, however, it was not accepted in Mountainous Garabagh. There, as mister Raffaelli informed us today, some reasons were put forward which did not allow to agree upon the signing of this document by them again, after which would be possible to start realization of the schedule. However, only the day before yesterday in the evening when we discussed a question with mister Raffaelli, he noted that they should have returned as soon as possible. Therefore, last night the members of mission should have left for Rome after the negotiations with us, in order to start practical implementation of the planned calendar. And the calendar intends arrival of observers in the region of Kalbajar on July 16, their accommodation on July 18 and approximately on July 20-21 - a withdrawal of the Armenian armed units from the region of Kalbajar.

Taking it into account, this issue is very important for us, we, I repeat, always searched for a constructive approach to negotiations with mister Raffaelli. And to some extent we went on compromises, as, for example, with a problem - how to go to Khankendi, as well as in other cases. We do all these in order to implement the schedule rather sooner.

However now, as I understood, to be more exact, mister Raffaelli has already concretely told about it, this schedule as they have planned, won`t be carried out on July 16, because mister Raffaelli and his mission should request now officially the leadership of Mountainous Garabagh for some questions and receive the official answer from them. As mister Raffaelli informed, they put forward some reasons there consisting of three items. As he said, he counts first two items to be insolvent, and the third item is connected, as mister Raffaelli notified, with a number of such questions which I think can be solved very easily too. The question is that, for example, the withdrawal of the Armenian armed units from Kalbajar begins, observers will enter there, the members of the Azerbaijan party will enter, what kind of the weapon will be ... The variant is intended, that there will be an easy weapon. What is the easy weapon, what is meant by saying an easy weapon or what mandate will the observers have...etc.

I understood from the information of mister Raffaelli, that all these questions are only technical and easy to be solved. Anyway, the head of mission considers, in order to remove these reasons, they should make official inquiry to heads of Mountainous Garabagh, receive an official answer and after that only to the, start realization of the calendar with delay for some days.

Mister Raffaelli today informed us that on July 16 the Minsk conference and, 9 participants of OSCE would assemble again on this issue in Vienna. The issue will be discussed there. And it was possible to understand from this information of mister Raffaelli, that the matter was about some delay of the issue, though the position of the leadership of Mountainous Garabagh or those people who now rule the Mountainous Garabagh now, is insufficiently precise and even doubtful.

For instance, I very much got personally surprised, when yesterday the news was broadcasted in the program of "Novosti" from Moscow at 12 o`clock p.m. that there was a disagreement with the proposals of the Minsk conference, missions of mister Raffaelli in Mountainous Garabagh, and the settlement of questions was postponed to a month concerning the ostensible unstable internal political situation in Azerbaijan. Mister Raffaelli was surprised with such information too. He told that the question was about the postponement of a calendar only for some days.

At the same time, I also told it to mister Raffaelli, and today I declare it here to makeknown for all that all knew, certainly, after events which happened in Ganja on June 4, the internal political situation became complicated in Azerbaijan, but it is impossible to say that there is no stability, and thereby it is impossible to solve a problem, or no conditions for the resolution of these problems. Just because we completely control the situation in Azerbaijan.

As it is well- known to the Azerbaijan public, we are engaged actively with the issues concerning the military actions in the region of Mountainous Garabagh. Therefore, all these are simply tricks and artificially fabricated the far-fetched reasons to intensify the problem or in general to break its settlement.

Finishing this short information, I want to note, that today our final conversation passed in constructive and in spirit of mutual understanding. We have had a feeling that of the Minsk conference, the head of the mission, mister Raffaelli and members of his delegation want to sincerely providing the implementation of the intended plan and the made schedule. Finishing the negotiations with great hopes, we believe that this question will be very seriously discussed in Vienna on July 16. And I think, that mister Raffaelli and in general OSCE will carry out additional negotiations with the leadership of the Republic of Armenia so we could achieve implementation of the mission of the Minsk conference at this interval of time, because there is not a result in the activity of the mission which functions already more than a year and a half.

But these are the results of very great significance for our republic. And, I think, it is not less important for authority of OSCE, the Minsk conference and the United Nations Organization.

The day before yesterday, during my telephone conversation with the President of Armenia Levon Тер-Petrosyan - conversation was at the presence of mister Raffaelli - he also assured, that he made all efforts for mission of the Minsk conference to be carried out. We hope for it. I am concluding my information by this.