From the talk of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev with the leader of Palestine Yasser Arafat - Tehran, December 8, 1997

Yasser Arafat: Mr. Heydar Aliyev, I feel a boundless pleasure from the warm meeting with you as an old friend. Mr. President, you are always in my heart. We shall never forget the care rendered by you to our problems.

Heydar Aliyev: Mr. Arafat, I am also pleased to meet you. As one of the leaders of the former Soviet Union and as the current President of Azerbaijan my position on this issue is constant. I remember that 16-17 years ago the situation in Iran was grave. It was impossible to fly there by plane. You arrived in Azerbaijan. We talked a lot about the situation in Iran. I sent you from Baku to Iran by car. Then you wanted to reconcile Iran with Iraq. I worked in Moscow in 1984 and was a member of Politburo. The Palestinians were expelled from Lebanon. You went to Egypt, I arrived in Damascus. I held hours of negotiations with President Hafiz al-Assad in order to reconcile Hafez al-Assad with Yasser Arafat.

Yasser Arafat: I inform you that I remember very well these days and I express my gratitude to you, Mr. President, for the attention.

Heydar Aliyev: I note that Azerbaijan is a friend of Palestine. The independent Republic of Azerbaijan has always supported and will continue to support the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people.

Yasser Arafat: I emphasize that we always feel the support of Azerbaijan. We are proud of it and it makes us stronger.

Along with the fact that we attach great importance to historically friendly relations of Azerbaijanis and the Palestinians, we emphasize the need for strengthening these relations further.

We are sure that VIII Summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference will play an important role in strengthening the unity of the Muslim world further.

Translated from newspaper «Azerbaijan», December 10, 1997