Interview of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the Bina airport before the departure for Saudi Arabia - July 9, 1994

Saudi Arabia has its own place in the world community. It is a developed and rich country of the Arabic world. It is also a guardian of the holy sites of the Muslims. That is why, the contacts between this country and Azerbaijan must be established. No contacts existed between Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan until now. There were some efforts in this direction after Azerbaijan gained its independence, but they were fruitless. Because of its influence in the world community and taking into account our common religious unity and similarity of our historical traditions, I accepted the invitation of the king of the Saudi Arabia and I am going to visit this country now. I suppose this visit will yield good results. As the greatest result, I expect opportunities will be created for our regular cooperation. Our Embassy functions in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian Ambassador also will arrive in Azerbaijan to present his credentials within the next few days. Economic and trade contacts, exchange of tourists and moral ties will be expanded between our countries.

Muslims make pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia every year. There are Azerbaijanis among them. We shall probably have talks about it how to assist the pilgrims from Azerbaijan.

I am leaving for this visit with great pleasure. I am interested in Saudi Arabia as a country and I am very excited to make a pilgrimage there as the holy site of Muslims.