Historical background to the document to "From the meetıng of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev with the OSCE chairman, Romanian Foreign Minister Mircea Johane" (Presidential Palace, March 1, 2001)

After declaring its independence on October 18, 1991, the Republic of Azerbaijan was recognized on December of the same year by Romania following Turkey. More than 30 agreements in different spheres have been signed between the two countries so far.

Not once the Azerbaijani and Romanian officials have paid mutual visits at the level of the heads of states. Romania officially stated that it was for the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in frame of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

Besides the common European structures, Azerbaijan cooperates with Romania in the frames of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization too.

As an OSCE chairman for 2001, the Romanian Foreign Minster Mircea Johane started his activity with a visit to the region of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I the framework of that visit, the OSCE Romanian co-chair met the President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev in Baku, on March 1, 2001.

The visit of the Romanian Foreign Minister as an OSCE chairman to Azerbaijan coincided the period of acceleration of the direct negotiations between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Meeting in Paris on January 26, 2001, Heydar Aliyev and Robert Kocharian once again held negotiations in the French capital on January 26, 2001. The negotiations continued with the discussions in Key-West on April 3-7.

Talking about the direct meetings during the conversation, Heydar Aliyev said to the Romanian chairman that they had not to weaken the activity of the Minsk group co-chairs` activities. He informed comprehensively Mircea Johane on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, on negotiations for the settlement of the conflict and on the aims of the sides.

The Azerbaijan President stated that two proposals of the Minsk group for the conflict settlement were rejected by Armenia and one by Azerbaijan. Differing from the "package" and "stage by stage" settlement proposals which demanded the unconditional release of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev called the "common state" proposal unjust, because it was aimed at legalizing the occupation activity of Armenia.

Heydar Aliyev said to the Romanian Foreign Minister that despite all injustices Azerbaijan remanied committed to peace, and much depended on the OSCE and its Minsk Group for it: "Historically, force was against force, and rescue actions were applied against an aggressor. But as the President of Azerbaijan, I`m declaring that there are still great opportunities for the peace. And in the first place the Minsk Group and its co-chairs have these opportunities. Naturally, the Armenian and Azerbaijani leadership also have them. Azerbaijan maintains a constructive position. But we cannot fulfill all the demands of Armenia. That`s why Mr. Minster, I ask you to evoke this issue in the OSCE Minsk Group once more.

Historical background was compiled On April 4, 2006.