Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the ceremony of signature of documents between Turkey and Azerbaijan - February 9, 1994

During our visit to Turkey we witnessed great hospitality and kindness here. The members of the delegation and I came to express our gratitude and esteem to the distinguished President of Turkey Suleyman Demirel, the Turkish government and the Turkish people for all this. We really feel at home here, as Suleyman bey said, we feel like in our flat. We came here with high hopes which were justified. We felt hospitality, friendly and fraternal relations more than we expected and we are under the impression of these feelings which will be preserved for a long time. The most interesting feature is that the relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan now are entering a new phase. This phase is built on the earlier work done up to now. The results of our meetings and talks are very effective for the further advancement of this work, for the expansion of cooperation in economy, trade, culture, science, education and for making our peoples and our countries come closer to each other. In a word, we are cordially pleased with the results achieved here.

Every person with whom we met treated us with great respect and care. I especially admired a lot of care and attention by my friend and brother Suleyman Demirel. I know that no matter where we visited and met yesterday and today the President of Turkey Suleyman bey keeps everything under control and personally cares. This created the conditions for the successful completion of the work carried out by us in the days of our stay here.

The developed agreements and contracts are historical documents and open new ways and new paths for our future relations. We want to ensure you that we shall follow that way and not deviate from it.

I stress it again that Azerbaijan is engaged in state-building based on democratic principles. Azerbaijan has created and will create all possibilities for democracy and political pluralism. Using the experience of Turkey and developed countries we shall expand and deepen our activities more. You can be sure that Azerbaijan is on this path and will not deviate from it. Azerbaijan is an independent country and will always follow this path. No power can make us deviate from this path. Independence is eternal for the people of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani government. We assure you that we shall always be faithful to the friendship and brotherhood in future we shall do our best to develop this friendship and brotherhood.

The main problem that our country faces is the assurance of independence, territorial integrity and the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied lands. Our policy is unchangeable in this area. We shall make efforts to solve these issues by peaceful means. I would ask Turkey to continue to help Azerbaijan to solve this problem by peace in the international organizations, in OSCE and its Minsk Group using its other opportunities. I am sure that Turkey will not refuse to help us. At the same time, we shall unite all the forces to fight for the liberation of the occupied lands of Azerbaijan and ensure its national independence and territorial integrity.

You can be sure that our meetings inspire not only us, but also the people and citizens of Azerbaijan. We came to this ceremony with this inspiration and mood. In the same spirit we shall return home.

Dear Sulaiman bey, I thank you and all your friends once more. Thank you.