Speech of Heydar Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the ceremony of opening of the new cellular system of communication in Baku - December 15, 1996

Ladies and gentlemen!

Dear friends!

Brothers and sisters!

I cordially greet all of you, the residents of Baku, gathered here and all citizens of Azerbaijan, I express you my best regards and wish you happiness and good luck.

Today, when we are at the end of the year of 1996, in December, the sun and this perfect day make glad all of us. In this perfect day all of you should rest and do your own business. However, I see that your attitude to common works and common interests of Azerbaijan gathered you here. I am very pleased with this and I am very glad that I have opportunity to meet you, my brothers and sisters. I express my respect to all of you.

On the occasion of the today`s ceremony a large delegation from the Republic of Turkey came to Baku, we have dear guests here. I cordially greet all our friends who came from brother Turkey to Azerbaijan and attend this ceremony, I say all them "Welcome to Azerbaijan!"

Opening of the new communication system "Azercell" today is of course a new and a very important event in our life. Because actually, the communication is a very important mean in the life of everybody. Communication is a very important tool for the work of people, state and state bodies, as well as for beneficial performance of private structures and all other organizations. Our achievements in the field of communications are worth to be noted. I point them with a great sense of satisfaction. However, still we have to do a lot in order to come close to the world-wide achievements in the field of communications. I think that the opening of "Azercell" communication system in this stage will facilitate the work of the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan, state bodies, businessmen and other business enterprises in our country and it will contribute to the timely and operative implementation of their work.

I consider it a very important event, therefore, I am together with you here today. It is very important also that this communication system was established in the result of cooperation between communication engineers of Azerbaijan and Turkey. The friendly and brotherhood relationships between the Republic of Turkey and Azerbaijan have created a basis for our cooperation in all fields. We are strengthening and expanding this cooperation in the last years.

I said it repeatedly that the Republic of Turkey is on the first place in our foreign cooperation and it must be in the first place. Favorable conditions were created for more rapid and guaranteed coming of businessmen, companies and business enterprises of Turkey to Azerbaijan. I am very pleased that Turkish companies, businessmen and private sector try to use these possibilities and use it with benefit. In the result of this such a joint-venture was established, this is both a perfect example of Azerbaijani-Turkish cooperation and a good tool for the development of joint business and cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey. I cordially congratulate on this occasion both our guests arrived from the Republic of Turkey and communication engineers of Azerbaijan, I wish you successes in this work.

The Republic of Azerbaijan follows its strategic way of state building and the settlement of its social and economic problems. Our way leads to the building of democratic, legal and civilized state in Azerbaijan, gradual development of democratic principles, implementation of world democratic achievements in Azerbaijan and making use of them. Our economic policy is well-known and it aimed at establishment of market economy in Azerbaijan, keeping on the way of market economy and joining of the economy of Azerbaijan to the world economy by this way.

As you know, many works were done in this sphere. One of them is joint exploration of abundant oil and gas fields of Azerbaijan together with large oil companies of the world and taking of great benefit. Yesterday we signed a new contract on joint exploration of "Dan Ulduzu" and "Ashrafi" oil fields with the companies of the United State of America, Japan and Saudi Arabia. This is a big step towards development of our economy, at the same time, it is an important event for attraction of foreign investment to Azerbaijan and joining of the economy of Azerbaijan to the world economy.

We are following and we will follow this way. Every step taken and every work done in this sphere helps to develop the economy of Azerbaijan. From this viewpoint, works done in the sphere of communications are worth of high appraisal and I consider the today`s event one of such valuable events. All of them aimed at improvement of social-economic situation and living standards of Azerbaijani people and citizens.

Today our republic experiences a hard period. The aggression of Armenian armed units against Azerbaijan started eight years ago delivered hard blows to Azerbaijan. Some 20 percent of our territories are occupied by Armenian armed units. More than one million of Azerbaijani citizens were expelled and driven out their homelands. I suppose that there are refugees and internally displaced persons amongst the people gathered today here at this square. We are always thinking of their conditions and living standards. The Azerbaijani state and the President of Azerbaijan considers its primary task to take care about refugees and internally displaced persons. You can be confident that we are thinking of our duties every day and we will fulfill them. However, our mission consists of liberation of the occupied territories of our country, safeguard of the sovereignty of Azerbaijan, our duty consists of securing the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, restoration of complete control of the Republic of Azerbaijan over its entire territory and securing of our jurisdiction at our entire territory.

You know that we did a lot on this way. Amongst them one can mention the works done at the OSCE Lisbon Summit and achieved results, you are aware of them. Amongst the issues of global importance challenging this organization and discussed at OSCE Summit there was also Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Azerbaijan put forward its rightful claim and condemned the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan; it informed once again the world community about their aggressive policy and declared its adherence to the peaceful settlement of this problem. In the result of the carried out work a positive result was achieved. Thus, all heads of states and governments, attended Lisbon Summit defended all together the just cause of Azerbaijan, supported the following main principles proposed for the peaceful settlement of the conflict – recognition and securing of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan and conferring of a status to Mountainous Garabagh only within the Republic of Azerbaijan, a well-known document on this issue was adopted. I think that this is a valuable step taken towards peaceful settlement of the conflict and securing of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan. I am sure that this work that was done and the result that was achieved enable us to achieve more success in the future.

All this displays that we work both for securing of our sovereignty and territorial integrity and improvement of the living standards of our citizens and our people, try to develop economy using different forms in different conditions. The development of the sphere of communications is one of the important issues. I have such an idea related with the today`s event. Therefore you gathered here and I came here.

I congratulate all employees of the sphere of communications on the occasion of this event, also I cordially congratulate Turkish companies and representatives of the Republic of Turkey on the occasion of their joint work and good results, I congratulate all of you and I wish successes in your future activity.

Dear sisters and brothers, I express once again my respect and consideration to all of you and wish you health and happiness.

Thank you.