Speech of the Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev at the VI Summit of Heads of ‎Turkic speaking countries - April 8, 2000‎

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Dear Heads of States!

Dear Speakers of Parliaments!

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Holding of VI Summit of Turkic Speaking Countries in Azerbaijan is a remarkable event in the life of our people and country.

On behalf of Azerbaijani people, I express my profound gratitude to esteemed Heads of States, Speakers of Parliaments, members of delegations and all guests.

I am very pleased to note that in the period, elapsed after I Summit of Heads of Turkic speaking countries held in Ankara, our unity got more developed, strengthened and raised our hopes for the future. During these years relationships among our countries expanded in all spheres, our cooperation proved itself to be beneficial.

All that is brilliant result of historical successes, our national sovereignty and state independence achieved by our peoples.

Summit, held on noble initiative of the Republic of Turkey, the late Turgut Ozal, esteemed President Suleyman Demiral and on the will and wish of Turkic speaking countries, as well as Ankara Declaration adopted at this Summit, became historical event in the life of our countries, actually, they give fruits.

Of course, every country, every Head of State has contributed to the results achieved in the course of the elapsed period within commonwealth of Turkic speaking countries. However, it is with a great pleasure that we must especially mention the services of President of the Republic of Turkey, esteemed Suleyman Damiral in this sphere. We must mention today that in the course of the last 7 years he contributed a lot to the promotion and development of commonwealth of Turkic speaking countries. Distinguished public and political figure, the worldwide known personality Suleyman Damiral has played a crucial role in successful development of our commonwealth. Of course, we must express our gratitude to him for all that.

On behalf of Azerbaijani people, all citizens of Azerbaijan, I express infinite gratitude to my dear friend and brother Suleyman Damiral for this valuable contribution and beneficial activity.

The VI Baku Summit proves ones again that the multilateral cooperation against our peoples and countries gave brilliant results on the way of restoration of our common culture, traditions, history and national-moral values, as well as opened wide perspectives for the future.

From this viewpoint, I think that establishment of TURKSOY organization aimed at study of national-cultural heritage of our peoples and relation of them is a very successful event.

Our summits laid the foundation of another noble tradition. This is common celebration of remarkable anniversaries of our distinguished personalities, leaders of our national culture, national eposes considered to be the pearls of world culture, as well as distinguished and historical events in the life of our peoples. Common celebration of 1000th anniversary of "Manas" epos, 660th anniversary of Amur Teymur, 500th anniversary of Fuzuli, 150th anniversary of Abay Kunanbayev and opening of new capital of Kazakhstan - Astana, is clear evidence of that.

Tomorrow, we are going to participate at jubilee celebrations dedicated to the 1300th anniversary of "Kitabi Dada Gorgud", the national epos of Turkic speaking peoples and our common wealth. This jubilee is celebrated all over the world by the decision of UNESCO.

The main goal of common celebration of such events is taking of centuries old wealthy moral heritage of our people back to present generation and to become aware of our belonging to the same roots, the same history. On the other hand, holding such jubilee celebrations we demonstrate that creative work of such distinguished personalities of our peoples like Ibn-Sina, Nizami, Navai, Yunis Imre, Fuzuli, Mahdimgulu, Mahmud Gashgari, Abay and that of many others, as well as such unfading eposes like "Kitabi Dada Gorgud", "Manas" and "Alpamish" belong not only to our peoples. They are moral treasure of the mankind.

Together with our inter-relation with firm historical bounds, another strong factor uniting our peoples and countries is similarity of our goals and missions, as well as problems facing us. It is with a sense of deep satisfaction that I would like to note that in the period elapsed since our first meeting in Ankara, the bilateral relationships between Turkic speaking countries developed, the high-level visits, meetings at international events and negations took place between us. The intergovernmental documents have been signed during these meetings and negotiations the realization of which will contribute to strengthening of independence of our countries and improvement of well-being of our peoples.

Close personal relationships, kind friendship and brotherly attitude established amongst Heads of Turkic speaking countries. This helps to resolve even difficult problems with joint efforts. In the result of it our countries successfully cooperate within some international projects.

One of the projects uniting us today is development of energy resources in Caspian Sea and establishment of infrastructure for transportation of these resources to the world market.

The Ankara Declaration adopted on October 29, 1998 in connection with building of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, the most brilliant example of international cooperation, as well as the Istanbul Declaration, signed a year later at the last OSCE Summit is a very important stage from the viewpoint of future development of our countries, security and prosperity of our region and integration into the world economic system, progress of our peoples and their happy future. The document on construction of Trans-Caspian pipeline signed at Istanbul Summit of OSCE is of great importance too.

Undoubtedly, along with economic benefits, the development of oil resources gives to our people big political advantage. Joint exploration of energy resources, construction of oil and gas pipelines for obtaining access to the world market will unite the interest of our countries with that of many developed countries of the world and become the guarantee of security, stability and progress of our region.

TRASECA and Great Silk Road project having an important role in the restoration of the economy of our countries must be especially noted. Finishing the TRASECA program and completing the transport corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia, we will create possibility for economic development and opening of new jobs, as well as rapprochement of our peoples and mutual enrichment, it will help us to strengthen the peace and stability in our region.

The conference on restoration of Great Silk Road, held in Baku under auspices of European Union and attended by representatives of 32 countries and 15 international organizations on September 7-8, 1998, was of great importance. Restoration of Great Silk Road, realization of TRASECA program - transport corridor that starts from European Union space and lasts till Central Asia through Caucasus and Caspian Sea, relating East and West, Europe and Asia will contribute to the improvement of the well-being of our peoples. Turkic speaking countries will play a key role in realization of this project.

We have participated at the solemn meeting dedicated to the 50th anniversary of NATO, held in Washington on April of the last year. At that time, a conference at the US Senate attended by Heads of Silk Way countries, high-ranked officials of US administration and congressmen was held upon the initiative of senator Sam Brownback. The conference proved once again the unity of our objectives and our wish to take an active part in restoration of Great Silk Road, as well as to develop our cooperation.

The end of the XX century remarked with events having changed the geopolitical image of the world. Obtaining of independence by our peoples and moving ahead on the democratic was of development open new pages in our history.

However, at the same time, the challenge of separatism, terrorism and religious extremism not only reduced but even raised. In the result of armed aggression of Armenia the Armenian-Azerbaijani armed conflict appeared. Some 20% of Azerbaijani territory remains under Armenian occupation; more than 1 million Azerbaijanis are still refugees and live in tent camps in hard conditions. Conducting a successive peaceful policy for fair settlement of the conflict in conformity with norms of international law, Azerbaijan tries to liberate its territories and return the refugees to their homes.

An agreement on cease-fire was signed with Armenia on May, 1994 and it is being respected. OSCE Minsk Group and its co-chairs - Russia, USA and France strive for peaceful settlement of the problem. However, non-observance of international law norms by Armenia and its destructive position inhibit the settlement of the problem.

With the aim of advancement in resolution of the conflict, some meetings were held between recently between Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The necessity of mutual compromises for achievement of the peace was expressed. However, terror acts committed on October in Armenia and the internal situation in Armenia do not let us to continue these negotiations.

We are confident that peace talks will continue and we will succeed in fair settlement of the problem, restoration of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and return of refugees and IDPs to their homes.

Military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan delivered hard blows to our people. We do our best for settlement of the conflict. However, as you may know, yet the danger is eliminated. Every military aggression must be prevented in due time and the world community must take definite measures against such challenges. Everybody must draw a right conclusion from this situation. The world community, as well as commonwealth of Turkic speaking countries must conduct a beneficial joint cooperation for prevention of separatism, terrorism and religious extremism.

At the Istanbul Summit of OSCE, the Republic of Azerbaijan proposed to adopt the Pact on Security and Cooperation in Caucasus. We welcome the appeal of Suleyman Damiral, President of the Republic of Turkey to 12 Heads of States for establishment of Caucasian Pact which would result in establishment of stability and peace in Azerbaijan. We must unite our efforts for realization of these proposals. Hence, we will be able to prevent the possible challenges.

Esteemed Heads of States!

Esteemed Speakers of Parliaments!

Ladies and gentlemen!

I greet you once again in Baku, capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan, I wish happiness and prosperity to you and your peoples. I am sure that our meeting is of great importance and it will contribute to strengthening of our friendship and brotherhood and further development of multilateral relationships amongst Turkic speaking countries and peoples.

Thank you for your attention.

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