From talk of the President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev while receiving the credentials of the US Ambassador - October 11, 2000

Ross Wilson: Mr. President, it is a great honor for me to meet you and present to you my credentials as the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan today.

Very important and close contacts have been established between our countries during 10 years of the independence of Azerbaijan. I will make efforts to develop these contacts more, during my activity as an ambassador.

Mr. President, I am eager to establish closer contacts and work together with you.

I am handing to You the letters of the US President Bill Clinton, calling back Ambassador Escudero from Baku and for my appointment as an Ambassador with great pleasure.

Thank you very much.

Heydar Aliyev: Distinguished Mr. Ambassador, I congratulate you on the occasion of your appointment as the US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Azerbaijan and wish you successes in your future work.

After gaining its independence, Azerbaijan established friendly contacts with the United States and they steadily developed in the past years.

We attach great attention to our contacts with the United States and take necessary measures for their rapid development. Naturally, important achievements were gained in development of our contacts in the past years. We try to establish our contacts with the United States at the level of strategic cooperation and partnership. We closely cooperate in all the spheres, economy and policy. There are unsettled issues along the achievements of the past years. I mean Section 907 adopted by the US Congress, which we consider unjust, as you and.

Along with it, these issues are closely linked, our cooperation has not resulted in the settlement of the Armenian Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict so far.

The USA leads the Minsk Group of the OSCE since 1997, along with Russia and France. The Minsk Group was established in 1992 for the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. There are much work to do to develop our contacts both with the United States and Azerbaijan, today and tomorrow.

I want to say that I am confident that you will make efforts to develop our achievements and resolve unsettled problems.

All the bodies of the authorities in Azerbaijan closely cooperate with the US Embassy to Baku and they will continue it further. All necessary conditions will be created for your activity as an Ambassador.

I once more congratulate you and wish you all the best.

Ross Wilson: Mr. President, let me to convey all the best regards of the US President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeline Albright to you. They are very satisfied with your return to Azerbaijan after your examination and treatment. They both are very interested in you and future fate of Azerbaijan.

Let me once more to extend you my gratitude for receiving and honoring my wife and high ranking diplomats of our Embassy. Such events are not unforgettable for an Ambassador only, but his wife and employees of the Embassy.

We make efforts both with you and the Armenian President to settle the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Secretary of State M. Albright highly appreciates your leadership in this issue.

Heydar Aliyev: First, give my best regards to President Clinton and Ms. Albright. I thank them for sending their regards via you. I have always felt their care for my health. But the point is that I twice fell ill in the United States. I had a little trouble with my health when the 50th anniversary came to an end and I arrived in Cleveland, and you know that I underwent surgical operation there. In September of this year, we, all the heads of states, gathered to the UN Millennium Summit.

But I was not satisfied with it. I arrived in Washington and held meetings of which you are aware. They were very useful, too. You were present there. But at the same time I damaged my health. Because while arriving in Washington from New York the doctor said to me that I had flu and he does not allow me to continue my program. I did not listen him, as I have never listened to the doctors. That is why doctors always feel hurt of me. It resulted in pneumonia. I was treated with high quality and rapidly in Cleveland as it was the past time. I always felt President Clinton and M. Albright caring for me during my days there, as it was the past time. M. Albright called me and I talked with her on the phone. She conveyed to me the regards of President Clinton. Vice-president Albert Gore sent me a special letter. I am aware that every day my health conditions were being reported to Washington. I highly appreciate such human values. That is why I thank you once more.

I agree with your briefings here. Of course, our nation waits for the solution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict most of all.

In April 1999, my direct meetings started with President Kocharian at the initiative of Ms. Albright. They were useful. But they must be brought to an end. The principal position of the United States in this issue will contribute much to the solution of this conflict.

We make efforts to hold the coming parliamentary elections on democratic principles and at a high level. Thank you for your appreciation the steps taken by me in this direction. But some people from the opposition parties are again dissatisfied with my step. They were discontent that the Central Election Commission reasonably did not let them to participate at the elections. I appealed to the Central Election Commission. I asked it to reconsider its decision. I thank them that they discussed my appeal and took a decision. But now I watch TV and see that some representatives of the opposition express their discontent and say that Heydar Aliyev broke the law.

Yesterday I was watching the ANS TV. A representative from one of the parties, who from the beginning intended to boycott the elections and had no initiative run the elections, 100 times reminded my name and said that as if I broke the law during his 15-20 minutes speech. It turns out that it is bad and it was bad then. But I think that the Central Election Commission took a just decision. Because it adopted it according to the election law. I think my appeal was also reasonable. Because I wanted all the parties to participate at the elections. They fulfilled my favor. I thank them.

We shall cooperate with you. If you remember I said in Washington that we try to use your experience. But we try this cooperation to be at the highest level. I suppose that you will also assist us.

Ross Wilson: With great pleasure, Mr. President. Thank you. 

Translated from "Azerbaijan" newspaper, October 12, 2000

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Azerbaijan - USA