Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the meeting of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev with refugees temporarily settled in the dorm of the College of Communications named after G. Rasulbeyov - September 16, 1996

Dear sisters and brothers, dear friends!

Today President of Kazakhstan, our friend Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev has made an official visit to Azerbaijan. This morning we had a very hard work, long talks and signed many contracts. We have made very necessary work for Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

Despite this intensive program, our friend Nursultan Nazarbayev wanted to meet the Azerbaijani citizens, who lost their native lands as a result of Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan. This desire within his busy agenda is testimony of how much he respects the people of Azerbaijan, and what deep feelings he nourishes for our people. He was also concerned about the tragedies broke out in Azerbaijan, which forced him to deal with these issues. Therefore, as a result of his personal initiative and at his request, we have come here to meet you.

I am very pleased to meet you once again. Every time I meet you I feel a deep sense of sadness, and at the same time I am glad to meet you once again face to face.

You are very resilient people. A characteristic feature of the Azerbaijani people is his stamina, endurance and strong will. A big tragedy happened to you, the aggressive forces of Armenia attacked the Azerbaijani lands, occupied our lands. They occupied the places you lived - Lachin, Fizuli and others; you have lost your native lands.

I know about your situation. You know that recently I have met with representatives of the occupied areas - Khojaly, Shusha, Lachin, Fizuli, Jabrail, Gubadli and we are going to meet the people from Zangilan. Your grief is grief of all the Azerbaijani people, our great tragedy, and my tragedy. Therefore, we are always concerned about your plight, it worries me. It concerns not only me, not only the leaders of Azerbaijan, but also all peace-loving, patriotic, humane people around the world, including our friendly, brotherly Kazakh people, its President Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Today we held detailed discussions, negotiations on this issue. I said, and today I have reiterated our and your desires and positions to President Nursultan Nazarbayev. That is the Azerbaijani people do not want war, the Azerbaijanis are peace-loving people and they want to settle this conflict peacefully.

We know that you have lost your home, all you had, property, relatives, many people have become disabled and injured. But despite all this, you want peace; you want to return to your lands peacefully. I know that your homes, schools, hospitals, in general, all you had have been destroyed. But you want to return to your homeland and live there, we also want this. Therefore, we have the same views, and I expressed these thoughts to my friend Nursultan Nazarbayev. And today he also expressed his views and his position. The words he mentioned are very valuable. He said that no nation, no country can ever agree to cede at least an inch of its land, and reiterated that all issues should be resolved peacefully within the territorial integrity of each country in the inviolability of borders. All these are valuable words, and we also hold the same opinion. Our views are tantamount and on the basis of these views I'm sure we will achieve the liberation of occupied lands, and you will return to your native lands. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, the inviolability of borders will be maintained, the state independence and sovereignty of Azerbaijan will be ensured.

We need help of the entire world community. We need assistance from international organizations, all countries, including the Kazakh people, the Republic of Kazakhstan. Dear Nursultan Nazarbayev reminded us that he tried to resolve this issue peacefully even five years ago. He came to Azerbaijan, he was in Baku, Karabakh, Ganja, and then in Armenia and did not remain indifferent to this issue. Today, expressing his thoughts and position in relation to this matter, he promotes peaceful resolution of this issue. Therefore, on your behalf, I wish to express my gratitude to the Kazakh people; I wish happiness and successes to Kazakh people. I express my appreciation to the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, for his attention, care and warm attitude to the people who lost their homes.

You can be sure that we will work tirelessly in this way, the occupied lands will be liberated, you will return to your homes, and eventually we will meet you in your lands, your homes. Territorial integrity of Azerbaijan will be restored, the independent Republic of Azerbaijan will live and prosper and you will see happy days.

I wish you health, endurance, and persistence. Good bye!