Statement of the Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev connected with the discussion of «Porter`s addition» in the US Congress - Presidential palace, June 13, 1996

Mister Ambassador, today I have invited you concerning very important issue. ‎This issue assumes very great value both for the Azerbaijan Republic and for ‎relations between the United States of America and the Azerbaijan Republic. ‎

It is known that since gaining the state independence and until now, the Azerbaijan ‎Republic always aspired to develop relations with the United States of America in ‎its foreign policy. I consider that good results have been attained in this area. We ‎are witnesses of similar efforts by the United States of America, in particular, by ‎its governments, and we appreciate it in Azerbaijan. ‎

However, at the same time it is known that in 1992 the congress of the USA made ‎unfair decision related to Azerbaijan. The addition was made to the section 907 of ‎‎\"Freedom Support Act\" which bans direct aid to Azerbaijan. I consider that ‎injustice concerning Azerbaijan was accomplished during adopting this addition, ‎and injustice remains the subsequent period and until now. ‎

They explain the reason of passing this decision that Azerbaijan ostensibly puts ‎Armenia under a blockade and therefore, discrimination measure is taken against ‎Azerbaijan. Thus, Azerbaijan is a unique among the republics of the former Soviet ‎Union, which is deprived of the help for four years, intended by America within ‎the frames of \"Freedom Support Act\". ‎

At the meetings both with you and with political leaders of the United States of ‎America, we repeatedly declared that the decision, made against Azerbaijan, has ‎no any basis, as Azerbaijan does not put Armenia under a blockade. The reality ‎consists of that the Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of ‎Azerbaijan\'s territory, whence more than one million our citizens have been ‎expelled and become refugees. Especially I wish to note that because of this ‎occupation, the railroad that connects Azerbaijan with Armenia, Nakhchivan, ‎Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) is in under the occupation. Certainly, ‎in such condition there cannot be a talk that Azerbaijan puts Armenia under a ‎blockade. Thus, the time, passed after 1992, in particular, after passing this ‎decision and processes going on during this period show that Azerbaijan itself is ‎under a big aggression. Besides, you know that Azerbaijan is under a blockade - in ‎the north our railways and our sea way have been closed by Russia. ‎

Therefore, we repeatedly lifted a question on before the state bodies of the United ‎States of America to abolish this unfair decision against Azerbaijan. ‎

As you know, relations, adjusted last years between the United States of America ‎and Azerbaijan, develop very intensively. As the Azerbaijan state, we have ‎apprehended America as the friendly country and the valuable partner, in ‎particular, in economic area we have created opportunities for wide cooperation. ‎Participation of the big US oil companies in the oil contracts, signed in September ‎of 1994, November of 1995 on use of our oil resources, proves that we have ‎established very close relations with the United States of America. ‎

We also always note the important role of the United States of America in a ‎question of settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and we want USA to ‎play the important role in this process as well as today and in the future. It is ‎known that we have made steps for peace settlement of the conflict between ‎Armenia and Azerbaijan, we have reached cease-fire agreement two years ago. ‎That is, we have again shown our peaceful disposition and aspiration to live with ‎Armenia in peace condition to the world. I consider that during this time we have ‎proved to all world that Azerbaijan is the peaceful state, it does not want war, it is ‎the supporter of peace settlement of the conflict with Armenia and it makes ‎significant steps in this area. In such case, being this decision, accepted by the ‎congress of the United States of America against Azerbaijan, in force until now, ‎certainly, causes very big anxiety in us and our public. ‎

In these years, USA has rendered the material and financial aid to the countries, ‎which entered the structure of the former Soviet Union and experience now a ‎transition period. Especially, strong material and financial aid is rendered to ‎Armenia. Azerbaijan is deprived of this material aid. This injustice in relation to us ‎has no any basis about what I repeatedly spoke. It especially causes very big ‎surprise that this injustice is kept even in such circumstance, in which close ‎cooperation, friendly relations have been established between USA and Azerbaijan ‎in last years. ‎
I talked about it during my meetings in September of 1994 and in October of 1995 ‎in New York with Mister Bill Clinton, the President of America, and I brought my ‎thoughts to the attention of mister president. In our conversations, mister Bill ‎Clinton told me that he himself was against acceptance of such decision, he is ‎against it as well as today. However, unfortunately, the necessary steps have not ‎been undertaken, necessary measures have not been taken for liquidation of this ‎decision. Last year the Congressman mister Wilson proposed updating this article ‎and it was accepted. We have found this small modification for ourselves ‎achievement, in this connection I have sent a message of thanks to mister Bill ‎Clinton, mister Gingrich, chairman of the House of Representatives, congressman ‎Wilson and others. Unfortunately, this updating has remained as updating and there ‎was no practical result. If it was impossible to cancel completely the addition to the ‎section 907, we were expecting to undertake the new step, to accept more wide ‎decision than modification.‎

However, instead of it there was an addition by the Congressman, Mister Porter. ‎Porter\'s addition, instead of the aid to Azerbaijan, strikes new blow to it. It puts ‎territorial integrity of Azerbaijan under a threat, it does not make the aid to ‎Azerbaijan, on the contrary, puts huge harm. ‎

After \"Porter\'s addition\", we addressed to you, gave the instruction to the ‎ambassador of Azerbaijan in Washington to carry on negotiations with necessary ‎circles for prevention of acceptance of \"Porter\'s addition\". Unfortunately, we did ‎not achieve it. I don`t know, we receive every possible data. However, from ‎today\'s information it is visible that \"Porter\'s addition\" was already accepted in the ‎House of Representatives of the congress. It worries us very much. It causes the ‎big anxiety as well as in our public. Certainly, when we have friendly relations ‎with the United States of America, we cannot understand it. Perhaps, we ‎understand it, but the people cannot understand it. ‎

We know that the parliament, the congress in the United States of America do not ‎depend on the president or the government. Force of their influence on it is not so ‎big, the congress sometimes makes similar decisions. However, I say openly to ‎you, our public accepts the United States of America as the big state. It is ‎impossible to explain the people that the president does not want but someone else ‎accepts the decision. However, the made decision damages Azerbaijan, the ‎Azerbaijani-American relations. In Azerbaijan, there is such expression: to render ‎clumsy assistance. It was approximately so. We tried to cancel this addition, and ‎instead of it, the situation was aggravated even more. ‎

Once again, I note, if the made decision or any measures - irrespective who has ‎accepted them, - are fair, it is difficult to object it. However, it is impossible to ‎reconcile to the unfair decision. Therefore, today I express to you and to the state ‎of the United States of America by means of you, the discontent of Azerbaijan in ‎this regard. I want to declare that we can never agree with such addition. This ‎addition damages Azerbaijan and in the certain degree puts territorial integrity of ‎Azerbaijan under doubt. In general, it seriously prevents a peace solution of the ‎Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, the Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) ‎problem.‎

I cannot understand to whom the Congressman mister Porter serves, what for he ‎carries out this. It is not my business. Nevertheless, I suppose that the US congress ‎being respectable, worthy body, should not allow such unfair steps. Once again, I ‎mark that it became the reason of anxiety not only in the state circles, but also ‎among the public. I ask you to convey my words to the state, the head of the state, ‎leaders, including to dear President Mister Bill Clinton. We cannot agree with such ‎addition. I am informed that after the House of Representatives, this addition will ‎be passed in the senate too. I ask to prevent acceptance of this decision by means ‎of senate or other means. I have invited you to express you these words. ‎

Despite the amendment to 907-th article, I thank the USA for rendering assistance ‎to Azerbaijan until now. However, sense of my policy and our policy in general, is ‎not only to cancel the amendment to 907-th article and to get your help. Until now ‎we lived without your help, we will live as well as in the future. Armenia is ‎rendered assistance ten times more than we are. We suffer it. However, an injustice ‎worries us. Moreover, my discontent consists of the discriminating attitude to ‎Azerbaijan. We cannot reconcile to it. It is all right, we will live even if there will ‎be no help. ‎

The friendly and good economic mutual relations, established recently between the ‎United States of America and Azerbaijan, confirms that it is impossible to act ‎unjustly and to show discrimination to us. Your personally position in this question ‎is known to us. I appreciate that you take of an objective position and are solidary ‎with us. It calms us. However, not solving this question worries us. ‎

We estimate the important role of an existing state system of the USA in ‎preservation of democracy. Certainly, the state system of America is its own ‎business. We can say nothing about it. However if, as you noted, this state system ‎creates problems in foreign policy, makes such unfair decisions, certainly, it is ‎impossible to consider it normal. But I note once again that it is not our business, ‎but your business. We simply do not want to see injustice decisions concerning ‎Azerbaijan irrespective of any political system. We have done a lot of work for ‎liquidation of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Moreover, we ‎repeatedly stated our wish connected with an active role of USA in this question. ‎All this gives us the basis to demand canceling of the amendment to 907-th article ‎about Azerbaijan. If it is not done now, it means an injustice also exists. If it is not ‎done, let it be not even worse. I repeat, mister Porter\'s addition instead of somehow ‎facilitating the situation, aggravates it for us. I do not doubt, moreover, I am sure ‎that henceforth you will cooperate with us, try to resolve this problem. I want to ‎express hope that at the subsequent stages, told by you, acceptance of \"Porter\'s ‎addition\" will be prevented. Today, I sent the letter in this regard to Mister Bill ‎Clinton, Mister Gingrich and Mister Albert Gore. I wish that because of our joint ‎efforts and cooperation, acceptance of this addition will be prevented and new ‎blow will not be delivered to Azerbaijan. I believe that we can achieve it together. ‎