Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the meeting of the Heads of states and governments of the OSCE member-countries in Budapest. December 6, 1994

Highly esteemed Mr. Chairman!

Esteemed heads of states!

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

I would like to express my deep gratitude to the President of the Republic of Hungary, Mr. Arpad Gents and the government of Hungary for extension hospitality and the best conditions created for our work in the city of Budapest.

Azerbaijani people attach great importance to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. They also expect much from this meeting. Signing of the Final Act of OSCE in 1975 in Helsinki had a positive and long-term influence on the course of world processes. It became one of the heralds of radical changes which took place in the world for the last years. The political map of the world has been changed. There have appeared new sovereign member-states of OSCE. And my country, independent Azerbaijan is among them.

In present conditions the role and significance of OSCE is enhancing. New Europe, Europe without dividing lines and spheres of influence needs perfected OSCE. There is an urgent necessity of activization of the OSCE and its conversion into the effective instrument, capable to render effective support to the processes of democratization and protection of human rights. It also should curb aggressive actions or plans resolutely, capable to damage freedom and independence of the newly – established states, assist in stability in hotbeds on our continent and become one of the bases of new architecture of security of Europe after ending of " cold war ".

After proclaiming its independence, Azerbaijan firmly has been pursuing the road of building of a democratic state with market economy, multi-party system and the laws providing human rights and personal freedom. Despite the objective complexity of the transitional period and the consequences of the six-year war imposed to us, we have already covered a significant part of this path. We are sure we to achieve our set goals.

Azerbaijan has joined the " Partnership for peace " program of NATO. It strictly adheres to the course of fulfillment of international legal obligations both in the field of disarmament and arms control, under the treaty on conventional weapons in Europe.

We also do our best to speed up the process of economic integration in the world community as a partner with equal rights. We develop close cooperation both with our neighbours and with all countries of the world.

Signing of the Contract between Azerbaijan and a number of foreign companies on the joint development of oil deposits in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea on September, 20 of this year serves as a vivid example of it. I would like to especially mention that a number of participants of this largest investment project are the countries included in OSCE. They are represented by the USA, Russia, England, Turkey and Norway. I hope this agreement will promote both rapprochement of the countries and peoples participating in this Consortium. It will also ensure both strengthening of stability and cooperation in Europe.

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

Participants of the meeting know, that Armenia launched a military aggression against our republic six years ago with the goal of annexing the Azerbaijani province, Nagorno-Karabakh. The Republic of Armenia and Armenian separatists waged active military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh against territorial integrity of our state. After the occupation of the town of Shusha and the district of Lachin the annexation of Nagorno-Karabakh was completed. Tens of settlements with over 50 000 Azerbaijani population of Nagorno-Karabakh have been destroyed and burnt down. The Armenian armed formations using the Nagorno-Karabakh spring-board for attack have occupied the districts of Kalbajer, Аgdam, Fuzuli, Jabrail, Zangilan and Gubadli which are beyond the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and which exceed for more than four times the territory of the said Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous province.

As a result of the military aggression over 20 per cent of the Azerbaijan territory has been occupied. Over 20 000 of my compatriots have been killed, about 100 000 people wounded and injured, 6 000 people taken captives, over a million Azerbaijanis, that is, about 15 per cent of the population of the republic have been ousted from their homes forcibly and now live in tent camps and are in of most necessary things. 700 Azerbaijani towns and villages have been destroyed in the occupied areas. All the houses, schools, hospitals in the said towns and villages have been burnt, plundered, the ancient monuments of culture have been destroyed.

Azerbaijan people apprehended with great hopes the decision of OSCE on formation of its Minsk group for the solution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in spring.

Besides the participants of the conflict, Armenia and Azerbaijan, it also includes nine authoritative countries of the world. We are grateful to this group for its activity. It has done fruitful work for the past period.

I would like to emphasize a mediatory activity of the Russian Federation. Due to its efforts and with the support of the OSCE, there has been observed a cease-fire for over seven months. Blood is not shed. There can not be stable and just peace without signing of the political agreement which takes into consideration both interests of the sides and international legal norms. Using cease-fire, we are trying intensively to achieve the agreement and adoption of this document.

I would like to assure, that the Azerbaijani Republic holds extremely peaceful and practical position in this process. Despite grave consequences of the aggression, we propose peace to Armenia based on justice, humanism , principles of OSCE and resolutions of UN Security Council. We are ready to guarantee security for the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh. We agree to deploy OSCE peace-keeping forces in a zone of the conflict. We are also ready to discuss the status of Nagorno-Karabakh within the Republic of Azerbaijan for realization of the rights of the Armenian national minority and ensure the normal functioning of transport communications between the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia. But we have inviolable norms and principles which include inviolability of the frontiers, territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, withdrawal of the Armenian armed formations from all the occupied territories and return of the refugees to their native homes.

Today, non-fulfillment of the resolution of UN Security Council by the agressors and refusal to withdraw of their armed formations stage-by-stage from the occupied Azerbaijani territories hampers the achievement of the political agreement.

Much depends on the elimination of contradictions of view points between members of the Minsk group and consolidation of their efforts for the establishment of peace and stability between Azerbaijan and Armenia as well.

We welcome the peace-making efforts of the Chairman of OSCE in creating the international forces, aimed at settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. I thank all countries which have responded to the chairman's appeal. I call upon everyone to render an assistance to him in this noble deed.

I was extremely surprised by the statement of the President of the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Levon Теr-Petrosyan in connection with explosion of the bridge over the Khram river, linking Armenia with Georgia. I categorically repel any accusations on the participation of the Azerbaijan Republic in this incident. I consider this statement to be absolutely groundless. We express our anxiety in connection with this specially forced qualification of the incident which took place in the territory of the third state, in hundreds kilometers from a zone of military operations as a rough violation of cease-fire regime on the part of Azerbaijan.

There is generated an impression having no relation to Azerbaijan at all and it is a specially used for increasing up tension. In this connection I abstain Mr. Levon Теr-Petrosyan from any hasty actions, which can damage the started peace process and that favorable atmosphere which reigns here, at our summit, in Budapest. On my part, I again express adherence of our state to the achieved cease-fire and our readiness to apply our efforts for peaceful solution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. I call Mr.Levon Теr-Petrosyan for active cooperation and establishment of peace.

There is a unique opportunity for the Budapest Summit to make breakthrough in settlement of the conflict. I appeal to esteemed heads of states of the OSCE member-countries to take an active part in this issue and help to extinguish a fire of the six-year war which has made my people and millions of people miserable and unfortunate. At the same time they should implement fundamental principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, under which we have solemnly put our signatures.

Thank you for attention.