From the talk of President of the Azerbaijan Republic, Heydar Aliyev, with minister of foreign affairs of Russia, Vladimir Primakov Presidential palace, October 7, 1997

Honorable Evgeny Maksimovich!

I express my satisfaction that you, the head of Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have found time to come to Baku to hold the exchange of opinions over bilateral relations between our countries and other issues connected with the process of peaceful settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict.

Reminding about my official visit paid to Moscow in July, this year, as well as the meetings and negotiations held there and, in particular, the negotiations with President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, I express my gratitude once again for the care shown to the delegation of Azerbaijan during that visit and intergovernmental documents signed. These documents were approved in our republic and fully supported; they imparted still more hope and believe that mediation of Russia as a chairman of the OSCE Minsk group would yield definite results. The fact Russia has played a very important role in adoption of the Lisbon Summit statement is highly estimated in Azerbaijan. This statement became a basis for future negotiations and activity of the OSCE Minsk group co-chairs.

Reasserting my positive attitude to the last proposals of the OSCE Minsk group co-chairs regarding the two-stage elimination of Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict, I want to emphasize that Azerbaijani side takes these proposals as a ground for activation of negotiating process and is ready to express its opinion over the issue in a written form.

Being at the same time adherent to my statements concerning the necessity of strengthening of friendship and cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan made during my Moscow visit, I underscore that our country will do its utmost for the development and deepening of these relations. Separate informal declarations cannot harm these relations. But at the same time, there are such issues that concern our country. One of them is connected with the fact of illegal supply of large quantities of Russian weapons to Armenia. I want to pay heed once again to the necessity of intensifying the revision over this fact.
Some clauses of the contract signed in Moscow on August 29, this year between Russia and Armenia raise concern in our country. At the same time, I think that these issues can be the subject of discussion and negotiations, but they cannot
exert an influence on the strategic character of relations between our countries. In my opinion, today’s visit of the head of Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a good opportunity to hold exchange of opinions on enhancing even deeper contacts between our countries based on the agreement signed on 3 July, this year, and this opportunity will be fruitfully used. I wish to express hope that our present as well as previous useful and interesting talk will promote the improvement of relations between the two countries.

“Our independence is eternal”, vol.12, “Azerneshr”, Baku-2004, p. 274