From talk of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan while receiving the newly appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan Andar Shukputov - Presidential residence, December 3, 2002

Andar Shukputov: Distinguished Mr. President!

It is a great honor and responsibility for me to arrive in your country as the plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to your country. Kazakhstan highly respects the independence and sovereignty of Azerbaijan and its fraternal and kind people.

Distinguished President, I feel great honor to deliver the best regards of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Abischevitch Nazarbayev to You and to all the fraternal Azerbaijani people. I am very happy to have an opportunity to work in Azerbaijan with rich history and culture. All my activity will be directed in development and deepening of the bilateral relations between our countries. Distinguished Mr. President, let me to hand You my credential on my accreditation as the plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Heydar Aliyev: Distinguished Mr. Ambassador!

I congratulate you on the occasion of your appointment Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan and wish successes in your future works.

Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are friendly countries. We are connected with many ties in the past and after achieving our independence.

We actively cooperate in many spheres of our life. I am confident that your activity as the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan will contribute to the development and deepening the friendly relations and cooperation between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. There are great opportunities for it and you know them. I think that you will be aware of them more during your work here.

You will be provided with all necessary conditions for your efficient work here. You will be surrounded with care and kindness of the people, friends here. I hope that your activity will be successful. I once more sincerely congratulate you on the occasion of your appointment Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan. Please, give my best regards to my friend Nursultan Nazarbayev.

We have good relations between our states, but our cooperation on the Caspian issue is especially of great importance. You know that the process of determination of the exploration of the mineral resources of the Caspian Sea continued for years. We started this process in 1994. Kazakhstan always actively supported us and later defined its position according to the medium line principle. I am glad that negotiations were held between Kazakhstan and Russia and they resulted in conclusion of the final agreement. We signed a final agreement with Russia and there is such an agreement between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. In a word, the idea of the three Caspian littoral states is the same.

We transport the Kazakh oil by tankers and export them via our territory for years, and it reaches 4-5 million ton.

We have already concluded that Azerbaijan will ensure the efficient work of the pipeline with its own oil in all the cases. On September 13, we, the three presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey and the minister of energy of the USA, laid the foundations of this oil pipeline here. The construction program will be implemented in practice in the coming days. Postponement of the last days was due to Georgia, because their NGOs and ecologists had some questions and proposals. The work was pacing slowly connected with it, they first proposed one route, but it was not acceptable for us. Then the route was changed and another one was proposed. A great job was done to study that route. After all this and laying the foundation of the pipeline, other issues emerged. David Woodward, representative of BP company in Azerbaijan held negotiations with his delegation in Georgia, at the Ministry of Ecology for several days and met President Eduard Shevardnadze. I called President Shevardnadze and talked to him about this issue. Finally, they resolved this problem late at night the day before yesterday. David Woodward returned to Baku today, and I will receive him and he will report the results, but the most important is that this issue was resolved and the construction will start. 

Translated from the newspaper "Azerbaijan" December 3, 2002