From the talk of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev with ambassador of the USA in Azerbaijan, Ross Wilson - 9 April, 2003

Ross Wilson: Mr. President, I was very busy within the last weeks. We all were busy. Mainly, we were engaged in following the situation in Iraq. The primary activity of our embassies supposed to be the interaction with other governments in order to clarify the essence of our struggle in Iraq. Along with it, I constantly informed mass media representatives. I think that today we all are pleased that the events ongoing in Iraq are developing rather or as speedily as possible. There are minimal human losses and the process of rescuing the Iraqi people from the criminal dictator is drawing to a close.

As You know, President George Bush stated straightly after the meeting Prime Minister, Tony Blair that it is not the end, but only the beginning of the struggle for Iraq`s freedom, and that we had assumed commitments connected with Iraq. I think we will follow out these commitments. I consider that by stating it, Mr. Bush was speaking on behalf of not only Americans, but also on behalf of all the coalition members.

Heydar Aliyev: You are right.

Ross Wilson: As You know, very huge work connected with Iraq lies ahead. It is humanitarian issues such as rendering the Iraqi people necessary humanitarian aid, repeal of the sanction imposed on Iraq and the issue of bringing Iraq back to the former condition, to the former economic situation. Along with it, it is a matter of providing long-term peace and stability in Iraq.

The United States of America expresses deep appreciation to Azerbaijan for its participation in this coalition. It is a correct political decision taken by Azerbaijan, which will serve its interests. Along with it, it is the continuation of the course you follow against terrorism, the decision fully coinciding with it. At the same time, it is a resolute step undertaken to make Azerbaijan closer to the United States and the West.

We both know that Azerbaijan`s participation in the coalition is not only a political step, a political decision. Azerbaijan has confirmed this political decision by its following definite actions, and we, the United States of America, appreciate You for that.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank You, I appreciate you. Upon completion of the meeting with President Bush in Washington on February 26, I told him: Mr. President, You have to know that Azerbaijan is together with You. Whatever decision You take, we will implement it together with You. We shook hands and confirmed these friendly relations once again.

Yesterday, You addressed the Prime Minister regarding one issue. He asked me and I ordered him to solve everything without delay.

Ross Wilson: Mr. President, I express You my appreciation for this assistance, too.

Speaking about that meeting, You reminded me that after that Washington meeting, it is our first official meeting with You, with the press. I want to thank You in the presence of press for such an opportunity. Your meeting in Washington was appreciated by my country, and on the other hand, it was the meeting that serves the interests of your country and will serve henceforce the expansion of contacts between our countries.

Your visit to the USA was a very well-timed one. Parallel it, it was the meeting proving that Azerbaijan works in cooperation with the United States of America in the struggle against terrorism and in consolidation of democracy. A number of other issues were also touched upon during that meeting. It is our cooperation in the energy sector and the issue of further advancement of the Baku-Tbilisi- Ceyhan project. At the same time, the meeting serves further heightening of attention of the White House, the Department of State towards the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Garabagh issue. I want to give You the photographs connected with that meeting obtained from the President`s office. Looking at them, You will remember the White House.

Heydar Aliyev: Very interesting, beautiful pictures. I deeply appreciate President Bush. We had very warm and friendly talks.

Ross Wilson: Mr. President, You have been also sent the photographs of Your meeting with vice-president Cheney.

Heydar Aliyev: Beautiful pictures. I ask to convey President Bush my appreciation.

Ross Wilson: Mr. President, it seems to me that all what happens by no means lessens our work, on the contrary, expands it in upcoming weeks. As You know, minister of defence Rumsfeld has sent an invitation to the minister of defence of Azerbaijan Abiyev. We would like him to arrive in Washington in two-three weeks.

The Azerbaijani frontier guards are passing trainings connected with the patrol boat which will be given to your country, and I suppose that the boat will be delivered to the Caspian Sea in the early June, this year. On the whole, we intend to achieve further expansion of our cooperation on frontier issues, and I would like to hold talks with You as regards this matter.

Expert representing our state are already working in your ministries; they render aid to carry out reforms in trade, budgetary, banking and taxation spheres. It is a fruitful cooperation between us. I think this cooperation established between Azerbaijan and the United States of America will continue in 2003 and henceforce.

Mr. President, I want to note that Mr. Perina has taken quite seriously the meeting You had with him in Washington. He fulfilled great work together with his colleagues and I would like discuss with You this issue too.

Heydar Aliyev: I appreciate You for this cooperation, I am thankful that your advisors are working here, and that you are rendering assistance to us, to the frontier service. I have received the head of the frontier service. There are quite good opportunities for further cooperation in this field, and we need to take advantage of this opportunity. We are also looking forward to the sooner delivery of the patrol boat You mentioned. 

The Azerbaijan daily, 10 April, 2003