From the conversation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev with Malcolm Rifkind, the member of the Council of directors of «Ramco» Company and former minister of foreign affairs of Great Britain, and Steve Remp chairman of the company - Presidential palace, on January 17, 2000

Heydar Aliyev: You are welcome to Azerbaijan! I am very glad to meet you again. I heard that your works in \'\'Muradkhanli\'\' goes very well. Surely, other works also goes well. Please.

Malcolm Rifkind: Thank you Mr. President. We are very pleased to be again in Baku, to come Azerbaijan. It is a pleasure for us to return again to Azerbaijan. There is a stability in this chaotic region now. We tell you with great pleasure that the United Kingdom gets much information about your country. \'\'Ramco\'\' held a symposium in one of the greatest palaces and gave broad information about Azerbaijan. High rank officials were taking part in our symposium and they got very broad information about your country. They gave information on different processes going in Azerbaijan and created the full impression on Azerbaijan.

As you know \'\'Ramco\'\' will hold one more seminar in Baku tomorrow. This seminar is dedicated to the importance of investing the capital to Azerbaijan. We hope that high rank officials will participate at the seminar and make an opening speech.

I think that one of the main directions of the policy of your country is to see the economic development in Azerbaijan. But at the same time this is important for the international community, too. Because the stability and economic growth of this region are very important for the international community. Let, Mr. Remp inform you about the operations on the onshore oil fields.

Steve Remp: Mr. President we had a very interesting journey yesterday. We went to \'\'Muradkhanli\'\' oil field to see the results of the last works. Later we met the head of the Executive department of Imishly district, he handed to me a document. Now I am an honorary citizen of Imishly disrtict. This allows me to come to Azerbaijan without visa.

Heydar Aliyev: You can come to Azerbaijan freely, without it, too.

Steve Remp: I am very satisfied with the works going in \'\'Muradhanli\'\'. I have very good information to give you. We started to drill an oil well five days ago, and have already drilled till 500 meters.

Many changes have taken place in \'\'Muradkhanli\'\' field since my last visit on October. A very good team representing the citizens of Azerbaijan work there. They were working with great ability and do their work well. I look towards the future with great hope. I think that this cooperation will be very fruitful. Because local workers, specialists work there and they know this field. At the same time they work with the western technology and western workers.

As you know this is the first share-production agreement and according to its terms we drill this well here. I say that this is look the awakening of the sleeping dragon.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank you. I thank you distinguished Mr. Rifkind, and distinguished Mr. Remp for the information.

You do to make your citizens know Azerbaijan objectively is very important for us. Your information satisfied me very much Mr. Rifkind and I suppose that you will continue this works in future.

Generally speaking, I want to say that now we cooperate with many companies of the world. Even with very great, giant corporations. But \"Ramco\" does much in this sphere. I appreciate it highly. These giant companies do not pay much attention to these facts. But your attention to this sphere proves your friendship, sincere attitude to Azerbaijan.

Our representatives will participate in this seminar. I can send there whom you want.

Mr. Remp your information about \'\'Muradkhanli\'\' offshore field gladdened me , too. I said at the beginning of the meeting that I got information from television or newspaper that operatrions in \'\'Muradkhanli\'\' go well.

In reality, Mr. Remp said that \'\'Muradkhanli\'\' is a giant, slept oil deposit. This is the first oil deposit explored in the Absheron Peninsula, in the south and a little far from its territory. This oil deposit was explored in the 70th or in the second half of it.

Then it was great event for us. Because oil was produced at the depth of 500-800 meters and our oil men said that this deposit has very much oil reserves. I not only supported it, but even rendered all assistance to it as the head of Azerbaijan. Later, they said that the production of oil reduced there. Something had gone wrong there. Then I left Azerbaijan. But I got interested in the fate of \'\' Muradkhanli\'\' oil deposit. When I came to Azerbaijan in 1993-1994 again I got interested in \'\' Muradkhanli\'\' deposit. Because new oil fields were developing in the sea. For example: \'\'Azeri\'\', \'\'Chirag\'\', \'\'Guneshli\'\' were explored then. But there were not explored new fields offshore. For that reason this attempt made us very glad and accepted the interest of \'\'Ramco\'\' got interested in this deposit with great pleasure.

I believe that, in reality, you will awake the slept giant and achieve good yields from this deposit. I support all your activity. Thank you.