Speech of the Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev at the summit of member-countries of the Council of Euro-Atlantic Partnership - Madrid, July 9, 1997

Distinguished Mr. Chairman,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I cordially welcome you and wish you successful joint work for the sake of security, freedom and prosperity of all the peoples of the world.

We attach significant importance to the constructive dialogue and cooperation between NATO and the new independent states which have emerged after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact.

With the end of the cold war, menace of nuclear catastrophe, division of the world into two hostile camps, mankind encountered such new challenges and threats as military conflicts, aggressive separatism, uncontrolled spread of weapons, heavy military arsenal and missile systems capable to carry nuclear and chemical warheads.

These negative processes greatly damage the interests of our peoples, paralyze economy, hamper rapid integration of the newly independent states to the world community, and violate human rights of millions of peaceful civilians.

As you know, the Republic of Azerbaijan was subjected to an aggression by Armenia. As a result of this aggression twenty percent of territo­ries of our republic has been occupied by the Armenian military forces, more than one million of our citizens have been ousted from their native lands and live in the refugee camps in the hardest conditions.

Azerbaijan does its utmost to achieve a just and durable peace, and holds the most constructive position in the framework of the Minsk process of the OSCE. It has been more than three years that the cease-fire con­tinues and we are determined to maintain it till the final settlement of the conflict. At the Lisbon Summit of the OSCE all the member-countries except Armenia supported the main principles of settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict: territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and Armenia, high status of self-rule to the Nagorno-Karabakh within Azerbaijan and security guar­antees for all the population of the Nagorno-Karabakh. However, because of non-constructive position of the Republic of Armenia, the efforts of the Minsk Group of OSCE have not produced desirable results yet. We hope that Russia, USA and France as cochairs of the Minsk Conference could achieve signature of a peaceful agreement and durable peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In this light we also count on the active role of NATO and the Council of Euro-Atlantic Partnership which should not be indifferent observers to the con­flicts in the Caucasus. It is necessary to take into account that these conflicts seriously threaten the European security, as a whole.

I would like to take the advantage of the meeting today and declare that the Republic of Azerbaijan welcomes the creation of the Council of Euro-Atlantic Partnership and considers it as an important mechanism for political consultations and active cooperation between NATO partner-countries.

We take an active part in NATO\'s \"Partnership for Peace\" Program and hope that this program will fur­ther contribute to the improvement of our military forces, to adapt them to the aims and tasks for providing peace and stability in Europe.

In conclusion, I would like to congratulate Presidents of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic on their admis­sion to NATO.

Thank you for the attention.

The document was taken from the edition of \"Heydar Aliyev New Political Course\".