From the talk of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev with the heads of security services of Turkic - speaking countries Presidential Palace, March 26, 1999

Heydar Aliyev: Dear friends, I welcome you and I am glad you got together - heads of intelligence services of Turkic - speaking countries and discuss your main concerns.

As far as I know, the first such meeting was held in Istanbul, the second is held in Baku. It is a good tradition and meets our common aspirations. You know that summit of Turkic-speaking countries is held at the initiative of the Turkish President, our friend Suleyman Demirel, since 1992. These meetings take place every year, and I must tell you that they provide significant benefits. Last year, a meeting took place in Kazakhstan, in Astana, we discussed our issues and then participated in the presentation of the new capital of Kazakhstan. This year, in accordance rotation, the meeting will be held in Baku in June. Thus, the summit of Turkic-speaking countries already have a stable system of annual meetings that bring great benefits to further development of bilateral relations and cooperation, especially in the field of culture, education, science and economy. So, in this context already established form of meetings of heads of intelligence of Turkic-speaking states causes a feeling of approval and support.

I think that you already feel a need for this; you meet, communicate, and discuss issues. I am sure that you will feel more need for it in the future. And naturally, it is in full conformity with the interests of our states. Now, especially in such a difficult time in the world when our country follow the path of national independence and arbiters of its own destiny unlike in the Soviet Union, raises questions related to the activities of intelligence agencies. International terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and many other crimes that already have a transnational nature, are particularly concerned about all of the country. A variety of processes occurring inside our countries, which, of course, closely linked to external factors, are added to this. Our States are subject of great interest in some other countries. And this factor stipulate the implementation of actions against our countries in a subversive nature. In any case, we can say about this on the example of our country. Therefore, the coordination of activity of special services, interaction, exchange of experiences, mutual support are particularly important.

Maybe, Azerbaijan in this regard was more complicated country, considering our political situation - and before Azerbaijan gained independence, and thereafter. On the other hand, as you know, Azerbaijan has imposed a war with Armenia. More than 10 years ago, Armenia, seeking the üayto implemente of their illegal territorial claims, to annex a Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, launched war and committed military aggression against Azerbaijan. You know the story, you know that the Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory and over a million Azerbaijanis were expelled from their homes and right now they are living in extremely difficult conditions, staying in tent cities.

The conflict has not stopped, although in May 1994, we signed a cease-fire. However, we have not succeeded yet to eliminate conflict and its consequences. We're now actively working to peaceful solution of the conflict, seeking to restore the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the liberation of occupied Azerbaijani territories by Armenian forces and the return of our citizens at their places of residence. This process is complex, difficult, but we have taken a course specifically for the peaceful settlement of the conflict.

This contentious situation started in the late 80's, and made the political situation complicated in Azerbaijan. This led to a change of government in our country, civil war in 1993, which is basically jeopardized the integrity of Azerbaijan, it was on the brink of disaster, the schism. But the matter did not stop, although we managed to prevent a civil war. There was an attempt of coup d'etat, in Azerbaijan in 1994 and 1995. These cases were associated not only with the actions of various extremist forces in Azerbaijan, but also with the actions of secret services of some foreign countries. On this basis, we consider the cooperation between our countries particularly necessary.

For example, recently a savage terror acts were carried out in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. We thought that there is a strong stable domestic political stability in this country of Central Asia. Stability- in the terms of governance. But you see what terrorists get up.

Therefore, the coordination of intelligence bodies is requirement of the time. I reiterate - perhaps you discussed these questions more detailed, from the political, national point I consider that strengthening of statehood, national independence, to ensure implementation of reforming the planed economy and the realization of economic, social and political reforms in our countries, bearing in mind the formation of a market economy, ensuring the process of building a democratic, secular state in our country requires political stability, protection of our countries and our peoples from all sorts of attempts, from the outside as well, in terms of subversive activities in our countries, and to implement these bold actions, such as terrorism and so on.

Therefore, I welcome your next meeting, I believe that these meetings will be traditional. I am confident that the more intelligence agencies of our countries will communicate, interact and help each other, the stronger will be our state and the more successfully we will implement the challenges facing our nations.

Threat to our country, which gained their independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union, is that though the state of independence of Azerbaijan is not in danger, but our national independence requires constant protection since there are various attempts to undermine our independence, to return to the old forms of governance and etc. For instance, we feel it against Azerbaijan. I think that to some extent this is also true with regard to other countries.

Therefore, the task is to strengthen independence. In Azerbaijan, we see our task in making the national independence stable, irreversible and eternal. In order to meet this objective we must protect our people, our country against all possible crimes and attacks.

Intelligence agencies in our countries have a long history. But the most difficult, most crucial period in the activities of intelligence agencies in our countries is the period after we gained independence. However, this is the most glorious task. We achieved historical success, having an independent state. But to preserve this independence, to make sure that our countries became independent forever and never fell into the hands of other countries is the matter of our honor. We pose the problem in Azerbaijan in that regard.

That's what I can tell you. Perhaps you also have something to tell me. So, I greet and congratulate you on your successful work.

Miktat Alpay: (first deputy of National Security of Turkish Republic): Mr President, we started these meetings on your and Suleyman Demirel's initiative. And we saw here that, together, led by distinguished ministers, we can go further. We are honored to sign the agreement. I think that the initiative of Turkic states can serve as an example for others. I believe that the next meeting to be held in Kazakhstan, will be even more effective, and we'll go even further.

Rustam Inoyatov: (Chairman of the National Security Service of Uzbekistan) Dear Heydar Aliyev, Minister of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan Zakirdzhanom Almatov and me met our President on the eve of our visit to Baku. Islam Abduganiyevich sent his best to you, and most importantly - instructed us to work effectively not only on today's conference, but also with the Ministry of National Security of Azerbaijan. Today, we signed an agreement on long-term mutual work in many areas of concern not only Uzbekistan, but also Azerbaijan. We have identified many stages of our work, which will further help in establishing the independence of both Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.

You know perfectly well that situation around Uzbekistan is not very healthy - the ongoing war in Afghanistan, tense situation in Tajikistan, and some other things that affect the situation. All these affect Uzbekistan to conduct an independent policy, both on a global scale, and on the scale of the CIS. Therefore, just yesterday we were instructed by the President to work together with their Azerbaijani counterparts to a higher level, the total degree of confidence. Of course, if there is such wish. Our relationships will be built on a new, higher level, because, both Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan have a lot of common interests. Thank you for your attention.

Heydar Aliyev: We recently talked on the phone with Islam Abduganievich and exchanged views. We talked about the fact that you would arrive here and we could share our views. Thank you very much.

Nurtai Abykayev: (Chairman of the Committee of State Security of Kazakhstan) Mr. Heydar Aliyev, Kazakhstan knows your personal attitude to our President and people. I thank you for giving us opportunitiy to meet here. We worked very productively. I would like to announce that the next meeting of Heads of State will be here, but our next meeting will be in Astana. The situation is normal in Kazakhstan, we will work on complete trust and will honorably implement the objectives set by the Heads of States.

Heydar Aliyev: "Yesterday I spoke to President Nursultan Nazarbayev on the phone, we also exchanged views.

Misir Ashirkulov: (Minister of National Security of Kyrgyzstan) Mr. Heydar Aliyev, I thank you for receiving us. It is a great honor for us.

As you have just noted, some organized criminal elements are of transnational character. Therefore, the Turkic States have decided that their intelligence services should keep close contact. In addition to multilateral agreements, Kyrgyzstan signed a bilateral agreement with Azerbaijan. We will closely cooperate with Azerbaijan to ensure the security of our states.

Heydar Aliyev: Recently I spoke to Askar Akayevich. We agreed to meet in in Baku in June. At the moment Paris hosts a conference of UNESCO, dedicated to the works of Chingiz Aitmatov. I dispatched our Minister of Culture Polad BulBuloglu to take part and speak in the conference. By the way, the play of Chingiz Aitmatov, he wrote together with Shakhanov, has been staged by Azerbaijani theater. They say it is a good performance. Probably it will be shown in early May. Maybe we'll meet here with the author of this play. So, you see the cooperation in the sphere of culture is very active.

Tyrkesh Tyrmyev: (first deputy chairman of the National Security Committee of Turkmenistan) First and foremost, I want to convey to you best wishes of Saparmurat Atayevich. The people of Turkmenistan perceive your relationship with kindness and great respect. And positive developments in relations, especially in the economic sphere are perceived well. We hope that whatever happens will benefit our people. As my colleagues mentioned, Security services will do everything to maintain, provide security between our countries.

Heydar Aliyev: Recently we had a telephone talk with Saparmurat Atayevich. we spoke about further development of our cooperation. By the way, we are starting a big joint projectl for Trans-Caspian gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across the Caspian to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. This is a project of historical significance. We agreed to this project, I wrote a letter to Saparmurat Atayevich about this expressing my full support. And in a phone talk we exchanged views on practical steps to organize this business. Economic ties between our countries is developing rapidly andit makes us more closely and strengthen all other relations.

Last October, in Ankara, when we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, we signed an important declaration on the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. The declaration was signed by the presidents of Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. This declaration is consistently implemented, and I believe that the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline will be built, Caspian oil will be delivered to the world markets via Turkey.

Simultaneously, the Ankara declaration was signed between Turkey and Turkmenistan on gas pipeline, and now, the work on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline has began.

Now we do a lot of work for the implementation of the TRACECA - Restoration of the Historic Great Silk Road. You remember that last September Baku hosted an International Conference which was attended by representatives of more than 35 countries located over the Silk Road, the heads of many states, including Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, President of Kyrgyzstan Askar Akayev. Esteemed delegation came to conference from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

It is a very big project and I want to mention that the proposal of Senator Brownback on the strategy of the Silk Road is debated in the U.S. Senate. We hope that this bill will be adopted, and it will be of great value.

It turns out that our economic principles associated with the restoration of the historic Silk Road, are joined with a number of political issues. And all this links Central Asia, Caucasus, Turkey and Europe geographically and geopolitically. In this connection, there are important and great responsibilities before the security forces of our countries, because, the implementation of these projects is of great economic, social, and political significance for our countries. However, we know how many opponents these projects have, how many people prevent or do not want these projects be implemented. For example, in recent years we have worked hard to ensure that energy resources - oil and gas of the Caspian Sea became the property of the global economy. The great works have been started. For example, we have signed many contracts with many major oil companies of the world. But not everyone likes it, someone wants to prevent this, someone promote that there is not as much oil in the Caspian Sea as it is expected, and so on. All it purports to hinder our cause. There is much oil in the Caspian Sea, much enough for several generations.

 Our proactive steps, overall success, of course, offer great opportunities for our peoples and our countries, but cause frustration and even hostility by some forces, who do not want it to be. And it also obligates us to further unite and help each other. I reiterate, it poses great responsibilities before the bodies of special services. Thank you. 

"Azerbaijan" newspaper, March 27, 1999