"Appeal of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev to the US President Bill Clinton" (Baku, February 8, 1999)

In 1997-1999, the OSCE Minsk group co-chairs presented to the parties three proposals for the peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: 1.Package variant which provided release of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan in parallel with the determination of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh; 2.Stage by stage variant which provides release of six occupied districts of Azerbaijan except Lachin in the first stage, settlement of the issues of the Lachin corridor, status of Nagorno-Karabakh and the security isues in the second stage. 3.The principle of the common state, grants a status to Nagorno-Karabakh equal to independent state.

The Azerbaijani side consented to discuss the first two proposals presented in June-September of 1997. Even the administration of the Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossian came closer to accept the stage by stage settlement. But the ultra nationalist groups of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh`s Armenians forced him to resign and rejected the proposal.

In its turn, Azerbaijan did not accept the common state principle, which contradicts the major principles of international law as the territorial integrity, and state sovereignty. Furthermore, in early 1997, before the submission of this proposal, it was revealed that one of the Minsk Group co-chairs, Russia, has delivered to Armenia arms and equipment worth of $1 billion.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev informed the United States, another Minsk group co-chair`s President Bill Clinton of these aggressive actions and policy of Armenia in his letter sent on February 8, 1999. He called the US President`s attention to the fact of Russia`s supplying Armenia with arms.

Continuing its destructive position Armenia, , rejected the "Goble Plan" at Key-West peace talks in April 2001, and the proposal of opening the communication lines in substitute to release of the occupied territories in January 2004. Tête-à-tête negotiations between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2004-2006 brought no results again because of the Armenian`s destructive position.

In regard to the statement by the Minsk Group co-chairs concerning the call for a referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijani declared that it could be possible in the frames of the country`s constitution in which all the citizens should take part. At the same time it was stated that the fate of the districts of Lachin and Shusha wasn`t subjected for discussions and they must be liberated without any condition.

Azerbaijani head of state Heydar Aliyev stressed in his letter dated February 8, 1999, that the conflict could be settled only on the basis of Lisbon principles, and otherwise it could it could create a serious danger for peace and security inEurope.

Historical background was updated on August 21, 2006.