Interview of President of the Azerbaijan Republic Heydar Aliev for journalists at the Bina airport before departure to Tehran to participate at the OIC Summit - 8 December, 1997

Heydar Aliyev: The purpose of visit is obvious. As long as Azerbaijan is a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference, the attendance of head of the Azerbaijan state at the Summits of this organization is necessary. The last time, a number of issues were discussed at the OIC Casablanca Summit held in Morocco in 1994. The Organization of Islamic Conference constantly denounces armenian aggression against Azerbaijan. The resolution in this regard was also adopted in 1994. Besides, the principles adopted at the OSCE Lisbon Summit were reflected in the document adopted at the meeting of OIC ministers of foreign affairs held in Jakarta last year.

But the goal lies not only therein. We are a part of the Islamic world and therefore, we should partake at this Summit and express our thoughts, proposals, as well as make all the efforts for the sake of solidarity of Islamic countries. And I leave for Tehran just for this purpose.

Question: Is signing of any documents on humanitarian aid or Nagorno-Karabakh expected?

Answer: Perhaps, the Organization of Islamic Conference, taking into account the situation of refugees connected with armenian aggression against Azerbaijan, will pass a resolution on rendering humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan.

Question: Are any bilateral meetings scheduled?

Answer: Undoubtedly, bilateral meetings are usually held during such Summits. And some bilateral meetings are scheduled for this once too. We will hold as many meetings as the time will allow.

Question: How do you appreciate the visit of the OSCE Minsk group co-chairs?

Answer: You mean the visit of co-chairs to Azerbaijan? You have probably attended there, where I expressed my thoughts touching upon the activity of co-chairs. I do not want to repeat them as it was broadcasted on television and published in newspapers. I think that during this year, the co-chairs worked inertly. The year is coming to the end, however we could not achieve the desired. But along with it, each such a meeting is significant. This meeting also passed very tensely and took plenty time. I expressed my opinion that we had not obtained the desired from the Minsk group co-chairs so far. I also expressed my dissatisfaction and required that they should approach more responsibly to the tasks set by the heads of their countries before them. At any rate, the meeting was fruitful. The ministers of foreign affairs of the OSCE member-states will meet in Copenhagen on 18-19. I consider that the above meetings held by us were highly significant for the forthcoming negotiations and decisions to be passed.

Question: What issues should be discussed with Iran within bilateral negotiations?

Answer: You know, there are no definite issues specified to be discussed within bilateral negotiations with Iran. I will have a special meeting with the new president of Iran. As far as Iran is our closest and big neighbor, we always aimed at constant improvement of contacts with it. From our part, we carry out the tasks fallen to our lot. And I will try to prove for this once too that taking into consideration the distinctive features of each state, stable and very friendly relations should be the priority between Azerbaijan and Iran and the government of Iran should undertake relevant steps in this regard.

"Heydar Aliyev: Our independence is eternal" (speeches, statements, interviews, letters, appeals, decrees) - Azerneshr, Baku - 2004, vol. XIII, p. 309-311.