Speech by Heydar Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the meeting with Mr. Strob Talbott, First Deputy Secretary State, Co-Chairman of OSCE Minsk Conference, and Linn Pasco, Co-Chairman of Minsk Group.Washington, Blair House, July 31, 1997

Dear Mr. Talbott!

Dear Gentlemen!

Let me, firstly, thank Mr. Talbott for his kind words he applied to our country. I do hope that my first visit to USA as the President of Azerbaijan will give an impetus to the continual development of relationships between our nations.

I am very pleased that the United States - the most powerful country of the world - pays a special attention to Azerbaijan in the course of the last years, the democratic processes are watched closely and supported in the Untied States, I am satisfied with the intensification of efforts undertaken by Minsk Group for settlement of the most painful problem of ours - the Armenian - Azerbaijani conflict.

I consider it important to stress a fact that 3 principles, adopted at OSCE Lisbon Summit by Heads of OSCE member-countries in December, 1996 have created a favorable ground for peaceful settlement of this conflict and proposals, presented by Minsk Conference for this purpose, are studied by Azerbaijan attentively, I state that we don’t want the war, we pay special attention to the settlement of the conflict by means of negotiations.

I underline the great importance of co-chairing of Minsk Conference by three authoritative countries of the world - USA, Russia and France. From this viewpoint, I would like to stress once again that I appreciate highly the joint declaration signed by Presidents Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin and Jacque Chirac in Denver.

I draw your attention to the fact that illegal arms delivery from Russia to Armenia creates serious hurdles both for the resolution of the conflict and establishment of peace and stability in the whole region. Therefore I would like to stress the importance of concern of US Government and US Parliament over this matter.

Meanwhile, I consider it important to dwell on the 907th Amendment to the \"Freedom Support Act\", adopted unfairly by US Congress in 1992. For Azerbaijan that faces a lot of difficulties, hosts more than million refugees and got some 20 percent of its territory occupied by armed forces of Armenia this Amendment, which disables our Republic of making use of US Government Aid, complicates our situation moreover. Therefore I feel myself obliged to inform you that abrogation of this Amendment is of vital importance for Azerbaijan and would be restitution of justice.