From the talk of President of the Azerbaijan Republic Heydar Alitev with President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Seyed Mohammad Khatami - 9 December, 1997

Seyed Mohammad Khatami: Honorable President of the Azerbaijan Republic, Heydar Aliyev! I am satisfied with a meeting with You and express my gratitude for You have accepted my invitation and arrived in Tehran to participate at the VIII Summit of the Organization of Islamic Conference.

I will note that the measures accomplished in Azerbaijan within the latest years under the leadership of President Heydar Aliyev aimed at the construction of a legal democratic state, as well as successful implementation of reforms are intently followed in Iran. I underscore the significance of steady development of contacts between our countries.

Heydar Aliev: Honorable President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Hatami, I express appreciation for the sincere words and congratulate You on Your election as the president. I highly evaluate the fact that despite many prognoses, the majority of Iran population have nevertheless voted coming to polling stations and presidential elections have passed in democratic conditions.

I express satisfaction with my participation at the VIII Summit of Organization of Islamic Conference and emphasize good organization of this meeting. I express confidence that the VIII Summit will play a vital role in further development of cooperation among Moslem states and adopt important documents strongly denouncing armenian aggression against Azerbaijan.

I underline the importance of daily strengthening of historically friendly and having deep roots relations between Iran and Azerbaijan and state that we always place high emphasis on expansion of our cooperation with Iran as a friendly and neighbor country.

Seyed Mohammad Khatami: I emphasize that Iran will be in the chair of Organization of Islamic Conference within the coming three years. Within this period, we will closely assist Azerbaijan in the solution of its problems by this authoritative organization.

Heydar Aliev: I will mention that further improvement of Azerbaijan-Iran contacts within international organizations, including the OIC is necessary. The Azerbaijan Republic will do its utmost to protect its independence and make it eternal. I state that from now on, the people of Azerbaijan will not be under the influence of any state.

Armenian aggression remains to be the most painful problem for Azerbaijan. Armenian troops have occupied 20 percent of territory of the Azerbaijan Republic. More than a million our citizens have become refugees and live in hard conditions in tents. We highlight the negotiations held within the OSCE Minsk group over peaceful settlement of this conflict and the latest peaceful propositions, made by the co-chairs, increased our hopes for its settlement.

Seyed Mohammad Khatami: The people of Iran sympathize with the disasters of our Azerbaijani brothers and sisters being at the same time the adherents of peaceful solution to this conflict.

Heydar Aliev: Mr. President, I invite You to Azerbaijan.

Seyed Mohammad Khatami: I accept Your invitation with satisfaction.

"Our independence is eternal", vol. IX