Interview of the Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev for the journalists in the plane about results of the summit on his way back from Budapest - December 7, 1994

Question: Mister President, how do you estimate the role of the CSCE from the date of its foundation, in connection with the ending of \"cold war\", change of large regional wars into local wars and establishment of new international organizations and also in connection with the Budapest summit?

Answer: Twenty years have passed since the time of foundation of the CSCE. There were various stages in its activity within this time. Yesterday, in my speech at the Budapest summit, I noted services, the role and activity of the CSCE after its establishment and a change of the political climate, and the political map of the world. After the establishment of the CSCE, democratic processes began to develop in the world. Democratic processes inside countries, and also mutual relations of states have led to the ending of \"cold war\", changed the political map of the world. New independent states, including the independent Azerbaijan state was founded.

And now the new stage has begun. I take part in the session of heads of states and governments of the CSCE member-countries for the first time. It is the fourth meeting since the establishment of the CSCE. Therefore, I highly estimate the activity of the CSCE from the date of its establishment.

I consider that the CSCE got a new power at the Budapest summit. It entered a new stage. Undoubtedly, each meeting has its place in history. In my opinion, this fourth meeting will occupy a special place in history of the CSCE. Because at this meeting very important questions were discussed, very active work was carried out on security of European unity, expansion of the further activity of the CSCE, not dividing Europe on spheres of influence, development of Europe as indivisible continent without dividing lines. Therefore, I estimate very highly the Budapest meeting for the entire world and for all mankind.

Question: Mister President, the agreement on creation of peace-making forces of the CSCE was achieved at the summit. On the one hand, it is connected with perspective of the settlement of the Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) conflict, on the other hand, as the western experts and diplomats say, owing to your activity. The Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Chiller has come to such a conclusion that the CSCE peace-making forces and its destiny depends on how they will pass their examinations on the settlement of the Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) conflict. She also noted that the activity of the CSCE depends on the resolution of this problem. How do you appraise it?

Answer: I have already that the CSCE Budapest meeting has great value. But the importance of this meeting is irreplaceable for our region, for the Caucasian region and as well as for Azerbaijan. I am emphasizing it especially. There is a war for six years as a result of aggression against Azerbaijan by Armenia. Since March, 1992, the CSCE directly joined this work, creating the Minsk conference, the Minsk group for the settlement of the Garabagh conflict between Armenia-Azerbaijan. It will soon be three years since the Minsk group carries out activity. Our activity with the Minsk group is known both to the Azerbaijan public, you and the press. Since my leadership in Azerbaijan state, after being elected as the chairman of the Supreme Soviet, I have been closely cooperating with the CSCE and its Minsk group. All of you are witnesses of it. For all period of cooperation, I have always tried to create a fine condition for the activity of the CSCE, in particular for the settlement of this conflict by means of the Minsk group. Because it is the most reliable way for putting an end to the conflict, probably, the most reliable of available opportunities. Therefore, I paid much attention to it.

You know that I have repeatedly carried on long negotiations with representatives of the CSCE, heads of the Minsk group, spent a lot of time for it. I have always wanted the CSCE not only to intervene in this question directly, but also take the initiative. But it was impossible for the reasons known to all of you till now. I have tried to bring the activity of the CSCE Minsk group and intermediary efforts of Russia closer and even to unite them. I have given these recommendations as well as to the head of the CSCE Minsk group Yan Eliasson and the head of intermediary mission of Russia Vladimir Kazimirov. I have tried to organize their meetings both in Baku and Moscow. We have achieved certain successes in it, but could not reach the desirable purpose. Because during this period, we have not managed to unite the activity of the Minsk group with intermediary efforts of Russia.

We, and personally I highly estimate the intermediary activity of Russia. For instance, as a result of intermediary activity of Russia we adopted resolution on cease-fire on May 12. Then the Minsk group also joined this question. Russia and the head of the Minsk group have made a joint statement on preservation of the cease-fire regime before signing the big peace agreement.

But all this has not united their efforts. Therefore we continued our activity. We cooperated both with Russia, the United States of America and with other member-countries of the CSCE, as a result, the new resolution was prepared for the Budapest meeting. Preparation of this resolution has passed a thorny road, faced with great difficulties, as certain forces interfered in it. This document has passed some stages. Even when we arrived in Budapest, we had a little hope that this resolution would be adopted.

I have met representatives of the United States of America, including mister Bill Clinton, had conversation with the prime minister of Turkey Tansu Chiller and with representatives of Russia and other countries. Our working groups, whom we sent to Vienna and Budapest, have also worked very hard. In particular, as a result of the joint agreement of the western countries, both our country, and the countries entering the Minsk group, as a result of negotiations between the United States of America and Russia, the question on bringing of the resolution for discussion was solved and obstacles occurring during the discussions were eliminated and, finally, the resolution was adopted. It is the first, very significant international document for us within the period of six-years of war.

Undoubtedly, four resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council connected with the occupation of Azerbaijan\'s lands are very valuable for us. However, they have not been implemented. Why? Because resolutions were adopted, but there were no mechanisms for their realization, and they have remained on a paper. However, the decision the formation of multinational peace-making forces for the termination of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan was accepted in Budapest.

Last years, in particular during the period when I began to deal with these problems, many people repeatedly told me that the CSCE would never create peace-making forces, it was impossible to do it. These ideas have been stated by representatives and heads of other states, even by the United Nations Organization. But I have always trusted in an opportunity of creating peace-making forces of the CSCE. I have worked for this purpose and directed all my efforts on it. Today here in this short conversation I do not consider necessary to speak about the steps which have been undertaken by us. Probably, in the future the steps, stages of this work will be uncovered and written about. I can say only that I have with great confidence come up to the problem for the past period and made known that the CSCE peace-making forces could be created.

At last, during the last month such an opinion has been shaped in capitals of the big countries. To tell the truth, there appeared contradictions as well. When the creation of the CSCE peace-making forces became a reality, in some capitals there were people to opposed it. However, the creation of the peace-making forces was so inevitable that they could not prevent it. These obstacles turned out both in Vienna, during the preparation for the Budapest meeting, and at the summit. At the last stage as a result of negotiations between the United States of America and Russia concerning this issue the adoption of the resolution already became a reality and, finally, on December 6, this document was adopted.

I consider it a great historical event, historical achievement, our achievement for the Republic of Azerbaijan, in particular, for the prevention of Armenia\'s aggression against Azerbaijan. I hope that on its basis we will achieve the further strengthening the cease-fire regime, and in particular, the creation of the peace-making forces. The creation of these forces will facilitate preparation of the big peace agreement. Because according to this resolution, now there are two chairmen in the Minsk group: They are from Sweden and Russia. It may facilitate our problem. There was one chairman till now and it created some difficulties for us. I consider that we can take advantage of these opportunities. That is, the creation of the CSCE peace-making forces has already become a reality. We will be engaged in both mobilization of these forces and preparation of the Big Political Agreement that will make the preparation of the agreement much more easier.

In Budapest, I met heads of many states, including European countries. All of them supported this resolution, and the majority of them declared that their countries would participate in the creation of the CSCE peace-making forces. All these make me believe that we have entered into a new stage and henceforth we can solve all questions even more successfully.

Question: Mister President, great work was done, the resolution was adopted. However it does not mean the settlement of the problem yet. Some opinions sound in advance that one more resolution should be adopted. That is, there are those who wish to lessen the importance of the work carried out till now. What do you think of it?

Answer: I told you: up to the Budapest meeting we have passed difficult, thorny road. Do not think that now we came out the big highway. We will again face difficulties on this path. But considering that we have shown adherence to principles, steadfastness, constantly protected our position, and never refrained from it, then we can achieve our purposes as well as in the future.

Question: Some heads of states notify that the CSCE is experiencing its crisis now. For instance, Edward Shevardnadze is of this opinion. On the other hand, global problems were solved at present summit. What can you say about it?

Answer: You know, Edward Shevardnadze\'s country experiences hard times nowadays. In due time, the United Nations Organization and the CSCE gave certain promises to solve problems there, but have not executed them. Therefore he has the right to speak so. However, I don\'t agree that the CSCE is experiencing the period of crisis. I consider that at Budapest summit CSCE demonstrated its power, and proved that it was strong and powerful international organization. The US President Bill Clinton sounded such opinion in his speech too. Similar opinions were sounded as well as in other speeches. Therefore, I do not consider that the CSCE is experiencing crisis. I think that the CSCE made a new step upwards.

Question: At last, the CSCE armed forces are being established and their quartering in a zone of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict will be the first examination. To your thinking, will it make that possible to help to accelerate the signing of the Big Political agreement. On the eve of the Budapest meeting, mass media of Russia spread information that CSCE and Azerbaijan wanted to keep Russia away from the resolution of the Garabagh problem. What can you say about it?

Answer: First, in my opinion, it is also intended the Russian forces be included in composition of the CSCE multinational forces. It is not meant here the inclusion of forces of the CIS. Russia will be represented sufficiently in multinational forces. It means, there are no any problems here. Certainly, the CSCE chairman will define how many areas will be separated for the country in multinational forces. It is clear, and we also know, I am repeating, that Russia will be represented there sufficiently.

As to your question on the political agreement, I have said about it too. More comprehensible conditions for preparation of the Big Political Agreement are being made now. Because, there was no opportunity to unite the efforts of the Minsk group and Russian until now. There were such contradictions. I noted in my speech at the meeting that much depends on the combining of efforts of countries entering the Minsk group. I emphasized in the United Nations that Russia and the Minsk group should unite their efforts and cooperate actively. The Budapest resolution creates opportunities for this purpose and I think now it will be easier for us to prepare the Big Political Agreement.

As to your second question, I would like to say that this information is absolutely groundless. Because Russia is a member of the CSCE and the CSCE is the international organization of Europe. Each member state has desire to participate in the activity of this organization closely, including Russia and Azerbaijan, as well as other countries. Besides, we actively cooperate with Russia. I said above that the adopted resolution is the result of the general cooperation, including cooperation between the United States of America and Russia.