President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev met President of the United States of America George Bush - Washington, 9 April, 2001

As we have already informed, on April 9, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev met in the Washington, in White House, President of the United States of America George Bush.

Greeting heartily the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, President of the USA George Bush mentioned that he was very pleased with the meting, conveyed kind wishes and greetings of George Bush Senior, the 41st USA President, to his friend President Heydar Aliyev and emphasized that he admired doubtless leadership, wide world outlook and uncommon oratorical talent of the world-known prominent statesman Heydar Aliyev.

President Heydar Aliyev expressed his gratitude to Mr. George Bush for the invitation and hospitality shown to him, as well as efforts made by the American government towards the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, organization of high-level negotiations in Key West and congratulated him once more on the occasion of his election president of the country.

President Heydar Aliyev, appreciating George Bush Senior for the sincere greetings, asked to convey his greetings and the warmest wishes to the 41st President of the USA too.

Stressing that the USA attaches great importance to the cooperation with Azerbaijan, President Bush noted that the development of all-round contacts with Azerbaijan was one of the priority directions of the American foreign policy.

Highly appreciating the significance of the big USA oil companies in the development and transportation of hydrocarbon recourses of the Caspian Sea to the world market, George Bush expressed President Heydar Aliyev gratitude for the favorable conditions created for the numerous companies representing his country in Azerbaijan and emphasized readiness of the government headed by him to broaden the American-Azerbaijani relations on strategic partnership in all the spheres.

President Heydar Aliyev expressed his satisfaction that the USA, one of the biggest states of the world, displayed interest in the cooperation with Azerbaijan in all the spheres, he mentioned that he highly estimated the cooperation with the USA companies in the field of development of rich energy resources of the Caspian Sea.

Dwelling on the the realization of project of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan export pipeline,

President Heydar Aliyev mentioned special importance of that project.

Stating that the unfair Section 907 passed by the USA Congress in 1992 impeded the development of the relations between the two countries, President Heydar Aliyev emphasized once more the necessity of repealing of the Section.

President of the USA George Bush noted the readiness of his government to search for the ways of repealing the Section 907.

The Presidents held thorough exchange of views on the issue connected with the peaceful settlement of the most painful problem for Azerbaijan - the Armenian-Azerbaijani, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. President Heydar Aliyev noted that as a result of the military aggression of Armenia in 1998 in connection with its territorial claims to Nagorno-Karabakh, an integral part of Azerbaijan, 20 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan has been occupied and more than a million of its citizens live in tents in unbearable conditions. President Heydar Aliyev stated that everything has been destroyed, plundered and razed to the ground in the occupied lands.

Reminding that the OSCE Minsk Group was established in 1992 for the peaceful settlement of the conflict, that the cease-fire agreement was reached in 1994, President, Heydar Aliyev stressed that in 1996, the basic principles of the settlement of the conflict were determined at the Lisbon Summit of OSCE. Three basic principles -provide the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, guarantees of the security of all the population of Nagorno-Karabakh and grante a high status of self-government to Nagorno-Karabakh. They were endorsed by all the OSCE member-states except Armenia and after the Summit, three big states of the world - Russia, the United States of America and France became co-chairs to the Minsk Group.

Dwelling on the activity of the co-chairs in the negotiations held recently between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, President Heydar Aliyev noted that as a result of the destructive position of Armenia, the peaceful settlement of the conflict did not yet seem possible.

The Azerbaijani President noted that the negotiations in Key West were an important step in peaceful settlement of the conflict and he pointed out that holding of those meetings in a new format attached a special character to the negotiation process.

Mentioning that the USA is interested in the immediate peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, President George Bush stated that the government headed by him would intensify its efforts in this line. Mr. Bush emphasized that owing to the resolute position and consistent policy of President Heydar Aliyev a man of great political experience, and Azerbaijan being a key country of the region, which possesses rich natural resources and a favorable geo-strategic situation, was following the way of development and progress.

A number of other issues of mutual interest also discussed during the meeting

President Heydar Aliyev invited President George Bush, vice-president Richard Cheney, state secretary Colin Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to visit Azerbaijan. The invitees expressed gratitude for the invitation.

The meeting was held in the atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding.

The Azerbaijan daily, 14 April, 2001