Speech of the Azerbaijan president Heydar Aliyev at the summit of the heads of the participating states of Black Sea economic cooperation organization - Moscow, October 25, 1996

Dear Mr. Chairman!

Dear the heads of the states and the governments!

Ladies and gentlemen!

It gives me great pleasure to welcome esteemed heads of the states and the governments, members of delegations of Participants States and representatives of the international organizations participating at our traditional meeting within the framework of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization.

I cordially congratulate Victor Stepanovich Chernomyrdin, the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, on his election as chairman of our summit, I express my gratitude to the government of Russia and all russians for attention, kindliness and hospitality, the excellent conditions created for our work in capital of Russia, the fine city of Moscow.

With profound respect I have heard the message of the President of Russia Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin to our meeting, I send my deep respect to the President of Russia Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, and wish him the prompt recovery and fruitful work in the name of democracy and progress in Russia.

We attach great importance to the participation in the work of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation which displays its viability, necessity and perspectives more and more.

With a feeling of satisfaction it is possible to say, that in time, past after the first summit of BSEC of the head of states in 1992, significant work has been done, our cooperation has been extended and deepened, especially in the field of power engineering, transport, communication and trade.

The Black Sea region has the system of the major transport arteries, and successful implementation of any joint projects depends on cooperation in the field of development of communications. In this respect, one of perspective directions of our activity is formation of a modern transit Euroasian transport network by creation of corridors "East -West" and "North - South ". These corridors should in the final connect the transport infrastructure of all countries of the Black Sea region with prospect of integration of national infrastructures in corresponding units of Transeuropean transport system.

The Black Sea pool has set of communications with the Caucasus and the Caspian basin. Therefore, attraction of other littoral Caspian countries to the work of BSEC can expand essentially, in my opinion, potential and opportunities of our organization to a certain extent.

The Republic of Azerbaijan, due to its geographical location, has opportunities for the organization of the transport and telecommunication links between Europe and Asia, and we are going to cooperate closely in this direction with all the interested countries.

We attach great value to the project of interconnection of electrical power supply systems of the countries of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. It is pleasant, that the Black Sea Power Center in Sofia, the European Union, the international banks and financial structures have already joined to implementation of this project.

I welcome the ratification by the participants states of our organization of the agreement on establishment of the Black Sea bank of trade and development and I hope, that already in the beginning of the next year, it will start operating and will provide investment of large regional projects.

Giving a due regard to success of our activity for the past years, I would note that the Black Sea Economic Cooperation still in my opinion, has not become sufficiently dynamical organization. For successful implementation of joint projects it is obligatory to prepare a more precise definition of legal basis of cooperation, founding of the effective organizational mechanism which would coordinate the work of all structures of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.

With our joint efforts we should create a favorable climate for private business in the region of BSECO, and for this purpose it is necessary to strengthen the activity of its business council.

The major object and the keystone to success of the Black Sea Economic Co-operation is its openness, effective cooperation with such regional associations and organizations as the European Union, the CIS, ECO and others. It would promote not only successful implementation of joint projects in the field of economy, but also assist the growth of the international authority of our organization.

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

Humanity is looking forward for the beginning of XXI century, the third millennium with the big hope for the peace, stability, and prosperity. Our duty is to make our contribution to the realization of this historical plan. We are obliged to stand firmly against any aspirations directed against the peace, at unleashing on wars and military conflicts.

The region of the Black Sea basin which has survived the ordeals of many wars, especially needs it in particular requires it. We should oppose firmly and resolutely against occurrence of separatism recently gained expansion, aggressive nationalism, and the international terrorism. We should assert firmly the international legal principles, the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of each country.

It is well known that a great importance is attached to the Caucasus for realization of programs of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. Meanwhile the Caucasus suffers greatly from military conflicts. All countries, all peoples of the Caucasus suffer. Therefore, liquidation of military conflicts on the Caucasus is the most important provision for a successful economic cooperation in the Black Sea basin.

Aggression by the Republic of Armenia with the purpose of tearing away of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Azerbaijan Republic, caused extensive damage to our country. Twenty percent of territory of our republic has been occupied, more than one million of our citizens have been expelled from their places of the residence, they became refugees and live in the hardest conditions in tent-camps.

In May, 1994 the agreement on cease-fire was achieved which is observed till now. However there is no peace in the full sence. We try consistently to achieve peace settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict by restoration of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, returning of refugees to places of the residence, granting Nagorno-Karabakh the high status of an autonomy under the Azerbaijan state. In my opinion such universal principle could be a basis of the peaceful settlement of all military conflicts on Caucasus.

Your Excellencies!

I have no doubt that our joint activity in the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation will promote strengthening of the peace and stability in our region, to growth of well-being and prosperity of our peoples.

Therefore I again declare the readiness of the Republic of Azerbaijan for the closest cooperation within the framework of our organization in the name of achievement of these great objectives.

Thank you for attention.