Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the official reception in honor of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium Jean-Luc Dehaene - April 13, 1998

Distinguished Prime Minister!

Dear guests!

Ladies and gentlemen!

The official visit of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium to Azerbaijan is a remarkable event in the history of the Belgium-Azerbaijan relations. Having started today, the visit has already yielded positive results. We held fruitful negotiations. Moreover, documents of great importance were signed between the two countries for the first time. I want to emphasize that our opinions regarding the international affairs, situation in Europe and our region almost coincide with those of the Mr. Prime Minister. Thus, we reconfirmed that the cooperation between Belgium and Azerbaijan have great opportunities. I do not doubt that the governments of Belgium and Azerbaijan will take advantage of these opportunities and develop our relations in all spheres.

Belgium is one of the most influential, economically, culturally and scientifically developed countries of Europe. This country has an ancient and rich history. People living in Belgium fought for their freedom and independence for many centuries. Belgium gained independence in 1831, creation of its first constitution is the evidence of the aspiration of the Belgian people for freedom, democracy and independence. Belgium has a long history as an independent nation and constitutional monarchy. We are very interested in the history of Belgium and learn its experience. Even after gaining independence, Belgium faced many challenges. The hardest and most painful period for Belgium in the 20th history was the German occupation. The Belgian people endured that period and carried out rapid development following the World War Second. The country with such a history and hard way of development can understand better the post-independence complicated way and hardships facing Azerbaijan. As a country, which has established democracy and high-level economic and social conditions after the difficulties, Belgium is, undoubtedly, an example for us in our state-building.

After the declaration of independence, we are building a democratic, legal and secular state, democracy by benefiting from the European experience. Thus, the experience of Belgium is very useful for us. We are glad that the people of Belgium have been living in peace, prosperity and democracy since the World War Second. We wish peace and prosperity to all the world peoples. We also make efforts to secure peace, prosperity and welfare for our citizens. All this factors are a good basis for us to maintain close relations with Belgium in future.

The negotiations held and documents signed today will, of course, give a big boost to our future works. Our guest Mr. Dehaene has a special role in the establishment of all this relations. I have met Mr. Prime Minister several times so far and felt his great interest in Azerbaijan every time. Our dear guest does his best for the development of the Belgium-Azerbaijan relations during our meeting and negotiations today.

I am sure that our meetings and negotiations, as well as the documents we signed will be very useful for the further development of our relations. We sincerely want the Belgium-Azerbaijan relations to develop in all spheres. We shall do our best for it.

I would like to raise our glasses in honor of the Kingdom of Belgium, the people of Belgium, the government of Belgium, and the Prime Minister of Belgium, who is our distinguished guest. Thank you. To you!

Brief essays


General historical background

Azerbaijan - Europe‎

Historical backgrounds

Azerbaijan - Europe