Joint press conference of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, with Secretary - General of NATO Javier Solana, for local and foreign mass media after negotiations with the delegation of NATO - Presidential Palace, September 30 1998.



Heydar Aliyev: Dear representatives of mass media !

You took part in our negotiations, and therefore, there was no reason to hold additional meeting. But we had to meet you as it was planned in advance.

I would add that I had a warm talk with the Secretary - General of NATO, Javier Solana. We appreciated our cooperation within "Partnership for Peace" program between Azerbaijan and NATO. We emphasized that we are capable of proceeding this cooperation.

Today`s meeting is of great importance. Prior to this meeting, Mr. Javier Solana met the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan and had effective talks. I think we strengthen our relations and cooperation. The Azerbaijani government appreciates this cooperation and attaches special attention to it. Today`s meeting and talks provide a good stimulus to boosting this cooperation.

Mr. Secretary - General, the floor is yours.


Javier Solana: Mr. President, many thanks.

Apparently, I have no more additions to your words. Simply, I am glad to be here and to meet not only the President, but also the Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. I am pleased to evaluate what has been done so far within "Partnership for Peace" program and Euroatlantic Cooperation Council. In reality, much work has been done. However, I want to emphasize two points. I extend my gratitude to you, to your government and to your nation for participation of the Azerbaijani armed forces in trainings. For instance, important trainings have been organized in Macedonia, and Azerbaijan attended them. Other trainings have been organized in the Central Asia with the broad participation of partner states. Azerbaijan took part in them as well.

Indeed, we are working for ensuring peace and security in the region. I further note that we shall continue on cooperation in the years to come. I express my gratitute to Mr. President and to your government for the hospitability. Many thanks.


Question: Mr. Secretary - General, today it was mentioned that Serbia had already withdrawn part of its armed forces, but this is not sufficient. Most people cast doubt that Serbia will be able to achieve a practical outcome in this regard. Does NATO have enough will and opportunity to fully support its position?


Javier Solana:  It should be noted that we shall charge President Miloshevich not for his words, but for his deeds. We have heard much from him, but unfortunately he does not live up to his promises. It is worth noting that two important decisions on Kosovo have been made lately. The first is a resolution adopted by the Security Council of the U.N. It clearly sets what we expect from the president Miloshovich. This decision was adopted unanimously. Only China abstained, while others were in favor of this decision. The second is the decision adopted by the NATO Council. It appeals to our commanders to find out which allied country will provide technical support if there is a need for that. However, no action will be taken without the mandate of the Security Council.


Question: Mr. Solana, while negotiating in Baku, you mentioned that NATO is interested in strengthening the relations with Azerbaijan. We would like to know: do you mean to expand relations within "Partnership for Peace" program in the frames of Euroatlantic Cooperation Council, or a new form of cooperation?


Javier Solana:  You are right about the expansion of cooperation within "Partnership for Peace" program and Euroatlantic Cooperation Council. They provide great stimulus. Many countries participate in these programs and there is a room to improve relations with NATO. We are engaged in these programs and intend to strengthen the relations. 


Question: Excuse me, is it possible to sign a Transcaucasian charter like the Baltian charter?


Javier Solana:  No, there is no a Baltian charter in NATO.


Correspondent: There is one present between Ukraine and Russia.


Javier Solana: No, it has nothing to do with NATO.


Question: Mr. Solana, when we, the Azerbaijani journalists, were in Brussels at your invitation, you mentioned the Mountaious Garabagh conflict and raid that the OSCE was entirely responsible for it. Now we ask you in Azerbaijan: if Armenia does not sign the Great Peace Agreement, and Azerbaijan appeals to NATO, what will be the reaction of your alliance?


Javier Solana: I repeat it again. Framework conception has been made to deal with this problem. All of them were adopted by the OSCE in 1996. Thus, the way-out of the conflict goes through this framework.