From the conversation of the Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev at the meeting with the representatives of the USA senate - October 30, 2000

Heydar Aliyev: Dear guests, you are welcome. I welcome with great satisfaction the arrival of Committee of the international relations of the USA senate in Azerbaijan. I think you have done certain work here and you have gained some impressions. And therefore I want listen to you.

Ross Wilson (the USA ambassador to Azerbaijan): Mr. President, I want to introduce to you Michael Westphal and Ian Brzezinski with the feeling of great satisfaction. I know that you have lasting relations with the father of Mr. Brzezinski.

Heydar Aliyev: Yes, it is so.

Ross Wilson: Their visit to Azerbaijan shows the interest of the Committee of Foreign Relations of the USA Senate to Azerbaijan and it is the manifestation of the development of American-Azerbaijan relations. Allow me to give the floor to Mr. Brzezinski and Westphal.

Heydar Aliyev: Please.

Ian Brzezinski: Mr. President, allow me to state that it is a great honour for us to meet You today. My father entrusted me to extend his sincere greetings, high respect and esteem to You. He did not expect that we could meet with you. But in the conversation with him during the preparation to this visit he spoke with inspiration about you, Azerbaijan and about American-Azerbaijan relations. We had a very detailed talk.

As you know Mr. Westpal is a senior adviser of the senator Helms and he is mainly a person responsible for the formation of opinions, of policy of senator on Azerbaijan, Caucasus, and on the region. And as for me, I render assistance to the senator Helms and responsible in the sphere of relations with Russia, countries of CIS and NATO. That is to say I am his assistant, adviser.

Sending me and Westpal to Azerbaijan, senator Helms charged us to get acquainted with a situation closely and prepare reports for him. As he shows great interest to Azerbaijan, to this region of the world, since he understands that the USA is interested in this very much.

You know that after elections in November, a new government will begin acting in Washington. And therefore both the Congress of the US and in White House the process of new estimation and determination of our foreign policy will start.

Mr. Senator Helms holds the opinion that in the formation of foreign policy there should be delivered corresponding reaction to the relations between Azerbaijan and USA in order to give important meaning to these contacts.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank you. First of all I thank you for the greetings you have extended from my friend Zbigniew Brzezinski. Mr. Brzezinski is really my close friend, a person who I love.

I know him for a long time without seeing. When he was the assistant of the USA President on affairs of security, he was a man whom everybody was much afraid in the Soviet Union. As in the period of that power he has played a very big role in the White House. And therefore my personal acquaintance with him was very necessary. But it a possible only after gaining the independence by Azerbaijan, when I became the President of Azerbaijan. Every time in our meetings I perceive more and more that how clever, learned scholar, politician and great personality he is and appropriate to the world policy.

When I was in Washington at the beginning of September at the large meeting of American - Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce, my esteemed friend Brzezinski delivered a large speech and proved again for the participants how important and necessary Azerbaijan was for the USA. His visits to Azerbaijan had a great importance for us. In particular, when he was in Azerbaijan, he visited the refugees living in tents who forcedly left their native lands in connection with the occupation of 20 percent of lands of our country as a result of aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan. His discussions with them, his impressions - all these are very valuable for us.

I remember after his meeting with the refugees in tent settlements, he told me with great excitement that he had been in a number of countries in Afghanistan, Africa, India, Pakistan and other places of the world where occurred conflicts, however he had not seen people living in such difficult conditions. Naturally it is important for us. Naturally his viewpoint is too important for us. Mr. Brzezinski tells about it where it is necessary, very important, he informs about this in different circles of the United States of America. There is true information about our country, about occupation of our lands, about the presence of more than million of refugees and there is a preconceived attitude and they do not react to such a situation properly.

I remember when in 1997, I was in the USA on an official visit, we attended together the Georgetown University and a great ceremony took place there, which was conducted by my friend Brzezinski. He is really intellectual. There he put forward real ideas about democracy, new countries taking the democratic way. Mr. Brzezinski once more expressed these ideas in more exact formula at the large meeting of American-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce on September 8. If memory does not fail me, mr. ambassador participated there and heard all this. All these are valuable because this man looks at everything from the realistic point of view. There is a theory, that is to say an abstract idea, but there is also a reality and real state of things.

I was a guest in your home in Washington. We have had a dinner together with your family. Unfortunately you were not present there but you had to participate. You have a wonderful mother. She is very clever, beautiful sculptor, and a nice person. Therefore, I have a particular attitude to your family. And I am very glad that you are today in Azerbaijan.

The attitude of senator Helms to our region is very interesting for us naturally. We have always wanted that in the official circles of the USA, including the congress and the senate, had a true and fair conception about reality in Azerbaijan, about today's situation. Unfortunately we do not see this in a number of cases. And therefore your visit, this time your objective impression and the report you`ll present to senator Helms, will create a thorough imagination about the reality of Azerbaijan. I think that irrespective of results of forthcoming presidential elections, the relations between Azerbaijan and the USA will continue. We want these relations enlarge. These relations will become larger, warmer and we can get more support from the United States of America. I think that with your work you will render assistance to us in this sphere. Send my sincere regards, unlimited respect and esteem to your father and mother.

Ian Brzezinski: Mr. President I am extremely satisfied and it is a great honour to me to hear such high opinions and kind words about my father. I should say that I can not help to disagree with your words.

Mr. President, on the one hand I am ashamed that I did not take part in a supper during your visit to our house and on the other side, I feel pride. I am ashamed because I have missed such a beautiful chance and I was deprived to hear valuable words told by you. But I feel pride, that is to say, I am glad that my son was born and if in such a difficult moment I had left my wife and go to the supper, she would not understand me correctly.

Heydar Aliyev: It is absolutely right.

Ian Brzezinski: Mr. President, if you permit, I`d attract to your attention to three categories characterizing thoughts of senator Helms related to Azerbaijan and the region. First of all, senator Helms refers Azerbaijan and the states of this region to the category of countries being compelled to be under the influence of Russia. If earlier such an idea in the USA refered only to the countries of the East Europe, senator Helms considers that it is necessary to render assistance in order to save from the influence of Russia such a country as Azerbaijan, where people protected their feeling of national dignity for many years.

Secondly, senator Helms brings to the forefront the issues of security in his opinion about Azerbaijan. He considers that the security of Azerbaijan is extremely important for the security of the whole region. This means that it is necessary to render assistance in guaranteeing of stability and safety in Azerbaijan in order to transfer the energy resources and rich natural resources to the world markets.

Thirdly, senator Helms sees the development of democracy in Azerbaijan in the expansion of democracy to all the region. He considers that the basis of guaranteeing of further safety makes the origin of democracy in Azerbaijan, transformation to a real democratic and upcoming state.

Heydar Aliyev: Well. Please, would you like to say anything?

Michael Westphal: Mr President, really I do not have such a father as Mr. Brzezinski who knows you. But I am very pleased and honoured that you have found time to receive us today.

Mr. President, I fully agree with my colleague Ian Brzezinski that Azerbaijan is a state which is of great importance for the USA. Mr. Helms shows interest and attention to Azerbaijan. And the fact that he has sent us here, his desire to exactly assess the situation of this place, region and prepare report for him is an evidence of this interest. I consider that in preparation of our report on returning, we will write that we had an opportunity to meet with the President of the country. This meeting will be the guarantee of the report which we will prepare, it will be detailed report, including all sides of American-Azerbaijan relations and in this connection we express our gratitude to You.

Heydar Aliyev: I deduce from your words that I can agree with ideas of the senator Helms. However, one matter is to get these data and another matter is to render practical assistance in the solution of these problems. Azerbaijan is in need of it. I think your visit will yield a positive result and Azerbaijan will receive much more support from the USA for the development on the basis of principles you have spoken about. Thank you.

Newspaper "Azerbaijan" October 31, 2000.

Brief essays


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Azerbaijan - USA

Historical backgrounds

Azerbaijan - USA