Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the final session of the OSCE Lisbon Summit - December 3, 1996

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... We are passing on to the project of the document titled "the Declaration of the Lisbon Summit". Please take into account that all the whole this text is enclosed in inverted brackets? I would like to ask a question: is there an opportunity to attain mutual agreement which is always required for a consensus? Because the consensus is the sole basis for peace and stability in Europe. Therefore, you are requested to come to a consensus. It is asked: is there a consensus to remove now these square brackets? Azerbaijan.

President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev: Mr.Chairman, dear heads of states and governments. This document has no consensus of Azerbaijan, as the 20th article of this document had been taken in inverted commas, that is, the 20th article has no consensus of the Republic of Armenia. As you know, the 20th article is devoted to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict on Nagorno-Karabakh. The OSCE is engaged in this conflict for many years. After the Budapest summit consecutive negotiations have been conducted for two years. Therefore, it would not be clear if nothing is said about the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in the final document of the Lisbon summit. Therefore, I have bracketed the entire document. I consider that the Republic of Armenia should remove the brackets from the 20th article so that I could make a decision on this question. If the Republic of Armenia gives a consensus to the 20th article, I could give a consensus for removal of brackets.

Chairman: Please take into account that the 20th article of this project of the document is enclosed in square brackets too. Is there a consensus to removing square brackets in which the 20th article of the project has been enclosed now? Armenia.

President of Armenia Levon Ter Petrosyan: As a whole, it is clear that we welcome this declaration. But, unfortunately, Armenia cannot withdraw its protest against the 20th article, and I suggest to remove it from the general text of the declaration, because of the reasons commented by me in my yesterday's speech. Thank you.

Chairman: Does anyone from delegations want to take a floor? USA.

USA Vice-president Albert Gore: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I understand from this situation that there is no consensus to one of the documents. Azerbaijan did not remove its square brackets in which the whole text had been enclosed. My question is: by agreeing about a coordination which should find its reflection in this document, can we remove the maintenance of the 20th article and ask to include this maintenance not in the document, but in the statement of the OSCE's acting chairman? If it is possible in this situation, maybe, then Azerbaijan would agree to remove the square brackets from the entire document. The point here is that. Thank you.

Chairman: Thank you. I think that it is very good idea. The offer is as follows. Let the document be adopted without the 20th article and included in the statement of the chairman with support of all OSCE members, except the country which made terms on it. In that case can Azerbaijan take its terms back and remove square brackets?


President Heydar Aliyev: Azerbaijan, expressing respect to the activity of the OSCE, the OSCE Lisbon summit, and I, expressing respect to my colleagues who gathered here and successively discussed very important issues on security and cooperation in Europe within two days, could agree to the removal of brackets, that is, withdraw the protest against this text if the statement mentioned by the chairman of our session would be made on behalf of the acting chairman and heads of states who are participating here.

Chairman: Mr. President, thank you for understanding us. Can we adopt this document as it is? "Declaration of the Lisbon summit" with the amendment made during the session is being adopted. The floor is given to the acting chairman of the OSCE.

Chairman of OSCE Flavio Cotti: Mr. chairman, your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen! I think, you will agree with me that the atmosphere reigned in Lisbon during all of this central session of the OSCE was really excellent. I would like to express my gratitude to representatives of Azerbaijan for their very serious approach to the question. All of you know that for the last two years no progress has been attained in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and in the question of territorial integrity of the Azerbaijan Republic. I regret that, the efforts of the Minsk conference co-chairmen in rapprochement of positions of the parties on the regulating the principles of the settlement failed. The Minsk group co-chairmen have offered three principles for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. These principles are supported by all member-states of the Minsk group. These are: Territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Republic of Armenia, legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh defined in the agreement on the basis of self-determination which grants Nagorno-Karabakh the highest degree of self-management within Azerbaijan, guarantee for security of Nagorno-Karabakh and its all population, including the mutual obligations providing the observance of clauses of settlement by the parties.

I regret that Armenia could not accept it. These principles are supported by all other participant states.

This statement will be included in documents of the Lisbon summit. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.