From the conversation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar ‎Aliyev with the President of Islamic Republic of Iran Akbar Hashemi - Rafsanjani, ‎October 27, 1993‎

Heydar Aliyev: Distinguished President Rafsanjani, distinguished guests! I welcome you warmly on behalf of Azerbaijan. I express again my gratitude for your visit Baku. I want to express my absolute confidence that your present visit and arrival in Azerbaijan with a big delegation the forthcoming meetings and negotiations and the signed contracts are the main stage for the development of relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Islamic Republic of Iran.

I want to note that the Republic of Azerbaijan and Islamic Republic of Iran are neighbour states. There are ancient, historical, friendly, brotherly relations between Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, Iranian and Azerbaijan nation. Our nations live in the neighbourhood and in unity for many centuries. The contribution made by the representatives of our nation to the world culture, development of a science and culture, is known, and it is the common heritage both of the Iranian and the Azerbaijani nations. The Islamic religion, the spiritual source of our peoples, has created very great conditions for the preservation and development of national and moral traditions of our nation.

At present the Republic of Azerbaijan as an independent state intends to develop its contacts with Islamic Republic of Iran in all spheres. The Republic of Azerbaijan supports the development of contacts with Islamic Republic of Iran in the sphere of economy, science, trade, human understanding, in the sphere of transportation, creation of joint ventures and in all other spheres. And in this connection the projects of certain agreements have been prepared. We think that in the recent years there was a certain coldness between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Lately we have taken necessary measures for their elimination. We intend to realize these measures in the future, too.

We think that the relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Islamic Republic of Iran should be constructed on the basis of friendship and mutual benefit, mutual profit and serve the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its people as well as the interests of the Republic of Azerbaijan and its nation.

I believe that today's and the future meetings will confirm all this, and necessary decisions will be adopted for their realization.

H.Rafsanjani: In the name of God, most merciful and compassionate! I am very grateful that you have accepted us so warmly. I congratulate You on Your election as president by the majority of people. I congratulate You also on the second anniversary of your independence. At the same time we regret very much that the attacks directed against you is going on. I am sure that they will regret and understand that they make a mistake. Now it is not the time when any one can occupy the lands of others. And the Islamic Republic of Iran will never allow these events destabilize the world.

We could do a lot of joint work, perform a number of successful works in the sphere of bilateral cooperation. We assisted to your nation because there is war. We rendered assistance before, too. We rendered certain assistance to Nakhchivan and to other southern regions. It is our Muslim and human duty, of course, and I hope that this situation will not continue.

However, our main purpose is the restoration and maintenance of economic development of the country. Our peoples have the most ancient culture in the region. We have a common history. Besides, our people are tied with deep feelings of love. All these oblige us to cooperate closely.

We cooperate also within the frames of the recently created Organization of the pre-Caspian States. Our cooperation is very important in the use of the Caspian Sea. Our cooperation in the sphere of the ecology of the Caspian Sea evokes great interest and in other republics. The cooperation the pre-Caspian states in this field plays a very important role.

Connection of our Astara railway with your Astara railway will expand the cooperation between our two countries, as well as among the pre-Caspian states. Making use of the River Araks has a great importance for both countries. Both countries can make use of this river. We build the Khudaferin water dam on that river and should speed up its input to the system. We must promote the frontier communications and the ease the entry and exit of our citizens.

The bilateral cooperation in the sphere of use of the Caspian oil is of very great importance for both states. It is pleasant that you have good specialists in the sphere of utilization of the Caspian region, and we have sufficient experience in science and technical contacts. All these in total pave way for the cooperation. It would be good if we use our own opportunities, but not the opportunities of others.

Both our countries and peoples are interested in the protection of ecology and environment of the Caspian sea. Raise of the level of water in the Caspian sea creates serious difficulties both for you and for other pre-Caspian countries. In this connection we must exchange views and cooperate.

You have a good scientific potential owing that you were a part of the USSR before. We also have a good potential and experience. It can play a positive role in the development of our two nations. We should make use of this. We should pay attention to the development of trade - on the level of private persons and between the two countries. This is very important the satisfaction of the consumer demand in both countries.

We should try to establish cooperation between the two parliaments - the Parliament of Iran and Azerbaijan. This is very important for the cooperation of the parliaments and peoples. We should develop our relations to a degree to make our enemies understand that these two states support each other and there is a unity between them. I see that a number of documents have been prepared for our visit, there is a large list. And I hope that the signature of these documents will pave a good way for the cooperation of our two countries.

Speaking about the cooperation I must note that the relations with Azerbaijan are important for us. I am sure that on your own part you attach great importance to our cooperation. And I must note that we do not want the documents signed today to remain on the paper. Practical work should be done for the realization of this cooperation. I can add to the said that there are no obstacles between us, and we can cooperate in all spheres.

I am absolutely sure that both you and I, being presidents of the two countries, can create such an example of cooperation between our two Muslim countries, which will be followed as an example by other states.

I am very pleased, very thankful.

Heydar Aliyev: Mr. President, I thank you on behalf of the Azerbaijani Republic for the kind words about us. I note with pleasure that You condemned the constant attacks of the armed forces of Armenia to the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The principal position of the Islamic Republic of Iran and personally Yours, Mr. President, in this issue is of very great importance for us. I want to note that the Armenian armed forces have intensified their attacks to Azerbaijan. You know that some part of Fuzuli, Jabrail, Qubadli districts were occupied, but lately, beginning since October 21, of this month, the parts of the districts of Fizuli, Jabrail, Gubadli, which border with Iran, have been occupied. Their population, has been compelled to pass to the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran. During the last days had constant contacts with the leadership of Armenia, with the forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh, demanded to stop these attacks. We appealed to international organizations in this connection; however, unfortunately, it has not brought any results. It is surprising that on the eve of the arrival of the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Azerbaijan, these attacks have intensified more. Just three days ago Zangilan, which borders with Iran, was occupied. There is about 80 thousand inhabitants there. The population tries to defend the district with the help of our armed forces here. We again contacted with Yerevan and the Nagorno-Karabakh, demanded to cease the fire. But without any result.

You know that international organizations, including the Security Council of the United Nations Organization, the CSCE repeatedly adopted decisions for the withdrawal of the armed forces of Armenia from the occupied districts of Azerbaijan.

Unfortunately, it has not brought any result. According to the information given today in the morning, the armed forces of Armenia have exposed Zangilan to an intensive fire.

Therefore, using the opportunity I want to inform the world community about this situation. I address to all international organizations to compel Armenia to stop its aggression.

Mr. President, I address to you as to an outstanding political statesman of the world, to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and I want to hope that you will make use of your opportunities, stop the aggression of Armenian armed forces, their attacks to Zengilan and make efforts for withdrawal of the armed forces of Armenia from the occupied territories, in particular, from Fizuli, Zangilan, Jabrail.

I want to call your attention to the fact that these are the districts of the Republic of Azerbaijan bordering with the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the result of the occupation the borders between Azerbaijan and Iran pass remain under the occupation of the Armenian armed forces. I suppose that the Islamic Republic of Iran should not tolerate it. Therefore, I address to you hoping that the questions will be settled soon.

We agree with your proposals on economic, scientific, technical cooperation. In this connection your and our experts have prepared the projects of necessary contracts, documents. I suppose that after this meeting we can consider them, and undoubtedly, they should be signed during your visit.

H.Rafshanjani: If God allows, we shall realize this cooperation.

Heydar Aliyev: I again express my gratitude. Our ministers and other officials will be engaged in this work. We shall continue your visit according to the program. Thank you. 

"Azerbaijan" newspaper, October 28, 1993

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