Official visit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev to the Republic of Austria (July 3-6, 2000)

Austria is among the first countries which recognized the independence of Azerbaijan. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established shortly after Azerbaijan restored its independence. The most productive period in the Azerbaijani-Austrian bilateral relations started after the first official of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev to Austria on July 3-6, 2000.

In his interview to the reporters, Heydar Aliyev declared that Austria was in charge of chairmanship of the OSCE in 2000, while the Austrian Foreign Minister was the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. Moreover, since the headquarters of a number of UN agencies, OSCE headquarters are in Vienna, the importance of meetings, negotiations with the chairs of those institutions for Azerbaijan was also underlined.

At the meeting held with the Austrian Federal President Thomas Klestil and the Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev on July 4, the parties stressed the mutual benefit of the bilateral relations, the interest of Austria in thorough cooperation with Azerbaijan, a country with rich economic potential. The developments of the Azerbaijani-Austrian relations, the ways of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were discussed during the negotiations. A series of agreements between the governments of Azerbaijan and Austria was signed with the participation of the presidents.

In his meeting with Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the Austrian Foreign Minister, the OSCE Chairwoman, on the same day, President Heydar Aliyev expressed Azerbaijan`s expectations in the OSCE activities in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, especially during the period of chairmanship of Austria. Mrs. Ferrero-Waldner declared that Austria, as the incumbent chair of OSCE, would do its best to resolve the conflict peacefully.

On July 4, President Heydar Aliyev visited the Vienna city hall.

At the meeting with the Chairman of the Austrian Parliament Heinz Fischer on July 4, President Heydar Aliyev spoke of strengthening the relations between the parliaments of Azerbaijan and Austria and about number of issues of mutual interest.

Then Heydar Aliyev provided information on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in his meeting with the Federal Chancellor of Austria Wolfgang Schüssel, the latter stated: «I assure you that Azerbaijan`s position regarding the conflict will be supported by Austria.» Another significant meeting on the same day was organized with the members of the Foreign Policy and International Relations Society at the Austrian Economic Chamber. The meeting was attended by Austria`s prominent public and political figures, businesspeople, ambassadors of foreign countries and reporters. Heydar Aliyev made a speech on the topic «Azerbaijan on the threshold of the XXI century: problems and prospects».

On July 5 at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Heydar Aliyev met Pino Arlacchi, the Director-General of the Office, Under-Secretary-General of the UN. «A Memorandum on mutual understanding among Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran and the UN drug control program on cooperation in the sphere of drug control and on activities against legalizing illegal drug money» was signed by President Heydar Aliyev and Pino Arlacchi.

During the visit Heydar Aliyev met Carlos Magarinos, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on July 5. The sides signed «a Memorandum on cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in the field of industrial development».

On the same day, at the Office of the United Nations in Vienna Heydar Aliyev met the delegation led by Wolfgang Hoffmann, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in the Economic Chamber with representatives of the Austrian business circles, with the Azerbaijani community living in Vienna and surrounding towns.

Heydar Aliyev`s meeting with Mohammad al-Baradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency ended up with signing the «Additional protocol between Azerbaijan and the International Atomic Energy Agency on applying guarantees regarding the nuclear non-proliferation agreement».

On July 6, the Azerbaijani President met the reporters of the Austrian mass media (newspapers «Courier», «Die Presse», «Standart», APA Agency) and spoke to them about his impressions concerning the visit.

The visit not only strengthened the Azerbaijani-Austrian cooperation, but also accelerated Azerbaijan`s integration into the world community.