Speech of the Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev at the summit of the member countries of NATO Euroatlantic Partnership Council - November 22, 2002

Distinguished Mr. Chairman!

Distinguished colleagues!

The world lives an extremely complicated period. The international terrorism, enjoying the support of some states, attacks the world law order, tries to establish new confrontations on the basis of the extremist ideology of aggressive nationalism and militant separatism, tries to divide and change the bodiers.

The international system takes a serious test for the capacity to fight effectively against the common threat. After the tragedy of September 11 the Euroatlantic Community immediately established an antiterror coalition and Azerbaijan joined it since the first days. Today we do our best in corporation with other countries and international organizations for the counteraction of these threats. Their character and scales remove any restrictions, including geographical, for joint and all-round struggle in the frames of NATO Euroatlantic Partnership Council.

But the threat existed before September 11. The hearth of terrorism and international criminality emerge in conflict zones and in uncontrolled territories, which have appeared as a results of wars and policy of aggressive nationalism and violent separatism. The region of the Southern Caucasus is more vulnerable in this sense.

Leading an irreconcilable struggle with international terrorism and extremism, Azerbaijan directs its main efforts to the liberation of its territories from the Armenian occupation and to the reestablishment of law order and control there. The settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict meets to the interests of all the states of the Euroatlantic Partnership. As it is not late, the world community must do everything in its power for the peaceful settlement of the conflict on the basis of the absolute restoration of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in accordance with the norms and principles of the international law.

Considering the partnership with NATO as a basis for the future Euroatlantic security system, Azerbaijan strives to integrate into the partnership with the alliance and for an intensive bilateral dialogue. At the same time, I want to underline the growing interrelation of the members of the alliance and partnership, and the necessity of taking into account the interests and needs of the partners.

We marked the increase of attention of NATO to the Southern Caucasus. But all the regional initiatives and suggestions first of all must be directed to the overcoming the consequences of the war and reestablishment of the internationally recognized boarders.

We marked with satisfaction the development of new mutual relations between NATO and Russia which can have a vital importance in the elimination of crisis in different regions of Europe.

I congratulate the states which have got the invitation to join to the alliance and, I appreciate the open door policy of NATO.

Mr. Chairman!

The goals facing before us demand enormous efforts. But we have no right to step back. Our holy duty is to present a safe and stable world to our descendants.

Thank you for your attention.