Statement of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the joint press conference with Presidents Robert Kocharian of Armenia and Jacques Chirac of France - January 26, 2001

Ladies and gentlemen!

I am very pleased to be here, in the Elysian Palace, Paris for more than five hours and taking President Chirac`s so much time. Mr. President, I thank you for inviting me to France, and we had very interesting meetings here, I mean Azerbaijan and Armenia as well, and sparing your time for us, and I suppose that President Kocharian also thinks so.

Affiliation of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe is an event of historical importance for our independent country. I want to extend my gratitude to President Chirac and all the French delegation in the Council of Europe for their assistance. This is something symbolic that we mark this event here, in this way.

Certainly, we held useful exchange of views on Azerbaijan`s obligations in the Council of Europe. I want to say once more that we shall actively participate in the Council of Europe and cooperate with France in al the spheres.

Today, we held useful exchange of views with the Armenian President Robert Kocharian. We talked nearly two hours and all this time was dedicated to the search of a peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and mutual compromises.

A trilateral meeting with the participation of President Chirac was very good. Mr. President has already mentioned it, and I want also to say that to hold a trilateral exchange of views about such a serious, complicated issue as the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is of great importance for me as the Azerbaijani President. President Kocharian and I agreed to continue our dialogue to find the solution of the issue. We talked about it during our trilateral meeting with President Chirac.

Mr. President of France, I want once more thank you for this very interesting day for me, and I hope that your efforts will continue for the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, as the Minsk Group co-chairman.

"Azerbaijan" newspaper, January 26, 2001