From the talk of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev and President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Mrs. Leni Fischer - Strasbourg, Palais de l`Europe, October 9, 1997

Leni Fischer: Dear Mr. President Heydar Aliyev! I warmly welcome you, I am glad to meet you again. Conveying to you the warmest wishes of my husband, I want to say that he enjoyed the concert dedicated to the anniversary of Rostropovich in Baku. It is such an event that we will never forget it.
Heydar Aliyev: I thank you and your spouse, please give him my respect and esteem, and I am very pleased that you attended the concert together with your spouse.

In response to your interest in the region, including the update in resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, I declare that after your visit to Baku, there are changes in the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group - the U.S., Russia and France made a statement in Denver. The co-chairs submitted us their proposals for resolving the conflict. We are advocates of ending the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict based on the principles adopted at the Lisbon summit of the OSCE and accepted these proposals as a basis for further negotiation. The proposals provide for a two-stage solution to the conflict. According to these proposals 6 Azerbaijani regions occupied by Armenia must first be liberated, the Armenian armed forces must leave these territories, refugees should return to their land. In the second stage the status of Nagorno-Karabakh within Azerbaijan must be determined, and at the same time Shusha and Lachin must be freed from the occupation. Azerbaijan is ready to continue negotiations on the basis of these proposals.

I reiterate that the independent Republic of Azerbaijan, which is an integral part of Europe, is heading toward integration into the structure of the continent and has worked closely with the European Union, and the European Commission. We attach great importance to our relations with the Council of Europe, and after obtaining the status of "specially invited guest" our cooperation has improved significantly. However, we wish to become a full member of the Council and carry out all measures for this purpose.

Memorable words in the book of honorable guests of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe:

"Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe plays a significant role in the development of peace, prosperity and democracy in Europe. Azerbaijan attaches great appreciation to the cooperation with the Council of Europe and tries to become a full member of the Council of Europe. I wish the Council of Europe new successes.

Heydar Aliyev,
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.