Introductory and Concluding Speeches of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev Devoted to the Totals of the Istanbul Summit of OSCE -November 24, 1999

Heydar Aliyev: ‘Ladies and gentlemen!

The present Republican Conference has been convened to discuss the totals of the Istanbul Summit of OSCE. The Istanbul Summit of OSCE is one greatest events of the 20th century. The heads of the governments and states of the OSCE-member countries assembled at the end of the 20th and on the eve of the 21st century, held discussions and adopted important documents on the future. Naturally, it is very important not only for Europe, not only for the OSCE-member countries, but for the whole world, for the world community.


I can say that the summit passed on the highest level and solved successfully the objectives facing it. The Organs of mass media have disseminated broad information on the Istanbul Summit. The TV channels of Turkey and other countries, the National Television of Azerbaijan have illuminated the course of the Summit, the Azerbaijani public have due information and imagination about it. But as This Summit is of great importance, it is necessary to hold this conference for the execution, for implementation into life of the resolutions of the Summit in Azerbaijan. I have invited you to the conference for this purpose.


As you know, the Summit summed up the activities of the past period, discussed the ensurance of peace and security of the countries in the 21st century, development of democracy and many other issues connected with it. The head of each country disclosed his views and considerations, and as a result the Charter of the Istanbul Summit was adopted, a treaty was signed on conventional arms in Europe, as in all the summits a political statement was adopted there, too. Each of these documents is of historical importance. As I said, the Summit itself acquires a great historical importance.


The Istanbul Summit is also remarkable for us, for Azerbaijan, for our friendly countries, for our friends with another historical event. We know it, it is the signature of the contract on the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline for the exportation of the Azerbaijani oil to the world market, and it was signed in these conditions, in the days when the Summit was held.


Along with the said, documents were also signed on the transportation of the Turkmen gas through the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia to Turkey. Therefore the Istanbul Summit is a historical event for Europe, for the world, it is twice important as a historical event for Azerbaijan. Being a member of OSCE, we think that the conduction of such a top level summit, with such an important agenda, with such an important content and issues at the end of the 20th century is a great historical event. Naturally, the signature of the contract on the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline is a great historical event for Azerbaijan, for Turkey, for Georgia, for Turkmenistan, for the United States of America and for the countries which cooperate with Azerbaijan. I noted that you and the Azerbaijani public are aware of it. But I think that today we must convey much more information both to you and to the Azerbaijani public about it, we must explain the essence of many issues, at the same time we must discuss the measures for the execution, implementation of the decisions and documents of the OSCE Summit in Azerbaijan. The contract on the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline has been signed, now its execution stage is beginning, therefore we must exchange views on the future work for its execution. Naturally, special documents will be adopted. Special documents will be developed and signed on the work to be performed in Azerbaijan in connection with the documents adopted in the OSCE Summit.

Therefore the Present Conference is very important and necessary. I think that the Present Conference will give chance to our citizens, to our public much more information about the Istanbul Summit and about the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Naturally, it will be a basis for each Azerbaijani citizen for the appreciation of the historical importance of all this issues.”


Concluding Speech

“Ladies and gentlemen!


The Istanbul Summit of OSCE is a historical event, which like a strong searchlight illuminates the 21st century from the end of the 20the century. The Istanbul Summit and the decisions and documents adopted there create great foundations for the development of the European states, peoples, other member countries and peoples of OSCE. This organization was founded in 1975. I can bravely say that the Istanbul Summit of OSCE surpasses all the summits of this organization in importance. Firstly, OSCE has been functioning about 25 years. It has accumulated enormous experience, it has improved structurally and enriched and is paving the road to the 21st century by reflecting the global changes taken place in the world.


Azerbaijan appreciates its participation and presentation in the Istanbul Summit of OSCE as great and historical event. As an independent state Azerbaijan is taking part in the summits of OSCE since 1992. Azerbaijan took part in the Helsinki Summit of OSCE in 1992 with a delegation headed by its President. But unfortunately, we cannot find any trace of that participation there, what the delegation did there. It was truly said there that in 1992 Azerbaijan suffered great difficulties and hardships, firstly, because it had just gained its independence, secondly, the Armenian –Azerbaijani conflict had reached its most terrible peak. At that moment it was possible to make use of the summit of OSC effectively, now it becomes clear that nothing was done.


The delegation of Azerbaijan took an active part in the Budapest (1994) and Istanbul (1996) summits of OSCE, and you know well that necessary documents were adopted on Azerbaijan, particularly in connection with the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, which is the gravest and most difficult problem of Azerbaijan.


I want simply to compare the Istanbul Summit of OSCE with the previous summits of OSCE. It surpassed all the summits in which I have taken part. It differed from the previous ones in the level of the representatives of delegations, in the content and sense of documents adopted in them, in the organization of those summits. I can compare them and say in full confidence that the Istanbul Summit of OSCE was the organized international summit, the best organized meeting from the point of view of its organization, from the point of view of conditions created there for the effective work of delegations and from the point of view of other factors.


It creates a sense of pride for us, for Azerbaijan, because, at the end of the 20th century, that is, in this century, the Istanbul Summit of OSCE was held in Turkey, despite the fact that the brotherly Turkey suffered from a terrible earthquake in August and was facing great problems, nevertheless, the Summit was organized on the duly level. Such a level of organization and the results of the Summit add to the reputation of the brotherly and friendly Turkish Republic, to the reputation of our friendly, brotherly Turkish people in the world scale. I repeat it again that being a brotherly people we are proud of it. I said it to the President of the Republic of Turkey, my friend and brother Suleiman Demirel on the 19th of August in the evening when I met him in Istanbul, I repeat it again. All of us, all the Azerbaijani people congratulate the Republic of Turkey, the brotherly Turkish people, all the citizens of Turkey on the occasion of this great success. The foreign minister of Azerbaijan Vilayet Quliyev, President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan spoke in detail about the Istanbul Summit, about the documents signed on the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, on the construction of the TransCaspian gas pipeline. I am very much pleased that the participants of this conference have attentively watched the course of the Istanbul Summit and have displayed great interest in it. Perhaps, they know and are able to appreciate better the results of this Summit in comparison with others held in the past.


I know that the Azerbaijani public, that is, our citizens have watched the Turkish television and the national television of Azerbaijan and are aware of the course of the Summit, have watched the ceremony of the signature of the contract on the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, everybody has his own imagination of the events taking place there. I am very much pleased that our people highly appreciate the Summit and the activity of the Azerbaijani delegation which is taking part there, I have information about it. Today here in this conference the signature of the contract on the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, as well as the activity of the Azerbaijani delegation is being highly appreciated.


As it was said here, the main document adopted there was the Istanbul Charter. It is a historical event that it is the second charter which reflects all the changes taken place in the world after the signature of the Paris Charter. A treaty on the conventional arms in Europe and a political statement has also been signed in this Summit.


With its participation in the summit of OSCE, with the work in the development of documents there, and finally, by disclosing the position of Azerbaijan and signing the documents introduced to the participants of the Summit Azerbaijan once more proved and demonstrated its state independence to the world.


When I signed the Istanbul Charter, the document on the conventional arms in Europe, when I gave my consent to the signature of the political statement, I was implementing into life the powers which the Azerbaijani people have granted to me. I signed those documents on behalf of the Azerbaijani people. Those documents will remain in the history. The future generations will appreciate them. Today the importance of those documents for us is that the Azerbaijani people are free; pursue an independent internal and foreign policy. The Azerbaijani people are proud of their independence; Azerbaijan has the chance to sign such important historical documents. At the same time all this lay great responsibility on us, obliges us to fulfill the objectives laid on us consistently.


By signing the documents of the OSCE Summit we confirm once more that Azerbaijan is an independent state. A democratic, legal, secular state is being built in Azerbaijan, and this process is speedily developing. Azerbaijan ensures the freedom of all the peoples living there, protects human rights, and ensures the freedom of conscience, freedom of press. Azerbaijan is a secular state. Remaining devoted to its own national traditions it respects the universal traditions and is making use of them. Azerbaijan is pursuing the road of market economy, conducting economic reforms, integrating its economy into the world economy, and thus, it is joining the ranks of the civil states of the world, which have developed from economic point of view, which keeps the social problems in the focus of attention. With these words I want to say that we gained independence eight years ago, the work done by us in these eight years has led us to our present state. It is our strategic road, and by signing the documents of the Istanbul Summit of OSCE we demonstrated to the world once more that we shall pursue this road and never divert from it. We confirm it for our nation, for our people, too.

We are facing great objectives. We think that we must sign necessary documents in connection with the results of the Istanbul Summit. In those documents we must reflect concrete objectives for our country, practically solvable issues which derive from the Charter and from other decisions of the Summit. That is, I want to declare to you and to the whole public that the Istanbul Summit is a great stage. It is the beginning of a new stage for the European countries, for the members of OSCE. Therefore we must begin with concrete works.


We must improve the works which we have already performed. But at the same time we must remove all the deficiencies, errors in the said spheres. We must remove the things, the negative cases which contradict the documents of OSCE, which damage the interests of our country, our people; we must unite our society much more. And our society must unite much more just on these principles. I suppose that each Azerbaijani citizen, particularly those who work in the state and government bodies, public organizations must derive comprehend their duties and responsibilities in connection with the conclusions of the Summit and must seriously be engaged in their implementation.


At the session of the OSCE Summit a second historical event in the life of Azerbaijan took place. It was the signature of the contract on the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which was developed with great difficulty in the recent years. It is really a historical event of great importance. It is not accidental that the signature of this contract has caused a great response in many countries of the world, in many circles, in close to us and faraway countries, and it gave rise to different approaches and attitudes.


Since 1993-1994 Azerbaijan has been taking measures for strengthening its independence, for building its economy on the principles of the market economy, on the principles of world economy, and all this are producing positive results. Among these measures within the past five years the most distinguished is the signature of the oil contract with the biggest oil companies of the world. It gave us a chance to make better use of our oil and gas resources. It is the oil strategy of our country.


Azerbaijan is an ancient oil country. Under the Soviet rule Azerbaijan was also recognized as an oil republic. It is known that in Azerbaijan other spheres of industry were not paid due attention by the end of the 60s, because Azerbaijan had always been engaged in oil production and other industries connected with oil. On the other hand, the central government of the Soviet Union demanded from each republic, from each region those things which the whole country needed. Azerbaijan needed to develop other industries besides the production of oil and gas. We did it. In the 70s-80s a lot was done in this sphere.. Many new spheres of industry emerged, Azerbaijan benefitted from them very much. A lot of things were done in the sphere of agriculture, land-tenure, in the sphere of the use of the natural resources. Despite all this, our oil and gas resources play the most important role among all our resources.


I think that Azerbaijan as a country is very fortunate, the natural resources endowed by God have always been very important for the life in Azerbaijan, they will play the same role in future, too.


The rich natural resources of Azerbaijan and its geostrategic location are the national property of our people. We must protect and make an efficient use of them. This national property, I repeat it once more, the geostrategic location and its natural resources, that is, the oil and gas deposits are the main property, main wealth for the Azerbaijani people not only for today, not only in the 21st century, but will remain like that in many future centuries as well.


It is known that there are many underground natural resources in the world in the globe. Among them are ferrous and non-0ferrous metal, too, there are other kinds of fuel as well, there is gold, diamond and many other things on the earth and underground. These natural resources exist in many countries of the world. But oil and gas deposits occupy the first place among the natural resources in the world, and presence of these resources in the countries, which possess those resources, is an important factor for raising the social welfare of the population, for developing the economy of the country. I repeat it again that we are a fortunate nation, because we possess such natural resources and we have begun to make use of them more efficiently. Therefore it is natural that at present the biggest companies of the world eager to invest in other countries, desirous to work, act in all the corners of the world turn their faces in the first place to those countries which possess oil and gas resources.


Let us take Russia. It possesses huge natural resources: iron, coal, gold, diamond and others. But today the pillar of the economy of Russia is its rich oil and gas deposits. I can say about it referring to our past history. During the rule of the Soviet Union, particularly at the end of the 70s and the beginning of the 80s, when production in the Soviet Union was underdeveloped, in general, when the grain security suffered difficulties, there were two things which saved the Soviet Union: oil and gas which were sold.


It is true that construction of a gas pipeline to different countries of Europe from the Far East a historical event in those years. The Soviet Union had weakened from financial and economic point of view, incomes from the sale of gas and oil exceeded all the incomes from other spheres of economy, and the sale of these resources benefitted the country enormously.


There are small countries in the Middle East which have risen to the level of the richest countries of the world within 20-25 years on the account of the huge oil and gas resources. With it I want to say that it is the happiness of our people that Azerbaijan possesses huge oil and gas resources, it is the main factor of the better life for the present, for the future of our people, for the development of our country. Because of it foreign investments are coming now mainly to the development of oil and gas resources. Foreign investments come to other spheres, too, but the come mostly to these spheres.


Some dilettantes say unofficially that oil and gas spheres are good, but it is necessary to pay attention to other spheres, too. They are people who are not engaged in these spheres. Today I want to declare to them and to everybody that as a state we pay attention to all the spheres, we want to attract foreign investments to all the spheres of economy, we are cooperating with all the rich companies in all the spheres. But in this issue not everything depends on us. It depends on the interests of each country, on the interests of the rich companies in the natural resources of each country. As I have noted before, at present the demands to oil and gas products surpass all other demands, because they are used not only as fuel, but as raw materials for the development of many other spheres of industry, for ensuring their raw material security. Therefore the biggest companies of the world turn their attention to those countries rich in oil and gas resources and try to invest in them. Recently the situation with Azerbaijan is also like that.


Here we must pay attention to two things: the first case is that someone comes and wants to make use of our resources, that is, to work with us jointly, undoubtedly, it is natural. The second case is whether Azerbaijan is able to make an efficient use of its national resources for its own national interests or not. In this sphere the new oil strategy of Azerbaijan is our greatest achievement not only for the past five years, but for our great future.


It has already been told here, we spoke comprehensively about it when we celebrated the fifth anniversary of the signature of the Contract of the Century. We developed and signed the first contract with great wisdom, competence and skill, by ensuring our national interests entirely, with it we laid the foundations of the new oil strategy of Azerbaijan, with it we attracted the attention of many oil companies of the world to Azerbaijan, and up to present within five years we have signed 18 contracts. Natig Aliyev informed you about them today. All of them have been directed to the future.


I remember, when our first contracts were discussed in the parliament, some parliamentarians (naturally the majority of them were from opposition) were protesting against their signature: “Why are you doing it? Why do you hurry? It is necessary to leave them for the future generations. Why do you sign these contracts with foreign companies? Wait till we get incomes from the first contract, then we shall do the rest ourselves.” They were protesting against our deeds with such dilettante words and low level thinking. On the one hand, it is naturally the result of the unawareness of the work, on the other hand, it tells of their desire to object to what the government did. But we know well what we do. Therefore after the signature of the Contract of the Century and commencement of its implementation, we discussed and analyzed the interests of the foreign companies in the deposits in the Azerbaijani Sector of the Caspian Sea and in the onshore deposits of Azerbaijan, and signed new contracts. It is necessary to know that the work performed by us within the past five years is a great achievement. WE are doing them for the future of Azerbaijan, for the future generations.


The consistent development and signature of these contracts are connected with the desire of the foreign companies to come and work here; on the one hand, it is an integral part of our oil strategy, on the other hand. Natig Aliyev said it here that after the signature of each contract there is a prospecting period for thee years. After three years the production processes begin. It means how many years are needed for implementing the contract and for getting the initial results.


Well, by doing it we worked and performed activities consistently for the future of Azerbaijan, for 2010, 2015, 2020. If we sign one, two and then sit and wait, leave the rest for the future, and what will if in future the foreign companies lose interest in our deposits, find other promising deposits in other countries , or other kinds of energy bearers are found? It was also said here how much incomes Azerbaijan receives from the signature of contracts and from the conduction of initial activities. All this is necessary for the present day. We have already received over 100 million USA dollars concrete profits from the performance of the Contract of the Century in 2000. These profits will increase each year.


When other contracts begin to work, for instance, it was spoken here about the contract on “Shah-deniz”, the contractors will continue their work, the performance of one contract will not hinder the work on other contracts, on the contrary, and they will help each other. For example, over 200 million USA dollars have been spent on the restoration and modernization of the semi-submersible drilling rigs of “Dede Korkut” and “Istiglal” because of the Contract of the Century and because of the contract on “Shah-deniz”. These finances are foreign investments, but both of the drilling rigs are properties of Azerbaijan.


Approximately 60-70 million USA dollars have been spent on the modernization of “Dede Korkut”. We have a new drilling rig of new type, which in the past was called “Shelf”. It will also undergo modernization. All this is done for easing the work, for the success of the work in Azerbaijan in future.


But we must never forget the work done in the past. For instance, if we had not constructed the Plant of Deep Sea Foundations (now Jacket Factory) at the end of the 70s, if we had not bought and brought it and constructed here then, now we would have not been able to do these things here now. I must tell you that 400 million USA dollars were spent on its construction from the budget of the Soviet Union. That plant is not on the desired level now, it is necessary to update, to modernize it. It will have great importance for the work not only in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, but for the work in other sectors, too.


For instance, in his speech the Kazakh President ((perhaps you heard him when the documents were signed) said that they had drilled one prospecting well and they had already drilled three thousand meters. They do it in their own sector, if they find that there are rich oil reserves there, and then they will need drilling rigs. In the Caspian Sea only Azerbaijan has drilling rigs, no one else has them. We created a strong foundation in the past for our present day. It is necessary to know it, it must never be forgotten. Because of our past deeds we have the drilling rigs of “Dede Korkut” and “Istiglal” now.


Had we not signed the contract on joint developments in the deposit of “Shah-deniz”, we would not have the drilling rig “Istiglal”, because “Istiglal” has been updated and undergone modernization on the account of the deposit of “Shah-deniz”. With it I want to note once more the 18 contracts which we have signed within five years have laid the foundations of the great future life of Azerbaijan. It is such a foundation that that Azerbaijan will develop on it for many years.


I spoke about it in Istanbul, too. It is clear that if we had not signed the Contract of the Century and not signed other contracts which followed, the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline would have never turned into reality. When we signed the Contract of the Century, it was written there that a main export oil pipeline had to be laid; the term of its construction was determined to be 54-56n months. All this was written then. But what did the reality show then? The future reality showed then that we had to lay the Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline. In 1997 the deposit of “Chirag” produced oil and we began to export oil through that pipeline. But we did not suffice with it. WE needed an alternative pipeline. Then we began to lay the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline. In the April of this year that pipeline and its terminal were put into operation.  We have already exported three million tons of oil with this pipeline.


Naturally, the birth of these two pipelines prolonged the term of the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Undoubtedly, the oil companies and we wanted to see the fruits of our work as soon as possible. If capital is invested, it means that it must produce benefits both for the foreign companies and for Azerbaijan. But if it does not produce benefits, capital is not invested, if the production of benefits is late, undoubtedly, it cannot be useful for anyone.


I say it again; the construction of the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline delayed the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, and perhaps it could prolong the term of its construction completely. Had we not signed other contracts, had not the International Operating Company of Azerbaijan not believed that it could get much more oil from its own contract deposits and from other contract deposits, they would have not give their consent to the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline. You know, if you do not know, then know that they were not giving their consent to it. Because they were saying that commercial interests must be above all. We also think that the commercial interest must be above all. But the work that we have done within the recent five years, just the work done by us materialized the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. Within a year after the signature of the political declaration in Ankara in the October of 1998 a lot was done. They were the most difficult and hardest works. Negotiations were held between Turkey and Azerbaijan for months. Negotiations were held between the International operating Company of Azerbaijan and Turkey and the Turkish companies. Negotiations were held with Georgia. But undoubtedly the solution of the issue depended mainly on the negotiations held with Turkey.


You remember, the International Operating Company of Azerbaijan had raised the cost of the Baku-Ceyhan Oil pipeline to 3, 7 billion USA dollars. The performed work proved that it was not a correct figure. Finally that figure was lowered to 2, 4 billion dollars. But as it was said here it has also a risk. Turkey obliges to take the risk in its own territory. The International operating Company of Azerbaijan obliges to take the risk in the territories of Georgia and Azerbaijan. In this way the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline became a reality and the documents on its construction were signed in Istanbul in a top level solemn ceremony.


I have said it many times, and today I want to declare it once more that we have felt the care, attention and support of the United States of America in the development and signature of the Contract of the Century, in other works which we have done, in the construction of the oil pipelines of the Baku-Supsa and Baku-Ceyhan. The USA President Mr. Bill Clinton paid a special attention to these issues personally. He appointed a special envoy to be engaged in these issues, who regularly visited Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia, worked together with us. The USA was interested in the Baku-Ceyhan like us and Turkey. The special approach of the United States to this issue, its support and the rendered assistance, I repeat it once more, engagement of President Bill Clinton in this issue personally, the support given by him removed and solved all the problems and we signed the contract on the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline.


You know, Turkey was thinking about the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline more than we were. There was such a public opinion in Turkey that it was the Number One problem of Turkey. The brains of all the citizens of Turkey were full with the idea of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline. I have witnessed it many times. In my meetings with the reporters who came to Azerbaijan, with the statesmen and government officials, with ordinary citizens, the first question, which I was asked, was about the Baku-Ceyhan. Perhaps a part of the ordinary citizens did not know the essence of the issue at all.  Bi it was carved in the brains of the Turkish citizens like an ideal. Therefore it is more important for Turkey than for us. Undoubtedly, the signature of the contract on the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline is a great achievement both for us and for Turkey.


It is natural that Georgia will also benefit from this pipeline greatly. In the ceremony of the signature of the contract the Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze said that Georgia has nether oil, nor gas of its own.  It may allow or not allow the transit of gas and oil from its territory. But it is better to allow it than not to allow, because it will produce incomes.


Thus, we completed the work with Turkey which we were doing together and the ceremony of the signature of the contract was held on a top level. The President of the United States of America took part there personally and put his signature on two documents. It added to the importance of the contract and created great opportunities for its implementation.


While discussing this issue I must say that the Azerbaijani oilmen have great services in in the history of Azerbaijan. On the 7th of November it was the 50th anniversary of the Oil Rocks. They celebrated it on the Oil Rocks solemnly. But I have promised to celebrate it on the republican scale and today I confirm my promise, because the foundations of these days were laid in those days. Now we sign contracts on the deposits discovered within the past 50 years by the Azerbaijani scientists, geologists, and oilmen, on the one hand, the Azerbaijani oilmen engaged in the production of oil in the Caspian Sea for 50 years have been the instigators of the creation of a great material-technical base, on the other hand. They have not created the said material-technical base; it was created by the Azerbaijani government in the past with their participation. High quality professionals in the sphere of oil production have been trained. The material-technical base created in those years, highly qualified oil specialists have laid the foundations of the work, which we are performing today.


Therefore I express my gratitude to the Azerbaijani oilmen once more today and I want to note the special services of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan in the development and signature of the Contract of the Century and of those of other contracts which followed, particularly in the development, signature and implementation of the contract on the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline. I note the services of the president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Natig Aliyev, its first vice-president Ilham Aliyev, vice-presidents Khoshbakht Yusif-zade and Valeh Aleskerov.


Now we are facing new objectives. Up to present we were working for the signature of the contract. Hence it is necessary to implement it into life. Naturally, I have given necessary instructions for it. Today Natig Aliyev reported to me that yesterday they held negotiations with the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan.. Some documents must be developed and a big program must be worked out and implemented into life.


Now Kazakhstan wants to join the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, it is a great event. It was said here that that Kazakhstan wanted to lay an oil pipeline to the Black Sea as early as 19990-1991. But they have not been able to do it yet. If even they manage to do it, they would not be able to transport through the Bosporus Strait as much oil as they want. Therefore President Nursultan Nazarbayev have already felt the reality of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, joined the contract and signed the document in Istanbul.


It has been already noted here that we have been transporting the Kazakh oil in tankers and then by railway to the Black Sea before, too. In this way we help Kazakhstan and at the same time produce incomes for Azerbaijan.


I want to speak about the gas pipeline, too. It is also of great importance. In his disclosure in the ceremony of signature the Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov said that for eight years they had been looking for the alternative ways for laying this pipeline. They wanted to lay this pipeline through many countries, but not any of them have been successful. They wanted and not wanted to lay the pipeline in this direction. Finally they saw that this direction is the most useful and successful for them.

Naturally, the United States of America helped them in it rather greatly. Finally they adopted their decision and the documents on the TransCaspian gas pipeline were signed. It is beneficial for Azerbaijan, too, because we can also transport our exportable gas by this pipeline as well.  We signed a special document with Turkey. According to this document Turkey obliges to transport the Azerbaijani gas to its own territory and from there to Europe.


When I speak about the geostrategic situation of Azerbaijan, I mean this gas pipeline, but not only this. For instance, transportation of the oil products of Kazakhstan through Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan’s participation in the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, transportation of the Turkmen gas through Azerbaijan and other works which are being done in connection with the restoration of the ancient Silk Road, undoubtedly, are evidences of the great and important geostrategic position of Azerbaijan. Because of it I say that not only oil, gas and other natural resources, but also its geostrategic position forms the national wealth and property of Azerbaijan.


We have done a lot in connection with the restoration of the ancient Silk Road. In the September of 1998 an international conference was held in Azerbaijan. Necessary measures are being taken and implemented in connection with it. All the communication lines in Azerbaijan will be loaded more than before. It will create jobs in Azerbaijan and produce incomes.


All this is for our present day, but it is for the future more than for today, for the future generations. I am very lucky that I am to take the burden of a mission, the mission of defending the independence of Azerbaijan, the mission of maintaining and developing the independence, the mission of creating favorable conditions for the happy future, abundance and security for the future generations.


Naturally, the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the TransCaspian gas pipeline have political importance, too. We do not deny it. Because of it the documents signed by us in connection with our economic, as well as political interests are met with a kind of protest, with jealousy. Some of them think that these documents are groundless and very often make hasty statements. Had they been groundless, would the world try on them so much? These documents have been developed and signed not only by us. Some countries express their dissatisfaction why their countries have not been chosen for the transit of those pipelines. I repeat it once more that the choice is based on commercial interests, on commercial principles. Secondly, it has a political importance. It demonstrates the independence once more. It demonstrates the irreversibility of the independence of Azerbaijan and its independent policy.


This contract will also serve the creation of peace and security in the region. I think that you remember. The USA President Bill Clinton in his speech in the ceremony of the signature of the contract noted particularly that the contract will serve the defence of independence, ensure peace and security in the region. It is really true. The birth and development of such interstate communications, communications among the countries, the birth of communication lines between the European and the countries of the Central Asia ensures the birth of peace, security both in the Caucasus and the Central Asia. This is more important for us above all.


You know, besides my meetings in the frames of the Istanbul summit I had individual meetings, too. Firstly, I am very much pleased that here the speakers highly appreciated my words about Azerbaijan as a state. It is true that despite the time-limit in the summit I disclosed the ideas very important for Azerbaijan. You are right when you said that the idea concerning the birth of a pact of peace, security and cooperation in the Southern Caucasus is very valuable. I mention it not because I have said it. It is necessary not only for us, but for the whole Southern Caucasus. We shall continue our efforts in this sphere. There I appealed to the United States of America, to the countries of the European Union,, to Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and to other OSCE-member countries interested in it to take part in the birth of each pact, join each of them. Naturally, this idea first should be digested; the ways of its creation should be analyzed and studied. But I think that it is an important proposal for the future of the Southern Caucasus, of the Caucasus, in general, and it was very positively met in the summit.


It was informed here about the agreement on conventional arms. I had spoken about the existing situation in connection with it before the summit. I want to declare that, our experts, the representatives of our foreign ministry were there, in Vienna, in the headquarters of OSCE. They argued there a long time, that is, we have been obstacling the signature of the treaty for two years resisting against it.


Now some people say why we have given our consent to the signature of such a treaty. In my speech I said that we give our consent to the signature of that treaty, when there is a speedy militarization is going on in our region, when the quota of Azerbaijan is low, when there are uncontrolled arms in Nagorno-Karabakh. It was said here, we did it because it is impossible to forget the betrayal committed against Azerbaijan, it is simply impossible. I have explained it; the treaty was once signed between NATO and the Warsaw pact. Then all the negotiations were held between Russia and the West. Had we resisted this time, too, and not signed the treaty, it could have been signed without our signature, because it does not need a consensus.


Had we not signed the treaty, what would have we gained? I have said it, I repeat it again: the signature of this treaty is necessary for controlling the conventional arms, for controlling their location in conformity with the wing principles. Because of it we signed it. In 1992, when Azerbaijan was not legally headed by anyone, in the May of 1992, when there was chaos and anarchy in Azerbaijan,  three persons, that is, Rəhim Qazıyev, Əzizbəyov - to day nobody  knows him, - went and signed the treaty on behalf of Azerbaijan. Abbas Abbasov was there, too. Undoubtedly, it is treason and we feel the bitter fruits of it today, too. But we had no other way, we signed it under duress, and we were obliged to sign it.


During the summit I had several meetings. The main topic of those meetings was the solution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh. You know, I have discussed this issue with the USA President Mr. Bill Clinton comprehensively. I also discussed it with the French President Mr. Jacques Chirac about it comprehensively. They are the co-chairs of the Minsk Group of OSCE. In discussed it with the German Chancellor Mr. Schroder, because Germany is a member of the Minsk Group. Naturally, we have been discussing this issue with the President of the Republic of Turkey Mr. Suleiman Demirel all the time. We have been discussing it with the presidents of Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and those of other CIS- member countries.


A special meeting was devoted to this issue. The State Secretary of the United States of America Ms. Albright, the foreign minister of France Mr. Vedrin and the foreign minister of Russia Mr. Ivanov - they are members of the Minsk Group of OSCE,- held a meeting with the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan.  We analyzed the things, which we have done, and declared what must be done hence.


In all the cases I have defended the national interests of Azerbaijan in all the meetings and negotiations, I shall do it hence. I spoke abut the Armenian – Azerbaijani conflict in the Budapest Summit very comprehensively, too. I spoke about in the Lisbon Summit, too. We achieved some advancement in the Budapest Summit, a special resolution was adopted. For the first time it was decided to create peace-keeping forces for OSCE. We were trying for its creation for the solution our conflict, because up to that time OSCE was incompetent to create its peace-keeping forces.


You know that in the Lisbon Summit we reached to a point which could violate the work of the summit, as a result, the statement of the chairman of OSCE was adopted. We again did every possible thing for the peaceful solution of the conflict, I did it personally.


Today I declare once more that we shall remain devoted to the cease-fire regime and try to solve the conflict peacefully. But one thing is known and I want to say to you, let everybody, all the public know that the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh is the longest and the most difficult conflict in the world, within the OSCE-countries.


Unfortunately, since the beginning of the conflict up to the present day the world community called it the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. But we call it an Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. They call it the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, because thought proceeding from the right of self-determination principle the Armenians of the Nagorno-Karabakh have chosen this road expressing their disagreement with the Azerbaijani authorities, thus, the conflict began. But in reality this is a conflict which has emerged between Armenia and Azerbaijan.


It is known that the Security Council of the United Nations has resolutions on this conflict. It is true; there are four resolutions of the Security Council. The chairman of the Security Council has five or six statements. But none of them are being executed. The Organization of the United Nations tells us that it adopts resolutions, but it does not have a mechanism for its execution, an authority for it. It is clear and everybody must know it. What can we do? Shall we destroy the Organization of the United Nations? What can we do? The situation is like this.


For instance, as you already know, the Chechnya conflict of Russia was very widely discussed in Istanbul. Probably the majority of the speakers from the Western countries accused Russia in the conflict as if human rights are violated there; people are bombed and other things not consistent with the human rights are done.. The speeches were full of criticism. Russia was trying to defend its position saying that it was fighting not against the people, but terrorism.


At the same time everybody supported the territorial integrity of Russia. They ask Russia to settle the conflict peacefully, through negotiations. After the blows got in the summit, Russia says that it settles the conflict through negotiations. In the recent two or three days they say that they will not bomb Grozny any more, they say that they occupied Achkoy-martan, Gudermes without shooting a bullet, it will be like that hence. You know that it is a very terrible conflict; much blood has been shed. Such a huge country like Russia is conflicting with its own republic, with a part of the country, with a people who have instigated the conflict, and which is not supported by any state. But you see, everybody accuses Russia, not the Chechens.


A huge country like Russia with its great military power, planes, missiles, bombs, soldiers and others has been fighting for several years for ensuring its territorial integrity, but it is unable to do it. The OSCE countries are blaming Russia for waging the war. In such a situation is it possible to say “Let us wage a war and liberate our lands by waging a war,” is it admissible by the present world?


Last time when I was speaking to our esteemed penmen, I said: “Yes, we have an army and it can wage a war. But the world public will immediately accuse the party which begins the war, and demand to stop the war. Therefore this conflict is one of the hardly solvable conflicts. In such a bitter conflict in Chechnya no one, not any country openly supports the Chechens. There are only rumors that weapons and militants arrive from the Arab countries, or from somewhere else, I say again, nobody, not any country openly defends them, not any country recognizes Chechnya as a state.


For instance, there is a Pre-Dnestr conflict in Moldova; it is true that a war is not waged there. Pre-Dnestr functions independently and ignores the central government of Moldova. Russia has a big army there. And here again not any country openly supports it. Russia supports it and says that the conflict must be solved peacefully, through negotiations.


Or let us take the conflict of Abkhazia in Georgia. Not any government supports Abkhazia in that conflict. Not anyone or any country of the Abkhazian origin supports it. There are defenders of Abkhazia, but they defend the Abkhaz secretly. Georgia has declared it several times.

That is, all the conflicts mentioned by me here are said to be internal conflicts of different countries. It can be said about the conflicts in Chechnya, In Moldova and in Georgia. But the conflict in Azerbaijan is not an internal one. We are waging a war with Armenia. But not anyone confirms that the war is waged between Armenia and Azerbaijan. They say that it is the internal issue of Azerbaijan. Armenia simply supports the Nagorno-Karabakh, helps it.


Had Abkhazia been supported by a OSCE-member country like Armenia, it would have undoubtedly supported Abkhazia in the summit of OSCE and it would have been estimated differently. I repeat it again that there is not a conflict in the world which has broken out between two countries. Usually conflicts break out between different groups of states. Therefore it is very difficult to settle it. All the heads of states, with which I have held negotiations, confirm that we are right, just, they support our territorial integrity, and they are for the peaceful settlement of the conflict. But at the end they say that we must negotiate with Armenia, or with “the government of the Nagorno-Karabakh. This is what they say.


You know that the mistakes committed when the conflict broke out and when it turned into a war, have led Azerbaijan to such a grave situation.  I can tell you that from the point of view of the conflict there is not a second country in the world which has occurred in such a grave situation. If we take into account that Russia has military bases in Armenia and Russia supplies Armenia and its bases with modern armament and planes, a part of them are delivered to the Nagorno-Karabakh through Armenia. Now you see how grave and complicated the situation is.


It is necessary to comprehend it. To write in newspapers, to issue statements, all this is easy. But to deliberate about it, to try to settle it demand great efforts. And we continue our efforts consistently. This issue was in the focus of attention again in the discussions in the Istanbul Summit. When I held negotiations with the USA President Mr. Bill Clinton I asked him to repeal the unjust Section 907, which was adopted against Azerbaijan. He instructed his own officials, who were with him, - State Secretary Ms. Madeline Albright, Security Advisor Samuel Berger and others to consider the issue. But it is not the first instruction of that kind. In the August of 1997, when I was on an official visit in the United States, we signed a joint statement with him in the White House. It is said in the statement that the government of the United States would take necessary measures for repealing Section 907. More than two years have passed since. This time I reminded it to him once more. But the trouble is that the pro-Armenian forces in the Congress are strong.


Two days ago I received the former State Secretary of the United States Igleberger. I have met him in the United States several times; he is an experienced man and gives his advice in this sphere.  When I spoke to him, he said that the issue was on the agenda of the Congress, but was not let to discussion. Mr. Brownback had a draft resolution on the Silk Road, this April we discussed it. Security Advisor of the USA President Samuel Berger spoke there. Presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, presidents of the countries of the Central Asia spoke there. The law on the Silk Road was submitted to the Senate, it had a good number of supporters, and nevertheless, it could not win necessary number of votes. There is a republican in the Congress, by name of Dole, a close friend of the Armenians. I was said that he had phoned to the majority of the members of the Congress and Senate to vote against us, and they had done as they had been asked. He is in friendly terms with them. This is the truth, the reality.


But the situation could have been otherwise. If those who were in the administration of the government in 1992, those forces who declare completely different things each day, I mean those from the Musavat Party, Popular Front, from other groups, who formed the government then. Had they understood the essence of the national interests of Azerbaijan, had they been able to understand the situation, it could have been quite otherwise. They had to think all about it. Section 907 was adopted seven years ago, they had to try and not allow the adoption of such an unjust law against Azerbaijan. As a result of their incorrect political policy such a situation emerged. The United States declared that Azerbaijan had blockaded Armenia; therefore they had adopted such a law.  It was adopted seven years ago, now we are unable to repeal it. The instigators of this unjust Section are those forces whom I mentioned, now for their own errors they criticize us. We do our best, but are unable to achieve its repeal.


I asked President Bill Clinton and he promised to help, he also gave instructions for this purpose. Let us wait and see what will happen. The said draft law on the Silk Road will again be considered. Perhaps you have read in newspapers, Congressman King has again spoken about it, that is, the forces, which support Azerbaijan, are growing in number.


Thus, I think that we did a lot of useful in the summit. We again conveyed to the participants of the summit all the necessary information about the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh. We disclosed our views and position concerning the conflict. The participants of the summit highly appreciated the recent meetings of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in their speeches, in the talks with me, and in the meeting of the foreign ministers of co-chair countries in the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents. And cherish great hopes in the talks. If wee really achieve something, they promise to render all necessary assistance at once.


But I cannot say anything about the results of all this. You know that when the negotiations were going on, the known events took place in Armenia; therefore the contacts have been broken. Perhaps they will be renewed in future. In any case we use all the available means and must continue doing them.


Thus, the Istanbul Summit of OSCE became a new stage for the defense of the national interests of Azerbaijan. Signature of documents on the projects of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, on the TransCaspian gas pipeline became a great historical event. Our duty now is to implement into life the objectives, which derive from the documents adopted by OSCE, to continue and develop our own oil strategy, to fulfill concrete constructive work in connection with the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline.


We demonstrated to the world that we are an independent state, an independent nation in the world community with equal rights. And we declared that our independence is eternal and irreversible. We demonstrated once more that Azerbaijan is a legal, democratic and secular state. In order to meet all the demands of OSCE Azerbaijan is taking and will take necessary measures in conformity with the principles of the Helsinki Act. We shall take necessary measures for the implementations of the provisions suggested in the Istanbul Charter, and we are able to do it. In any case, we proved once more that Azerbaijan lives and will live forever. The occupied Azerbaijani lands will be liberated peacefully, our internally displaced citizens will return home.


The work done by us up to now opens favorable perspectives for the social-economic development of Azerbaijan. We have created those perspectives and we shall advance them. I am sure that Azerbaijan will develop with each passing year from economic point of view and we shall ensure the improvement of the welfare of the Azerbaijani people.


Thank you very much!”