From the conversation of the Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev at the meeting with the special adviser of the state secretary of the United States of America on the CIS countries Stefan Sestanovich and the co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk group from the USA, ambassador Carey Cavanaugh - October 31, 2000

Heydar Aliyev: Dear guests! Our close friends, acquaintances, welcome to Azerbaijan! Our meetings have already traditional character. It is good. Visit of high level delegation of the US State Department to Azerbaijan, as a whole, to our region, once again shows the attention and interest of the USA both to Azerbaijan, and to this region. I am glad for it. Naturally, I wish to listen to you.

Stefan Sestanovich: Mister President, we express our gratitude to you for receiving us. Holding this post, I pay visits to Azerbaijan for three years. I completely agree with you that these meetings became kind tradition.

It is the first meeting of our delegation in which the US ambassador to Azerbaijan mister Wilson is taking part. You know that before this post, mister Wilson was working as my basic assistant.

Heydar Aliyev: You have sent here your person. We hope he will be useful for us.

Stefan Sestanovich: Anyway, considering that this meeting remains in record of the report, in the official account of the shorthand message, in history, I should tell that he is the person of President Clinton here. But I also know him a little.

Heydar Aliyev: You know not a little, but well. You recommended him to President Clinton. That is, I am saying it in a good sense. Naturally, our ambassadors in foreign countries are my people. But many of them are recommended to me and I agree with their recommendation and send them to work.

Stefan Sestanovich: If President Clinton himself chose, I assure you, he would also select ambassador Wilson.

Heydar Aliyev: If I was given a chance to choose, I would choose Wilson too.

Stefan Sestanovich: You and President Clinton agree in many questions.

Heydar Aliyev: Yes, we share the same opinion.

Stefan Sestanovich: Thank you for accepting the credentials of ambassador Wilson in a short term. You have created for him conditions to carry out his powers as the ambassador of the USA here in a short term. We also express our gratitude to you for it.

I have brought to you sincere greetings of President Clinton and Madam Albright whom you met in New York. As always, the meeting in New York was very useful and effective.

Mister President, in these days we basically deal with the questions connected with elections in the USA. We very seriously are engaged in elections in the USA. I wish to note that numerous observers will carry out monitoring in our elections. The OSCE will also observe the presidential elections in our country.

Heydar Aliyev: And why did not you invite observers from Azerbaijan?

Stefan Sestanovich: We would be glad to see them there.

Heydar Aliyev: No, you did not invite. If you invited, we would come there to observe.

Stefan Sestanovich: We would be very glad. Truly, we hope, nobody will have doubts that these elections will be free and fair. The majority of people in the world are interested in a further direction of foreign policy of the USA.

Mister President, from this point of view, I can tell you with full confidence that irrespective of results of our elections, the solidity will be observed in the foreign policy from the point of view of relations between the United States of America and Azerbaijan. Solidity of our relations will be provided because this cooperation has been established on mutual interests. I should also tell that interest and attention to Azerbaijan is almost supported to the same extent from both parties in our country. For example, in the middle of November senator McCain and his colleagues will come to Azerbaijan. We hope that the cooperation between the USA and Azerbaijan will extend as well as in the future and relations will be established in other spheres too.

We also wish to extend our further cooperation with Azerbaijan in the field of energy. We have recently witnessed of signing the last agreements with the energy companies of Azerbaijan on the project of Baku - Tbilisi - Ceyhan successfully. I consider, now everybody understands that this pipeline is becoming a reality.

We also intend to develop regional diplomacy even more in our future relations. At today's meeting, we are planning to discuss with you the Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) conflict and to conduct an exchange of opinions on how to promote your negotiations with President Kocharyan.

Ambassador Cavanaugh has recently come back from the session of the OSCE Minsk group, and the discussion on the Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) problem at a level of ministers of the OSCE is expected at the end of November.

We intend to expand cooperation with Azerbaijan as well as in the field of struggle against terrorism. Therefore, Madam Albright has decided to send her senior adviser Shiyana to Azerbaijan. In the near future he will visit your country and carry on talks with you.

I would like to notify that cooperation of the United States of America with Azerbaijan in the field of security is also developing. Today in the morning we have carried on negotiations with general Abiyev in the Ministry of Defense, and a big delegation consisting of military men of high rank will come to Azerbaijan in the middle of the next month.

Mister President, I started to my speech with the elections in our country. Probably, it is necessary to tell some words as well as about the elections to be held in your country. We consider that these elections are also based on our future joint interests and make a basis of our cooperation. When you were in Washington in September, we were participating together in a reception. We listened there to the speech of mister Bjezinsky. He said that democratic development of Azerbaijan would make relations and contacts between our countries closer.

We want to express our confidence that elections to be conducted in Azerbaijan in this week will become a step forward in the field of development of democracy in your country. We hope that observers will be able to note Azerbaijan`s development in this area.

Mister President, let me once again express you my gratitude for receiving us today. We wish to express you our gratitude that you have repeatedly received us before. I hope that establishing close contacts at our previous meetings, we could carry out a certain work for development of relations between our countries in a mutually advantageous plan.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank you, mister Sestanovich. First, thank you for greetings which the President mister Bill Clinton and madam Albright have conveyed by means of you. I declare once again that I remain true to existing Azerbaijan-American relations, to our future cooperation and I consider President Clinton, Madam Albright my very close and kind friends.

I also appreciate very highly our meetings in New York with Madam Albright and President Clinton. These meetings have been held with your participation. I consider that we have again declared our unanimity almost in all questions and made statements for development of our cooperation as well as in the future.

When I was in New York, in Washington many opinions, views on the Baku - Ceyhan oil pipeline have been stated at our meetings personally with you and at other meetings. Now you see that Azerbaijan has used all opportunities for realization of the program made by us preliminary. Despite some difficulties, resistances, which we especially felt and faced, at last we achieved the signing of the last agreements on the Baku - Ceyhan pipeline on October 17, 19 in Baku, Tbilisi and Ankara. It is historical event for us. Naturally, we consider it a stage in our program. But it has very great value for realization of the state oil strategy of Azerbaijan.

We have made necessary measures for transportation of oil which will be extracted now and in the further in a plenty to the world markets. I am sure that as we did in the past, in the forthcoming years we will show our will and provide construction and putting into operation of the Baku - Ceyhan oil pipeline. It is natural that from the very beginning and up to the end of this work, we have always felt the support of the United States of America and personally of President Bill Clinton. I have repeatedly said it and today I want to declare once again that if we did not constantly feel attention and care, support of the United States of America, personally of President Bill Clinton in this question, realization of this project would not be possible.

Yes, the Baku - Ceyhan oil pipeline is very important for the United States of America as well. This project has very much great value for maintenance of long-term interests of the United States of America in the Caspian Basin, for our future cooperation in this field and activities of the numerous companies of your country in Azerbaijan. A letter of congratulation sent by President Bill Clinton in this connection and appreciation of a role of Azerbaijan, especially, of its President, naturally is a new support for us. I express my gratitude, at the same time, I congratulate the government of the United States of America, personally President Bill Clinton on this occasion.

Naturally, we would like our cooperation in other fields was same successful. You noted that we have positively apprehended close cooperation of the USA with Azerbaijan in the field of security and struggle against terrorism. I believe that we can cooperate really effectively in this area. However, we want the settlement of Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict peacefully, liberation of our occupied lands, returning more than one million Azerbaijanis, our citizens who live in tents for 8 years to their native regions very much. All these would make our cooperation successful and effective. I am again ready to conduct an exchange of opinions with you connected with this question.

I have got information about meetings of the co-chairman of the Minsk group ambassador Cavanaugh in Vienna. I consider that the statement made in this regard, is a good statement. According to my understanding, you informed that there will be a meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the OSCE Minsk group in November. If it will really take place and make any result, we can get progress in this area as well.

I wish successes to the people and state of the USA in forthcoming elections. I thought that observers come only to our country, not to the USA. Because the United States of America send observers to elections all over the world. I know that you have so wide experience on democracy that I do not believe observers can find any lack in elections.

I think that irrespective of who will be elected a president in these elections, the policy of the United States of America, which has been carrying out till now connected with Azerbaijan, will not change. I declare, Azerbaijan and the president of the country irrespective of who will win in these elections, will continue cooperation and the policy concerning the USA consistently as well as henceforth.

Thank you for your recommendations concerning the parliamentary elections to be held in Azerbaijan on November 5. We want these elections to be held on the basis of democratic principles as much as possible within the frameworks of our opportunities. You have reminded the statement which was made by mister Zbignev Bjezinsky at the reception where we were together with you.

You have reminded and told that mister Bjezinsky had expressed his opinion on evolutionary development of democracy in Azerbaijan. I completely agree with him. You remember that after mister Bjezinsky and I have spoken much concerning this question in my speech. I notified that that I completely agreed with mister Bjezinsky. I think that we will be able to make a big step forward on a way of democracy in these elections.

Two days ago, I have held extensive consultation with heads of executive authorities of Azerbaijan in this hall. I have once again warned them not to repeat their previous mistakes; not to interfere with process of elections. Elections must be conducted only by the Central Election Commission and the local Election commissions. Executive authorities should render the necessary help in the frameworks as stipulated by the law. I have given strict instructions. But it is not the main question, the main question is what have been done till now. Anyway, I consider that pre-election campaign in Azerbaijan is going on in democratic condition. And it creates a basis for democratic elections on November 5. It is my desire and I consider it very important event for Azerbaijan. Thank you.

Brief essays


General historical background

Azerbaijan - USA

Historical backgrounds

Azerbaijan - USA