Historical background to the document "Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the National Assembly of Bulgaria" (Sophia, June 29, 1995)

Bulgaria is one of the Eastern European countries cooperating with Azerbaijan. It recognized the independence of Azerbaijan in January 1992. Diplomatic relations between the two states were established in the June of the same year.

Relations of cooperation between the two states expanded after the visit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to that country on June 29-30, 1995, at the invitation of Bulgarian President Jelyu Jelev. During the visit, Heydar Aliyev and Jelyu Jelev signed an agreement on friendship and cooperation ensuring the establishment of contacts in a number of spheres. Heydar Aliyev spoke about development in the Republic of Azerbaijan and relations with Bulgaria in general, in the National Assembly of Bulgaria on the first day of the visit, on June 29, 1995.

Since 1998, Bulgaria participates in the Eurasian transport corridor (TRASECA) together with Azerbaijan. In December 1999, the Bulgarian President Peter Stoyanov visited Azerbaijan. Respective agreements were signed for deepening the bilateral cooperation during the visit. Azerbaijan cooperates with Bulgaria in the framework of the regional organization, Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, too. Bulgaria intends to participate in the delivery of the Azerbaijani oil and its import. (http://www.bizimasr.media-az.com/)

As an example of steadiness of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria, President of this country Georgiy Pirvanov paid an official visit to Azerbaijan in October 2004. In his talk with the President Ilham Aliyev, they expressed the will to improve and expand the existing relations once more. During this visit, a joint declaration, new agreements in the spheres of economy, transport and healthcare were signed between the parties. Ilham Aliyev said that he was satisfied with the policy of Bulgaria regarding the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as the acting chairman of the OSCE then. (http://www.bakutoday.net/)

In response, the President of Azerbaijan visited Bulgaria in September 2005. During this visit the sides also signed agreements on the improvement of cooperation in the above mentioned spheres. ("Azerbaijan" newspaper, September 25, 2005)

Maintaining relations with Azerbaijan, the former President of Bulgaria Jelyu Jelev more than once visited Azerbaijan and met President Heydar Aliyev. In September 2006, he visited Azerbaijan again and met President Ilham Aliyev. (http://www.xalqqazeti.com/)

During his visit to Bulgaria on June 29, 1995, giving information on Armenia`s aggression against Azerbaijan, the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Heydar Aliyev said that he hoped to gain Bulgaria`s assistance as well: "… I hope that the world states, international community, as well as Bulgaria, as a member of the OSCE, will assist in the settlement of these issues and establishment of peace in our region".

Historical background was compiled on November 1, 2006.