Speech of the Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev at the third Bishkek Summit. August 28, 1995

Distinguished Heads of States!

Ladies and Gentlemen!

At the outset, I would like to express my deep grat­itude to Mr. Askar Akayev, President of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, and the Government of Kyrgyzstan for the warm and cordial hospitality extended to us and for the excellent arrangements made for ensuring the success of our Summit.

On behalf of the people of Azerbaijan, I wish to extend my heartfelt greetings to my dear and honorable brothers, who are participating in this Summit, namely, to Suleyman Demirel, President of the Republic of Turkey, Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Kazakhstan Republic, Askar Akayev, President of the Kyrgyzstan Republic, Saparmurad Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan, Islam Kerimov, President of the Uzbekistan Republic. I would like to express my respect and consideration to you and your people, and wish happiness and prosperity.

It is with immense pleasure that I would like to underline that our Summit, which was founded in Ankara in 1992, has become a good tradition.

It is gratifying to note that our countries, which hold considerable part in Asia and Europe and possess vast economic and human potential, have started to develop regional cooperation as independent states and equal members of the world community.

Our countries and peoples, who have contributed to the treasure of world civilization, who are linked to each other with such invincible ties as geographical closeness, common historical destiny, culture, tradi­tions, religion and language, have vast opportunities to develop very close and effective cooperation.

Genius works of luminaries of our people in litera­ture and art, architecture, philosophy and exact sciences, had an strong impact in progress of all mankind, in improvement of people's culture and moral life.

It was with pleasure that I participated in 500 anniversary meetings of Fizuli, the great luminary of lit­erature and philosophy of the East, held in the Republic of Turkey, and 150 anniversary celebrations of an out­standing thinker, philosopher and poet Abay, merited son of Kazakh people, which were held in Almaty recently. I got once more strongly convinced that mas­terpieces of Ibn Sina, Nizami, Navai, Yunis Imra, Fizuli, Mahdimgulu, Mahmud Gashgar and some other bright luminaries of the East, as well as immortal epochs and legends such as "Dede Gorgud", "Koroglu", "Manas", "Alpamish" do not only belong to our family peoples but they belong to all the mankind.

I am very glad to note that our Summit correspond to 1000 anniversary of "Manas" epos and together with Kyrgyz people we, the participants of this Summit, are solemnly celebrating the 1000th anniversary of a work, which is sacred for all the Turkish world, in the capital of independent Kyrgyzstan.

"Manas" gets against of slavery. The freedom and sovereignty of his people is higher than anything else. "Manas" calls for fight against foreign invaders to pro­tect the sacred fatherland. It praises with love the brotherhood between Turkic peoples.

We should help each other and hold hand by hand for the settlement of our urgent problems. We should prevent break up and isolation. We should together support our brothers who are in need. We should turn down the lire of bloody wars and military conflicts.

In this regard, I accord great importance to our this Summit. I sincerely appreciate to hold such meetings on regularly basis. Our historic origins, similarity in goals and problems facing us, unity of our national interests are reliable foundation for our strategic cooperation and create an opportunity for us to look at future with optimism.

Great geopolitical changes have occurred in the world last years. In this new atmosphere, we face new horizons to establish our mutual relations on indepen­dent and sovereign basis.

I consider this aspect of our cooperation particular important, taking into account the reforms being carried out in our countries, as well as steps we have been mak­ing to integrate our economies to the world economy. We will meet requirements of the XXI century and manage to create deserving life for our people by using effectively the rich natural resources, vast industrial, agricultural and intellectual potential of our countries, by enriching them with new technologies, and by creat­ing new transport and communication systems.

Every littoral state of the Caspian Sea has its own sector, rich with energy resources, and rights and opportunities. We can turn the region of the Caspian basin into the zone of economic progress and prosperi­ty by using these opportunities and actively cooperating in implementation of joint multilateral projects, and thus we can ensure well-deserving place for our peoples in the world. On parallel to creating vast opportunities for cooperation, the rich natural resources of the Caspian Sea challenge us to use these resources economically and efficiently.

The large investment projects create an opportunity to establish modern transport and communication sys­tems to link our countries, rich with energy resources, to consumers in the world.

In order to create common zone for mutually bene­ficial and complementary cooperation it would be very beneficial for our peoples to construct oil and gas pipe­lines from the Central Asia to Turkey and from there to the world market. The construction of these pipelines, and their safe and constant functioning would strength­en the cooperation between our peoples and serve for prosperity of our independent states.

Like some other brotherly states, represented in this high meeting, Azerbaijan has also been living up complicated transition period. Azerbaijan, which has proclaimed its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union, has chosen the way of establishment of law governed democratic state, and implementation of radical market reforms. Irrespective of the objective dif­ficulties characteristic for this type of historical period, we have attained some achievements in this way.

Resting upon the strong will of our people, who has fought for centuries to obtain freedom, the independent Azerbaijan Republic has been advancing with confi­dence on the way of law governed sovereign state building.

Today, we are owner of our destiny and resources. Within the short period of time political pluralism, free­doms of person, speech, press and religion have been ensured in, Azerbaijan. Irrespective of nationality, lan­guage, religion, political affiliation the human rights are being reliably protected in Azerbaijan.

More than 40 political parties, about 400 indepen­dent newspapers, more than 30 information agencies and television companies are operating in the atmosphere of full independence.

We managed to overcome some anti-constitutional attempts aimed at overthrowing the state by using force. We have ensured internal social and political stability in the country. All the people of Azerbaijan support with strong belief and resoluteness the measures we have been taking to carry out deep democratic reforms. Therefore, it is impossible to set us back from the way of independence.

We have adopted decision to carry out the first free democratic parliamentary elections based on multi-party system on November 12 of this year. Large preparation works are being carried out in the country for elections. I am confident that this elections will be an important step in ensuring the democratic traditions in Azerbaijan. On the same day, we will adopt the first democratic constitution of the independent Azerbaijan at a nation­wide referendum. These events will be new bright page in the history of Azerbaijan and will ensure the prosper­ous life of future generations.

We have been establishing market relations and car­rying out serious economic reforms with the purpose to integrate to the world economy as an equal partner. The reforms in agriculture have been successfully imple­menting. The privatization program has been adopted and large-scaled privatization of the state owned proper­ties will start very soon.

Since the signing of famous "Contract of the Century" with the consortium of the largest world oil companies the long-term cooperation on development of the energy resources at the Azerbaijan shelf of the Caspian Sea has been developing very rapidly. I would like to note with great pleasure that the oil company representing our brother Republic of Turkey has also been participating in this contract.

At the same time, the Azerbaijan Republic faces serious barriers on its way of state building. It has been already seven years that the Republic of Armenia has launched a military aggression, and started bloody war against Azerbaijan. As result of this aggression, more than twenty percent lands of Azerbaijan have been occupied. More than one million citizens of our coun­try have been ousted from the occupied lands and have become refugees and now live in tent camps in unbear­able conditions.

One of the factors having negative impact on the liv­ing standards of our people is the fact that industrial and agricultural enterprises, social objects and monuments of culture, grain fields, cotton plantations, vineyards of our country have been burned down and destroyed by invaders at the Azerbaijan's territories occupied by Armenian armed formations.

Irrespective of great losses and victims, we are spar­ing no efforts to settle this conflict by civilized peace­ful means within the framework of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe, its Minsk Group and to establish just peace and security in the region resting upon international law norms. But in order to attain peaceful settlement of this conflict Armenians should withdraw from the occupied lands of Azerbaijan, including Lachin and Shusha regions.

Azerbaijan does not want to wage war. We have stood up to protect our lands. We have been struggling against the military aggression of Armenia, and for ensuring territorial integrity and sovereignty of our Republic. Our position is just position. We demand to respect the international law norms, which have been accepted by all the states of the world, and to ensure the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan. We demand the implementation of the resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations and resolutions of the Organization of Islamic Conference condemning the Armenian aggression and requiring unconditional withdrawal of Armenian occupation forces from all the occupied lands of Azerbaijan.

It is gratifying to note that it has been already fif­teen months that the agreement on cease-tire, which has been obtained last May, is in force. We have declared several times and state once more that we will be com­mitted to cease-fire until the just and durable peace is reached. At the same time, we believe that the current "neither war, nor peace situation" can not last for ever. The war has to be ended and occupied lands of Azerbaijan have to be freed soon.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to make an appeal to you, to heads of states participating in this Summit, to use all your opportunities and make efforts to settle this conflict soon, and do your utmost to help us to ensure the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and to return more than one million refugees to their homes.

It is sacred duty of each of us to protect the territo­rial integrity and inviolability of frontiers of all the states, to struggle seriously against separatism and ter­rorism, which have been largely spread in many regions of the world recently, to follow and actively implement the Charter of the United Nations and principles of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Dear and distinguished brothers!

Our cooperation within the program of Turksoy is very important for the life and culture of our peoples. Solemn celebrations on 1000 anniversary of "Manas" and 150 anniversary of Abay Kunanbayev are branches of that cooperation.

As you know, in accordance with the decree of UNESCO 500 anniversary of Azerbaijan poet Mouhammad Fizuli, the great thinker and philosopher of the East, is being widely celebrated in all over the world. The holidays have been already celebrated in Ankara and Moscow, and at the end of the year they will be celebrated in Paris at the headquarters of UNESCO.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to invite you to participate at the highest and solemn 500 anniversary celebrations to be held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.

Our people have been cooperating mutually and enriching each other for thousands of years. It is of vital importance for all of us to revive this cooperation in the new period and new atmosphere. These roots and basis create vast opportunities for the flourishing of the most sacred wishes of our peoples, and create wonderful atmosphere for their advancing to peace and progress with full confidence.

I believe that the peoples of our countries, who have passed through many tests and tasted both the bitterness of losses and happiness of revival, will implement their aspirations inherited from centuries and will enter to the XXI century as well-deserved posterity of their glorious ancestors. This is our hope, our task and our duty.

Thank you for your attention. 
The document was taken from the edition "Heydar Aliyev New Political Course"