From the conversation of the Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev at the meeting with the vice-president of "Boeing" corporation Robert Spitzer and the representative of the corporation Vladimir Silverstone - Presidential palace, October 10, 2000

Heydar Aliyev: Welcome to Azerbaijan! You have not come to Azerbaijan without reason, you have brought a large "Boeing" plane for our country. This is a great event for us.

As you know, Azerbaijan is young, independent state, its means are no sufficient. However, we had occasion to get credit and buy "Boeing" with your help, in particular by means of "Eximbank" of America. Actually, this process was not easy for us. I myself had a little doubt whether it was necessary to do it. Because there is a shortage of means. However, we have finally made a decision. I am repeating, both you and some banks have helped us and "Boeing" has come to Azerbaijan. I watched on TV how this event was celebrated, and saw huge pleasure of people. I express my gratitude to you.

Robert Spitzer: Mister President, we are glad to come to Azerbaijan on the occasion of this significant event. I also know that today is especial in itself. As I know, today is the seventh anniversary of your inauguration as the President.

Heydar Aliyev: How did you know it? I have forgotten about it.

Robert Spitzer: Mister President, we have found a way to learn. Who knows, maybe, we have brought this "Boeing-757" as a gift for the anniversary of your presidency.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank you very much.

Robert Spitzer: Our corporation is glad to deliver quite new plane "Boeing" to Azerbaijan. We are happy that after giving this plane to the command of the "Azerbaijan airlines" State Concern, using its services, the concern will make the world closer to Azerbaijan and Baku.

Mister President, thank you for the hospitality shown to us. Since that moment as our plane has arrived here, we witnessed the pleasure of the people working in the "Azerbaijan airlines" State Concern and as a whole in this field.

Delivery of "Boeing" to Azerbaijan has allowed me to get acquainted with this country too. Last night in the supper the honor to meet the outstanding musician Rostropovich fell on me. He is not an ordinary person.

Heydar Aliyev: Yes, you are right. Rostropovich is my very close friend.

Robert Spitzer: I Know. We consider that "fire", which is one of the names of Azerbaijan, will allow this country to look ahead with optimism, to shine bright light. "Boeing" planes and the "Azerbaijan airlines" State Concern will play a special role in development of Azerbaijan as a prospering country.

We together with the "Azerbaijan airlines" State Concern shall aspire to maintenance of visit of many people to Azerbaijan and formation of the future of your country, and render assistance for its development.

Mister President, I wish to note also that we welcome the "Azerbaijan airlines" State Concern connected with updating the planes available at its command, as well as with the end of construction of the new airport of modern type in Baku. I wish to emphasize once again that modern transport systems will bring all world to Azerbaijan.

Mister President, I want to tell once again that I am very glad to be in Azerbaijan and I express my deep gratitude to you.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank you. I also express my gratitude to you. A year ago we have finished the construction of the new airport building. You see, this airport corresponds to the international standards and the building provides the international flights. The old planes don`t correspond to our airport. We can compare it with that the person has put on a good suit, but goes in torn shoes. Therefore, arrival of plane "Boeing" in Azerbaijan has created a certain harmony between our airport and plane park. Certainly, if we had an opportunity, we would bring not one, but some planes. However, I think that this beginning will become successful for the future too.

I was informed that the second "Boeing" would arrive in November.

Robert Spitzer: It is true.

Heydar Aliyev: This plane enriches the plane park of our airlines. The duty of the "Azerbaijan airlines" State Concern, naturally, consists of an effective using of such high-quality planes of modern type.

I was told that the crew of the plane has been well prepared by you. Are they at a high level?

Robert Spitzer: Yes. We are also engaged in training and improving preparation of the crew for the second plane. I personally spoke with the head of the program on training of the Azerbaijani pilots. He estimated the Azerbaijani pilots highly. The Azerbaijani pilots have passed a fine training.

Heydar Aliyev: Very well. It pleases me very much. It is possible to buy a plane, but in fact it is necessary to use it at a high level.

Robert Spitzer: Mister President, I wish to note also that we do not finish our work only with sale of the plane. Alongside with the training of the Azerbaijani pilots, we have brought here our pilots for rendering of help during flying. Besides, at the beginning, we will carry out the services of this "Boeing" plane. We have brought spare parts for the plane, mechanical settings. We shall even conduct the training of persons who will carry out the services in the plane during a transition period.

Heydar Aliyev: Perfect.

Robert Spitzer: Mister President, we constantly continue the service of these planes. That is, having left these planes here, we do not leave. Our work with you will be still long.

Heydar Aliyev: It pleases me very much. Because, buying a car in shop, it is up to you how to use it. However exploitation of such large plane which transports a plenty of passengers, maintenance of its service and security at a high level are very important questions.

Vladimir Silverstone: Mister President, a saying is frequently used in our corporation "Boeing" that giving a plane to this or that country looks like a wedding ceremony. After this wedding, it starts a family, and members of this family live all joyful, sad and nice days together.

Heydar Aliyev: Fine words. Because in some cases the family can not develop after the wedding.

Robert Spitzer: But we will do everything to make this family to live well.

Heydar Aliyev: Yes, I also think so that it was wedding yesterday. The "Azerbaijan airlines" State Concern has become relative with "Boeing" corporation.

Robert Spitzer: That`s quite all right.

Heydar Aliyev: I can`t say who is bride or bridegroom, but now it is necessary this family to live well, its members to be happy and the parties to be satisfied with each other. May they have a happy life. This is exploitation of "Boeing" at a high level for us.

The information given by you makes me happy very much. Thank you.

It was translated from the newspaper "Baku worker" dated on October 11, 2000