Updated: 22-Nov-2002 NATO Speeches


22 Nov. 2002


by H.E. Mr. Heydar Aliyev
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan at EAPC Summit

Mr. Chairman,

Distinguished Colleagues,

World nowadays is going through an extremely complex situation. International terrorism, backed up by some states, poses a challenge to the global law and order, tries to set up new confrontation lines on the basis of the ideology of extremism, aggressive nationalism and militant separatism, aspires to carry out new revision of borders.

International system is under a serious test of the ability to effectively counter this common menace. Right after the tragedy of 11 September the Euro-Atlantic community has set up the anti-terror coalition that Azerbaijan joined from day one. Today, in cooperation with other countries and international organizations, we continue to do our utmost to counter these threats. Their nature and scale render all, including geographical, limitations for joint and comprehensive fight within the NATO/EAPC framework irrelevant.

However, the threat had been there even before 11 September. Hotbeds of terrorism and organized crime linked with it are shaped in conflict zones and in the territories uncontrolled by legitimate authorities as a result of wars triggered by the policies of aggressive nationalism and violent separatism. The region of South Caucasus is the most vulnerable in this regard.

Waging an implacable fight against international terrorism and extremism, Azerbaijan directs its main efforts towards the goal of liberating of its territories from Armenian occupation, restoring law and order there. Resolution of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh meets the interests of all states of the Euro-Atlantic partnership. While it is not late, international community must undertake all possible efforts to achieve peaceful settlement of the conflict on the basis of full restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in accordance with the norms and principles of international law. ,

Azerbaijan, considering Partnership with NATO as the basis of future Euro-Atlantic security system, aspires to integrational partnership and intensified bilateral dialogue with the Alliance. Here I would like to emphasize the increased interdependency between Members of the Alliance and Partners as well as the need to take better account of Partners' interests and requirements.

We note increased attention on the part of NATO toward South Caucasus. However, any regional initiatives and proposals must, in the first place, be aimed at the liquidation of consequences of wars and restoration of internationally recognized borders between states.

We note with satisfaction the evolution of new relationship between NATO and Russia that could have considerable significance in elimination of crises in various regions of Europe.

I congratulate states that have been invited to join the Alliance, and note the commitment of NATO to the open door policy.

Mr. Chairman.

Goals ahead of us demand tremendous efforts. However, we ought not back off and must always keep in mind our solemn duty - to leave after us a secure and stable world for next generations.

Thank you for your attention.

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