|Updated: 29-Jun-2004||NATO Speeches|
29 June 2004
by H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan
I am delighted to participate at the Summit, which I believe will have strong impact on development of the Alliance.
I congratulate the new NATO members whose efforts to meet criteria of membership have led to its logical results. I am sure that the biggest ever enlargement of NATO will contribute further to expanding the boundaries of peace, security and freedom to the whole Euro-Atlantic area.
Since 1994 Azerbaijan is actively participating in "Partnership for Peace" Programme. Our bilateral relations with NATO are developing very successfully.
Participation in the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) initiative marks an important milestone in Azerbaijan's partnership with NATO and will significantly contribute to the development of our security policy. Azerbaijan's policy aimed at integration with European and Euro-Atlantic structures, conducted for more than 10 years will continue. We are sure that this integration will bring more security to our region and prosperity to our people, Azerbaijan has already proved, not only by statements, but by practical steps that it is a reliable partner. We expressed our political will and readiness to contribute to the cause of common security joining NATO's peace support operations. Today our peacekeepers together with troops from NATO and Partner Nations contribute to stability and security in different parts of the world.
Azerbaijan was one of the first countries who joined anti-terror coalition
after the September 11th attacks on the United States. Today, our
country effectively contributes to the global fight against terrorism.
Continuing for more than 10 years occupation by Armenia of 20% of the territory of Azerbaijan is one of the biggest threats to peace and security in our region. As a result of Armenian aggression and ethnic cleansing more than 1 million azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons, Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 other regions of Azerbaijan are under occupation. Territorial integrity of our country is violated. Armenia continues to ignore 4 United Nation's resolutions which demanded unconditional withdrawal of armenian troops from occupied territories.
Peaceful negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan held for more than 10 years do not have any results. Azerbaijan will not compromise on its territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a lawless, uncontrolled zone, which is a constant threat to security and stability in the South Caucasus.
We hope that outcomes of this Summit will extend our capabilities to provide more security and stability in Euro-Atlantic area and its neighborhoods,