BAKU: Extended meeting of Presidents Aliyev & Stephanopoulos

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
June 21 2004

[June 21, 2004, 18:22:41]

After the one-on-one meeting of the twp presidents, was held an
extended meeting of the heads of states.

After the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev welcomed the guests,
he said:

“The relations between Greece and Azerbaijan successfully develop. We
would like these relations to cover all the fields. We have discussed
this question in our private meeting. We want the political dialogue
strengthened. There are many economic projects and opportunities. I
hope the economic links will accelerate.

We are delightful that together with the president a large number of
businessmen have come to Azerbaijan and they are having useful
meetings. We have also successful links in humanitarian sphere. A
Greek department is functioning in the Baku Slavonic University and
attracts many students.

As you know, we are to cooperate in energy sector fruitfully. We have
made fist steps in this field. I hope our energy cooperation will
acquire higher level. I once again welcome you and am convinced that
after this visit, our relation swills develop in all spheres”.

President of Greece Constantinos Stephanopoulos said:

” Thank you very much, Mr. President,

Taking the opportunity of presence of the media representatives, I
would like to tell we attach great importance to this visit. Also I
would revere memory of your great father with whom I have met twice
and had exchange of views connected to regionally important questions
and issues related to your country.

Today, we shall have conversation of possible ways of cooperation
between our countries. Our country is interested in the energy sector
of your country. We hope we shall take part in development of natural
gas deposits of Azerbaijan.

We would also to set up trade links with your country and on this
purpose a large number of Greek businessmen have come to Baku. I am
convinced that the 2-day economic forum that I am invited too, will
also make its contributions to this.

Mr. President, Greece is a country with ancient culture and
traditions. We would like to develop our cultural links, have close
relations among the higher educational institutions and scientists.
It is pleased that I will visit the Baku Slavonic University
tomorrow. I shall be ranked honorary doctor of the University. We
shall open a Greek Studies Center in the University”.

Touching upon the Armenia- Azerbaijan Nagorny Karabakh conflict,
President Constantinos Stephanopoulos said: “We fully understand the
problem. It is because we are facing a similar problem. Despite the
difficulties, we wish the problem found its solution. And this, of
course, depends on the sides’ sincerity and will, as well as support
of the international organizations.

Mr. President, I assure You that Greece in the frame of the European
structure, will do its best that Europe played active role in
settlement of the conflict.

Mr. President, permit me to thank You for warm hospitality and invite
You to visit our country. Of course, the diplomatic channels will
ascertain the schedule of the visit. It is a regret that probably it
will not be me who will receive you in Athens. But this does not
change anything. We have unchangeable feelings of respect for you.

During the meeting, also were discussed a number of other isues of
mutual interest.