After of the signing of documents, President Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko made a statement for the press.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Aleksandr Grigoryevich!
Dear guests, dear friends!
Aleksandr Grigoryevich, I warmly welcome you in Azerbaijan once again. Our contacts are regular.
High-level visits are intensive enough. This is an indicator of relations between Belarus and Azerbaijan. Over the past years, these relations have travelled a very big path and reached a very high level. Yesterday and today, we had the opportunity to discuss a wide range of bilateral relations and identify ways to strengthen cooperation in the future. Our countries support each other in international organizations and actively cooperate within the framework of regional organizations.
We have very good prospects for increasing our trade turnover. Although the trade turnover is growing, of course, it does not fully reflect our potential yet. And also we are actively working towards the establishment of joint ventures. Yesterday during the opening of the new building of the Belarusian Embassy in Azerbaijan, equipment produced in Azerbaijan with the support of the Belarusian side was demonstrated. This is clear evidence of how rapidly production ties between our companies are developing. It is gratifying that all the decisions we make as presidents are fulfilled in time and with high quality.
As we said today, at the heart of our relations is great mutual trust. We believe and trust each other. We believe each other’s words, because there is no difference between our words and our deeds, and sometimes there is no need to formalize our arrangements with signatures. Although the important documents signed today will continue to promote closer relations between our countries and peoples and ensure that relations develop as dynamically as in the past. Our mutual trust is at such a level that we can assume that simple words or promises are enough for addressing any problem. In my opinion, the particularities that characterize our relations are the mechanism of making decisions, controlling the implementation of those decisions, as well as very positive mutual relations. These relations filled with serious content cover many areas. Today we discussed important issues of cooperation in education and in the humanitarian field, in science, high technology, agriculture, manufacturing, military-technical cooperation and energy. As you see, mere enumeration of these areas already speaks for itself and there are good results, specific projects and programmes in every direction.
In the future, we intend to oversee the implementation of decisions taken by us, the Presidents, and we also agreed today to identify new areas of cooperation between our countries. We must intensify efforts in areas where there are already good results and launch new fields. We have identified investment opportunities, the participation of Azerbaijani companies in privatization in Belarus, as well as supplies of jointly manufactured products to the markets of third countries as topics of our bilateral relations. I think in these new areas, we will also find very positive points. We will strive to ensure that these areas become an integral part of the extensive agenda of bilateral relations.
I am very satisfied with the results of the Belarusian President’s visit to Azerbaijan. Yesterday we started working together, had a very extensive exchange of views and raised a lot of issues both in bilateral and regional relations. We have a good rapport. The level of mutual support is very high. The main thing is that we are determined to further actively develop our relations in all areas.
Dear Aleksandr Grigoryevich, once again I heartily welcome you in Azerbaijan and say "Welcome". I am confident that our contacts will continue and benefit our countries and peoples. Thank you.
Statement by President Aleksandr Lukashenko
- Thank you, Ilham Heydar oglu. Once again, taking this opportunity, I want to thank you for the warmth and attention, with which you always welcome our delegation here and, in general, our people, our Belarusians. I absolutely agree with you and confirm that Azerbaijan and Belarus have absolutely no problems in terms of international cooperation. We have the same views on the world order and we have the same views on the problems that exist in the world today. And in this regard, we have always supported and will support each other in international organizations in the entire spectrum of problematic issues.
Indeed, our trade volume needs to be the better and greater, because the potential of the two states is significantly larger than the 300 million dollars we can reach, if not this, then next year. And I am convinced that a feature of this visit is that together with our colleagues, the intergovernmental commission, we found a new sphere of cooperation. Today we also got support from the President in terms of greater investment in projects that may interest Azerbaijani businessmen and the Azerbaijani state on the territory of Belarus. Evidence of how one needs to cooperate is our cooperative ties. We talked about this as well today. We agreed to strengthen this sphere. We started with usual assembly of equipment on Azerbaijani territory. Today many enterprises – be it tractors, trucks, buses, etc. are 40-60 per cent locally-made. This indicates the highest potential of the Azerbaijan Republic. So we went from assembly to joint ventures. And today we produce thousands of pieces of equipment where we have established joint ventures. The President and I stated that everything we already produce in Azerbaijan does not fit into Azerbaijan. Thus, we are faced with the problem – to access the markets of third countries and jointly sell our products. That is to say we have already gone a long way and have created a joint product that we will sell in Iran and other republics tomorrow.
And a new area of cooperation is active investments in Belarus by your businessmen and your state. It would be impossible if we did not pay much attention to youth and education. I always say that Ilham Heydar oglu is the most intelligent and educated president we have, and he pays great attention to it. Apparently, hence his desire to send Azerbaijani youth around the world, wherever there is normal education, who, of course, will bring new technologies here to their homeland. They will just be educated people. Today we have one hundred and fifty of your students. They are not causing any problems for us. Sensible and quiet guys who aspire to obtain normal education. And these professionals join the economy of Azerbaijan and yield significant results every year. Without education - and I know there are new Vocational Training projects – there can be no normal cooperation.
We are very pleased to note that quite recently the Days of Culture of Belarus were held here on Azerbaijani soil. I was even informed that in the near future our actors will be staging Gara Garayev’s ballet "Seven Beauties". This will be a very significant event, so we invite not just the ambassador, but also our brothers from Azerbaijan to the ballet. If everything is normal, we are ready to show not just one performance. You can see how closely we are already linked with each other in the field of education, culture and other humanitarian areas. We are ready and are waiting for you with your suggestions if you are interested and are ready to invest in petrochemicals, agriculture, especially in the field to which your President is paying attention –the pharmaceutical industry. I absolutely support it, and we also once had this problem, and it is still there - to ensure pharmaceutical independence and drug security. And we are ready. Ilham Heydar oglu confirmed today that he is ready to support the construction of an enterprise to produce medicines here. We are ready to offer our technologies and also to go this way - from packaging to the production of dosage forms and preparations in the shortest period, which, naturally, we will be selling in third countries, using the authority and influence of the President of Azerbaijan.
Dear Ilham Heydar oglu, I can traditionally invite you to Minsk. We have a good practice. Every year, we meet in Minsk and then here in Baku. This keeps us in relevant shape, and especially, it spurs our colleagues to maintain a good shape, because they need to accelerate, especially prior to our meetings. I am very grateful for such a schedule of our work, and I think it will be very useful for us.
I want to reiterate that there are no closed topics in cooperation between our two countries. We do not hide from anyone that we are cooperating, ranging from food production to issues that concern the Ministries of Defence and issues required by the military capability of the Azerbaijan Republic and Belarus. I emphasize once again that we do not hide from anyone and will not hide it. We have a very trusting relationship with the President of Azerbaijan and I am sure that we will have exactly the same relations between our countries.
Especially as we have nowhere to go - we have created the basis of these relations, so we are facing one problem - dynamics, dynamics and only forward. We are ready for this, and I see that our counterparts from the Azerbaijani side are ready for this.
Thank you so much for your warmth and for addressing the problematic issues facing us.