President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has hosted an official reception in honor of President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, who is paying an official visit to Azerbaijan.
Addressing the ceremony, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Dear Mr. President,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Mr. President, I would like to welcome you to Azerbaijan again. This morning we held negotiations, discussed some very important issues of bilateral relations and regional matters, and exchanged views on the overall future of our relations. I must say that we have a convergence of views and mutual understanding on all matters. The main thing is that we are committed to the active development of our bilateral relations, development in all areas. Today we seem to have somewhat analyzed what has been done and, of course, identified the main paths for the development of relations in the future: first, the strengthening of the political cooperation, mutual support in international organizations and the commitment to the implementation of important and global energy and transport projects. It is also important because Georgia and Azerbaijan play a very important role in these issues, and the successful implementation of projects which have already gone beyond the regional framework depends on coordination, cooperation and mutual support in these matters.
I am sure that in the spheres of energy, infrastructure, transport and communications we will achieve even greater success in the coming years. We have also discussed the prospects for the development of economic relations. I believe that there are good opportunities for increasing our trade. We need to exploit the potential of our countries better and create favorable conditions for entrepreneurs, so that they could export more products manufactured in our countries in accordance with the requirements of the market. Investment projects are already being implemented and there are good prospects for the future. I believe that we will see even more investment in the coming years, which will facilitate the integration of our economies.
In general, we have understanding on all matters, including humanitarian cooperation. We have a clear vision of the prospects of our relations. Most importantly, Georgia and Azerbaijan today, as two independent states, play an increasingly important role in regional affairs and continental issues. The basis of this interaction, of course, is the relationship between our peoples.
For centuries our peoples have lived close to each other and will also live in peace and harmony in the future. We have always supported each other and always relied on each other. This is the main asset which we have managed to preserve, and we will increase it further. And, of course, when the people of our countries see that their leaders have similar and identical positions and support each other, it is also is a good signal for them to strengthen our interaction at all levels and create new opportunities for development. Our future, our successful future can only be possible in close cooperation, and we have a complete unity of views in this issue. I am confident that our countries will achieve the goals we set for ourselves to become developed nations.
I know that the Georgian leadership has begun to implement active reforms in all spheres of life, and they are giving good results. I would like to wish you success in these reforms. I am sure that everything you plan will be implemented. We, for our part, will only rejoice in your successes, achievements and victories, and as friends and brothers we will always be there for you. Historically, and I think that this is a good sign of history and nature perhaps, our peoples happen to live close to each other. I think that our relationship is, in general, an example for others to study. Neighboring countries and peoples are not always so friendly, do not always live in harmony and peace like the Georgian and Azerbaijani peoples. Neighboring countries do not always interact so actively. This is an asset we must keep and preserve, and we will do that. We will work together to ensure that the lives of our peoples and citizens become better and our countries get even stronger. We wish Georgia further success and victories, and prosperity to the Georgian people.
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President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili said:
- Mr. President, first of all I want to express my admiration over what members of my delegation and myself have seen in the capital of Azerbaijan Baku today.
Of course, the visit began with the impressions that remain from our first meeting. We met and talked about the future of the region and about the future of our countries. But I would like to emphasize that we absolutely share the views and attitudes towards future projects, problems and their solution, and I think that this will effectively influence the future development of the region and the future development of these projects. Needless to say that it is impossible not to admire the projects implemented in Azerbaijan and the pace of development. Today we had the opportunity to see the new and reviving Baku and are still very impressed by what and how everything is developing here. Naturally, Azerbaijan and your Government derive strength for this development from the earlier processes that took place under the leadership of Heydar Aliyev, and we are very pleased that these processes are continuing, deepening and bearing fruit.
The cooperation between our countries, as you have noted, is exemplary not only for the region but also for many nations. We were able to form our states after the collapse of the Soviet Union, establish the relations with each other on the basis of brotherhood, mutual understanding and respect. Naturally, we have big plans for the future. As you noted, energy and transport projects provide a real guarantee for the development not only of our countries and peoples, but also of other states. I am convinced that many states of the modern world look at our partnership and feel confident that this collaboration will yield even better fruit in the future. Accordingly, as a partner and transit country which works together with you on the development of these projects, we express our commitment to the principles we have laid down and look forward to the development of these projects. I would like to emphasize once again that we are working effectively in a political context too, and this cooperation already has a history.
Yes, we support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, just like Azerbaijan supports the territorial integrity of Georgia. We advocate this position in international forums in a very organized manner. We do hope that the problems which have unfortunately occurred in our countries will be resolved on the basis of international law and peacefully. Our cooperation is a prerequisite for this.
Again, if we go back to our cooperation over the past 20 years, a huge role in this collaboration is played by our peoples. The peoples who have fraternally united and developed their countries also respected the neighboring states. I want to emphasize the special role of ethnic Azerbaijanis living in Georgia and ethnic Georgians living in Azerbaijan, who have also made a major contribution to the development of relations between our countries.
I want to say again that this day is memorable for me and, I am sure, for the members of our delegation. We are filled with a sense of friendship, cooperation and good neighborly relations and, accordingly, will put these feelings into real projects, the real future, the economic, political and cultural ties which, I want to stress again, are especially significant. After all, the economic projects are underpinned by a cultural unity and togetherness. We will closely follow the development of projects in the spheres of education and science, which I am sure should further develop both in Georgia and Azerbaijan, and will look forward to cooperation in these areas. Once again I want to thank you for the welcome.