Statement by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
- Dear President Margvelashvili,
Dear President Gul,
Dear representatives of the media, ladies and gentlemen!
First of all, Mr. President, I want to thank you for the hospitality shown to me and my delegation. I am very pleased to be visiting fraternal Georgia again. I am sure that today's summit will be very important for the further development of our trilateral cooperation. Azerbaijan is linked to Georgia and Turkey through history, historical ties, culture, friendship and brotherhood between our peoples. Our bilateral relations are also built on a solid foundation. They have already passed the test of time. Azerbaijan has a relationship built on a very close friendship and brotherhood with both Georgia and Turkey.
I am very glad that the trilateral format is already asserting itself. Tripartite meetings were also held in the past. Naturally, summits have been held due to the implementation of international projects. Today's summit has been important as we analyzed the work done in previous years. At the same time, and I think this is the most important, we held a very broad and frank exchange of views on future cooperation today.
Today, the ministers introduced various projects to us. We had an exchange of views on the forthcoming work again. But I think that the main result of this summit is that Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan have reaffirmed this trilateral format, our friendly and partnership relations. This is very important because the projects that unite us are significant for both our countries, peoples, neighbors, and for the continent as a whole.
Oil and gas, transportation projects and projects related to investment that were successfully implemented in the past have brought our countries even closer together. I can say that this trilateral format is of great interest not only in the region but also globally. In fact, it is a unique format as three independent states have built an equal relationship – a modern and cultural relationship serving the interests of our peoples and based on mutual interest and respect. I believe that this experience can be attractive for other countries.
Our relations are based on cooperation. This is the most important factor. As a result of this cooperation, each country derives a great benefit. Our joint projects serve the interests of three countries. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars projects have already gone beyond regional boundaries and become international. In particular, issues related to energy security are seen worldwide as being the most important. It would be safe to say that they are top of the global agenda. Three countries have fully ensured their energy security. This is a wonderful result of our cooperation. In the future, our three countries will ensure the energy security of Europe.
The talks and discussions held here today are of great importance for the world and Europe. At the end of last year, the Shah Deniz-2 project was launched in Baku. Shah Deniz-2, the Trans-Anatolian and Trans-Adriatic pipelines are number one projects, the largest infrastructure projects of Europe. The amount of funds to be invested in these projects will constitute at least $45 billion. We invest these funds in order to protect our interests and contribute to the energy security of Europe. As a result of these projects, tens of thousands of new jobs and business opportunities will be created .
Today we had an exchange of views about this, so that our business entities could also actively participate in these projects and we could be ready for that. Our investment opportunities will expand even more. In other words, our countries will be even more important for foreign investment. And this is in the interests of any country. Even developed countries want to attract investment from abroad. Azerbaijan, in turn, invests the most in Turkey and Georgia. It is also a manifestation of our unity.
Underlying all our initiatives are the determination of our people and a strong political will. This is the basic condition. We build our relations on this foundation. We are enriching this relationship with specific projects. The unity exhibited here in Tbilisi today is unique in the world.
I want to express my appreciation to my colleagues for their friendship and cooperation. Today, during the exchange of views, we decided to hold such summits on a regular basis. If there are no objections, the next summit could be held in Azerbaijan. We will continue to successfully develop this good cooperation.