Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Mr. President, my dear brother.
Ladies and gentlemen!
First of all, my dear brother, I would like to welcome you to Azerbaijan once again. Welcome to Azerbaijan!
We attach great importance to your visit. We are very pleased that less than a week after your swearing-in ceremony you are paying a visit to Azerbaijan, to your home. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely congratulate you on the great victory in the presidential election and wished you continued success.
Today, during our bilateral meeting and during a meeting with the participation of delegations we discussed all areas of our bilateral relations and have been further convinced that Turkish-Azerbaijani relations are at the highest level. Our relations are built on friendship and brotherhood. Today, we are building a beautiful building of our friendship and brotherhood on this solid foundation.
Political relations are expanding day by day. We always support each other in international organizations and conduct consultations related to foreign policy. I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Turkish government for its efforts in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the support for Azerbaijan's fair position. It is very important to us. Turkey has always pursued an open policy on this issue, has always stood by Azerbaijan, stood by truth, justice and international law. This issue was also discussed today.
The Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict poses the biggest threat to the region. The internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan has been under occupation for many years. Twenty per cent of our land is occupied, there are more than a million refugees and internally displaced persons. We have been subjected to a policy of ethnic cleansing. The UN Security Council, the world’s top organization, has adopted four resolutions in connection with the conflict, demanding an unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian forces from our lands. Unfortunately, Armenia flouts these resolutions and the conflict remains unresolved. The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict must be resolved only on the basis of international law and the territorial integrity of countries. And I am sure that it will be the case.
At the same time, Azerbaijan is always close to Turkey in all international organizations. Today, we also exchanged views on the far-fetched "genocide" which will be marked in Armenia next year. Turkey and Azerbaijan are working and will continue to work together at the level of Foreign Ministers and ambassadors. Our Diaspora and public organizations are working and will continue to work together in this direction, so that we work in a coordinated manner to dispel the myth of the "Armenian genocide". Armenia and Armenians of the world are trying to mislead the international public opinion and to build history of lies. They are putting forward unfounded accusations against Turkey. None of them has a historical basis. This is a lie, slander and fiction. We will continue to make joint efforts with the countries close to us in order to expose the Armenian lies.
Of course, we discussed various aspects of our cooperation today. At the same time, we discussed cooperation in the defense industry and its prospects. There is also great potential in this area.
As always, one of the topics of discussion was energy projects that we share. When my dear brother and I signed the TANAP project two years ago, we could roughly expect where it would lead us. The TANAP project, which is our brainchild, today attracts the attention of the whole world. Our teams and groups have already begun work. I am sure that this historic project will be implemented in a timely manner. We have always been together in energy issues. TANAP is a project which, of course, requires broader international cooperation. It brings together more countries and companies. I am confident that with joint efforts and through common will, we will successfully implement this project.
Today we also discussed issues of mutual investment. This in some sense is a novelty in our relations because major mutual investment has been made both from Turkey and Azerbaijan in recent years. In the next five to six years even more Azerbaijani investment will be made in Turkey – about $17-20 billion. I am very pleased that the Turkish side is increasing its stake in our energy projects. It has increased its stake in "Shah Deniz" and owns a large share in the TANAP project. These are also Turkish investments in Azerbaijan. At the same time, due to the implementation of these projects great new opportunities are emerging. The main actors in these large energy projects are Turkey and Azerbaijan. And it should be the case. Today, our unity is already a factor on a global scale, and the stronger Turkey, the more confident we will feel. We are very pleased with Turkey's successes. I am sure that our brotherly relations will continue to flourish.
Dear brother, I welcome you to Azerbaijan again and wish the people of Turkey happiness and continued success.