Joint press statements of Ilham Aliyev and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
19 september 2014, 13:15
Statement by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Mr. Prime Minister, my dear brother,
Ladies and gentlemen!
Dear Mr. Prime Minister, let me warmly welcome you to Azerbaijan. Welcome to Azerbaijan!
I would like to congratulate you again on your election as Prime Minister of Turkey. I am sure that you will work hard in this important office and will do a lot for the development of both Turkey proper and Turkish-Azerbaijani relations.
In our one-on-one meeting today, we discussed the various areas of our bilateral ties. We have been further convinced that Turkish-Azerbaijani relations are at the highest peak, at the highest possible level. And this is the way they should be. Our peoples are fraternal peoples. We have been next to each other over the centuries, and today, of course, we are building our future together as two independent states.
Our political relations are developing day by day. Earlier this month President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was on an official visit to Azerbaijan. The honorable Prime Minister is on an official visit here now. I, too, paid my first official visits after being elected to Turkey. In fact, this is clear evidence of the level of our relationship.
At the same time, we are successfully cooperating in the economic sphere today. From the investment perspective Turkey and Azerbaijan make mutual investments, thus ensuring their own interests, while also further reinforcing each other. The volume of investments that will be made in Turkey from Azerbaijan is around $20 billion. At the same time, investments are made in Azerbaijan from Turkey. We are very pleased with the increase of Turkey’s share in "Shah Deniz" and TANAP projects because Turkish companies will have an even greater share here. The TANAP project is a Turkish-Azerbaijani project. This project was initiated only two years ago, and today the project is already being implemented.
Of course, our relations in the energy sector represent tremendous importance not only to the two countries involved, but also to the region and the world as a whole. Azerbaijan will host a major ceremony tomorrow – the construction of the Southern Gas Corridor begins tomorrow. 20 September is a historic day for us. Twenty years ago, precisely on 20 September, the "Contract of the Century" was signed. Twenty years on we are launching a project of the 21st century. Of course, the roles of the Turkish and Azerbaijani sides are particularly important to the success of this project.
Other projects are also implemented in the energy sector. I am confident that the implementation of the Trans-Anatolian, the Trans-Adriatic and the "Shah Deniz-2" projects will usher a new cooperation environment in the region. These projects will secure both our economic and political interests, and the number of countries that will participate in them is fairly high. Thus, Turkey and Azerbaijan as initiators of these projects will also contribute to the broad international cooperation.
Of course, honorable Prime Minister and I have also discussed ways to resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I briefed the honorable Prime Minister on the current situation. Unfortunately, due to the unconstructive position of Armenia the conflict remains unresolved. The territories of our country recognized by the international community are under occupation. The difference between this conflict and other conflicts in the former Soviet Union is that there are four UN Security Council resolutions relating to it. The UN Security Council, the world’s most authoritative international organization, has adopted four resolutions. The Armenian side simply ignores and does not execute them. Twenty per cent of our land is under occupation. A policy of ethnic cleansing has been conducted against us. More than a million Azerbaijanis have become refugees and IDPs in their native land. Unfortunately, the activities of the mediators do not yield any fruit and Armenia flagrantly violates international law. As I said, there are decisions and resolutions of international organizations in connection with the settlement of this conflict. This conflict must be resolved only on the basis of these decisions and resolutions and within the framework of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. I am sure that there will come a time when Azerbaijan will fully restore its territorial integrity.
I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the Turkish Government and state for standing by us all the time. Turkey has always demonstrated a fair stance – a stance that complies with the norms and principles of international law. Of course, the resolution of the conflict within the norms and principles of international law will usher peace and the large-scale cooperation to the region in the future. This cooperation already exists today. However, because of its aggressive policy Armenia is isolated from all of these cooperation projects. Today, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the South Caucasus gas pipeline and other initiatives are carried out without the participation of Armenia. If the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is resolved, there will be even better opportunities for cooperation in the region. In any case, we will not back down from our position of principle and will do our utmost to resolve the conflict as soon as possible.
We have also discussed other issues. We have been further convinced that Turkish-Azerbaijani relations are the relations between friends, brothers and allies. Both sides will work hard for the development of these relations in the future.
Dear Mr. Prime Minister, welcome again!