Joint press statements of Ilham Aliyev and Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel
21 january 2015, 23:26
Statement by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
- Thank you, Madam Chancellor. First of all, I want to thank you for the invitation to visit Germany. I am very glad to come to your country again. As you noted, the agenda of our bilateral relations is very broad. It covers various fields, and we have discussed these issues in a very open and sincere manner.
Our political relations are developing successfully. I am confident that my visit will give an impetus to the development of our political ties. Political relations have a positive impact on all other areas. Of course, economic cooperation is also on the agenda today. There are numerous German companies in Azerbaijan. We support their activities. I think that in the future German companies, both as contractors and investors, will be able to do even more work in Azerbaijan. If we consider that the Azerbaijani economy is developing dynamically and we are implementing numerous infrastructure projects, of course, the successful activities of German companies in Azerbaijan will be continued.
As noted by Madam Chancellor, we have also touched upon the issues of regional security, first of all, the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh which is our priority. This conflict is a source of great threat both to Azerbaijan and the region as a whole. As you know, the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan has for many years been occupied by the Armenian army. Twenty percent of our land is under occupation. This occupation has affected one million Azerbaijanis who have become refugees and IDPs. International organizations, primarily the UN Security Council, have adopted resolutions on resolving the conflict. The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions. These resolutions express the requirement for an unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied lands. Unfortunately, Armenia ignores them and tries to maintain the status quo as it is. This conflict must be resolved on the basis of norms and principles of international law and within the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. There must be a common approach, as is the case with all other conflicts.
Of course, energy security today is perhaps the main focus of the talks between Europe and Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is playing a role. The Azerbaijan-proposed projects are changing the energy map of Europe. In the future European energy security will be provided, among others, by Azerbaijan. In 2012, the TANAP project was launched and in 2013 the TAP project was chosen as the main export route. At the end of last year the foundation of the "Southern Gas Corridor" was laid. Azerbaijan is the initiator of all these projects. At the same time, Azerbaijan has assumed a great financial burden over these projects, and I am sure that all work will be done in a timely manner. The TANAP project will come on line in 2018 and TAP a year after that. To achieve this, of course, the European Union and Azerbaijan should cooperate even more closely in this area. I must also inform you that the first meeting of the "Southern Gas Corridor" advisory board will be held in Baku on our initiative next month, and I am sure that it will discuss all these issues.
I want to say again that I appreciate my visit today. German-Azerbaijani relations have great potential. The decisions made today and these discussions will contribute a lot to the development of these relations. Thank you.