President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met with Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church Ilia II. Warmly welcoming the Azerbaijani President, Ilia II highly appreciated his personal ties with national leader Heydar Aliyev and President Ilham Aliyev. He hailed Azerbaijani-Georgian relations as exemplary. “Both countries spare no efforts to preserve peace and stability in the Caucasus.” Saying that Azerbaijan and Georgia enjoy high-level political ties, the Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church noted that the people of the two countries will continue living in peace and prosperity. Ilia II also said that the two countries have very good relations in the field of religion.
Saying that there are more than 300 churches in Georgia, the Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church thanked President Ilham Aliyev for high attention paid to the Georgians living in Azerbaijan. He highlighted several religious issues, noting the fact that there is a Georgian bishop in Azerbaijan. Expressing his concern over the violation of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and Georgia, Ilia II said he hopes that both countries` territorial integrity will be restored. Thanking President Ilham Aliyev for Azerbaijan`s supplying natural gas to Georgia, the Patriarch expressed confidence that the bilateral ties will continue developing.
Recalling his meetings with the Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church in Baku, President Ilham Aliyev said Ilia II is held in great respect in Azerbaijan. The head of state noted that the Georgian religious leader`s activity has always been aimed at establishing peace, solving all conflicts in the region, ensuring mutual understanding and respect among world religions, and ensuring peace. President Ilham Aliyev emphasized that being multi-national and multi-confessional countries, Azerbaijan and Georgia are an example of commitment to universal values for other counties. Commenting on his meeting with the Azerbaijani community in Georgia, the head of state said there is an excellent attitude to the Georgians living in Azerbaijan. Saying that the two counties built strategic partnership during the years of independence, President Ilham Aliyev underlined the importance of the Joint Declaration signed by the two presidents during his visit to Georgia. President Ilham Aliyev stressed the necessity of restoring territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and Georgia in terms of dynamic development of both countries. The head of state said Azerbaijan and Georgia enjoy active collaboration in international organizations.
Praising the activity of SOCAR in Georgia, President Ilham Aliyev said it is close cooperation that lies at the heart of the successful future of both countries. The head of state expressed confidence that his official visit to Georgia will contribute to the strengthening of the cooperation and fraternity between the two countries.
At the end of the meeting the sides exchanged keepsakes.