Following the official welcoming ceremony, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko have held a one-on-one meeting.
The heads of state made speeches.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said:
Dear Ilham Heydarovich,
Let me welcome you to Belarus in these difficult times for the whole world and, probably, particularly for us.
I am very happy when you – our ally, my great friend – and everyone knows it in Belarus - a friend of the whole Belarusian nation - visit us. I want to welcome you, thank you for everything that you are doing for our countries.
I have to say that as we started to seriously deal with Belarusian-Azerbaijani relations our trade turnover increased, various problematic political issues were solved. We have such personal relations that, God willing, I will have this kind of relations with every leader. Actually we are determined and we agreed with you to do our utmost to achieve maximum results. Nevertheless, in these difficult times in terms of economy we manage to keep the trade turnover nearly at the level we had at best times. However, our trade turnover with all the countries has significantly decreased. Therefore we have done a lot, laid a good foundation for our relations. We have established a practice of annual communication at the highest level – one year in our country, the next one in yours. I hope that everything will be all right, and I will be able to visit you in your wonderful sunny Baku next time. Thank you for cooperation that you maintain with us in all areas.
Once again I would like to declare that we do not have any circumspection and any closed themes. Our cooperation with you is like cooperation between regions of Belarus. Our cooperation is at this level. If some do not like this, that is their problem. We do not have any forbidden issues. That is why you can always count on Belarus. Once again I would like to stress that we never forget how you helped us, against all odds, in difficult times. Someday we will be able to speak in details on how to address issues in a friendly manner in a few days, including big financial issues. We have always been men of our word. You have made sure of this once again. However, I am very grateful to you for your support and help, especially in hard times.
I wish that despite any challenges Azerbaijan, its people would always be on top and always solve problems they face. Do know that you have friends here!
Azerbaijani President llham Aliyev said:
Thank you, dear Alexander Grigoryevich. Thank you for kind words about our country.
First of all, I would like to thank you for hospitality. I am always very happy to visit Belarus. I am happy for the achievements that your country has gained under your leadership in the last years. This is clearly visible as Minsk has turned into a modern, beautiful, developed city. I am sure that people are happy to live, work and create here. Belarus is on the path of rapid economic growth. Issues of social welfare are actively addressed in your country. As you mentioned, all the countries now face challenging times. Nevertheless, Belarus maintains positive dynamics of development, ensures social and political stability. We all experience economic crisis, but Belarus is one of those countries which suffered less.
Our relations are based on strong friendship. Friendship that has withstood the test of years. As you noted when we started our active interaction, we did not know each other that well. However, there have been several official visits of presidents, senior officials of other bodies in the last years. Of course, I will be very happy to welcome you for official visit to Azerbaijan next year as there are many issues to be discussed. First of all, each visit is a political recognition of a strategic nature of our relations. Second, we address a lot of issues on all fronts – both in political sphere, foreign policy, economy, industry. There are not any restrictions in the issues of our cooperation with Belarus, and we see very positive dynamics, results in many areas. In 10 years of active interaction we have known the Belarusian people better, we have known their open, noble, loyal and sincere character. Believe me all these epithets are true. I and every our citizen that communicated with Belarusians feel this. This is a great asset of your country. On behalf of the people of Azerbaijan, I would like to wish you new successes, new accomplishments. We also will always stand by you, we will always be happy for your successes. Thank you again for hospitality.
The presidents exchanged views on the bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest.