After the signing ceremony, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and President of Greece Karolos Papoulias made statements for the media.
Statement by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Mr. President!
Ladies and gentlemen!
Mr. President, first of all I would like to warmly welcome you to Azerbaijan again!
We are attaching great importance to your visit and I am sure that it will be successful and produce wonderful results. Our political relations are developing rapidly. Two years ago I visited your country. I remember that visit very well. The negotiations and exchanges of opinion we conducted during that visit have also demonstrated that the relations between our countries have great prospects. This is confirmed by your visit to Azerbaijan today.
As a result of the talks held during this visit, we will further develop bilateral relations. Our bilateral agenda is very broad. We have held a broad exchange of opinions today. There are great prospects for the development of our political relations. There is a significant mutual interest in the economic sphere. This will be further confirmed by the Azerbaijani-Greek business forum due tomorrow. I am sure that the business people of our countries will establish effective ties with each other. There are wonderful conditions for mutual investment. We will be very glad to see Greek companies in Azerbaijan, as new cooperation opportunities are opening up in our country. In other words, there are good prospects for the deepening of economic cooperation. The joint Azerbaijani-Greek intergovernmental commission is also working effectively, and we were informed of its activities today.
Our energy cooperation, an important sphere of our relations, is also developing successfully. We can already see initial results of that. Azerbaijani gas has been transported to Greece for several years now. I am sure that the documents signed today will further expand our cooperation and opportunities in this field. Azerbaijan is interested in increasing gas exports to Greece. We also want to take advantage of Greece’s transit opportunities in the future. In other words, cooperation in this sphere will not only serve the development of our bilateral ties but also give a strong impetus to Azerbaijan’s cooperation with European states in the gas sector.
As you know, the talks currently under way between the European Union and Azerbaijan should contribute to the development of gas cooperation. We are interested in that. Azerbaijan is making effort towards ensuring the energy security of Europe, and this cooperation will be even broader in the future. There is no doubt about that. The Declaration on the Southern gas corridor, signed between the EU and Azerbaijan early this year, is being implemented. Of course, execution of the tasks set forth in the Declaration will make Azerbaijan a reliable supplier of gas to Europe. In other words, there are great opportunities and even greater prospects for cooperation in this sphere. At the same time, Greece is playing a contributing a lot to developing relations between the EU and Azerbaijan. I have thanked you for that today. The Eastern Partnership program is being implemented now, and it also has wonderful prospects.
We have also exchanged views on regional cooperation. We have exchanged views on the developments unfolding in the region, additional steps towards strengthening regional security.
I have informed Mr. President of the latest round of talks on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The talks are under way and we hope they will lead to success. We want the resolutions and decisions passed by international organizations to be implemented. As you know, our lands have been under occupation for many years. Despite the decisions and resolutions of international organizations, this occupation is still ongoing. There are four UN Security Council resolutions. Other international organizations, such as the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Islamic Conference, the European Parliament, have also adopted resolutions demanding an end to the occupation of Azerbaijani lands. We do hope that the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh will be resolved on the basis of international law, within the framework of the territorial integrity of countries. I want to repeat that I have informed President Papoulias of this and expressed my views on Azerbaijan’s position.
In general, Azerbaijani-Greek relations are developing very successfully and rapidly. We are very pleased with the level of our relations, and this visit by Mr. President demonstrates again that mutual confidence between our countries is at a very high level and we have mutual interests. I am sure that the development of bilateral relations will help our peoples get to know each other better. The contacts between our peoples will become even closer. Therefore, Azerbaijani-Greek relations will be developing even faster in the future.
Mr. President, I would like to warmly welcome you and the delegation accompanying you to Azerbaijan again. I am sure that your visit will be memorable and you will return to your country with pleasant impressions.
X X X
Statement by Greek President Karolos Papoulias
I am very pleased with my visit to Baku and would like to express my appreciation to President Aliyev for the hospitality our delegation and myself have enjoyed.
We have held a broad exchange of opinions with President Aliyev. This exchange concerns our bilateral relations, as well as regional and global issues. We have great bilateral relations. We have signed three bilateral documents pertaining to cooperation in the areas of transport, science and energy.
We are giving a high assessment to the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan. We think there is room for further stepping up our bilateral relations, especially trade and economic ones. From this standpoint, the Greek-Azerbaijani business forum due tomorrow is opening up great opportunities for a further expansion of our trade and economic relations.
President Aliyev and I have also discussed ways of developing our energy cooperation. Greece has already become an energy hub for the Southern and Central Europe. From this standpoint, we are also interested in the construction of a gas pipeline. We want this pipeline from Azerbaijan to pass through Greece and stretch to Italy.
I have also informed President Aliyev of some problems. Touching upon the Cyprus issue, we expressed hope for a solution of this problem on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions. We think that such international issues should be resolved in this format only.
At the same time, we have touched upon the events unfolding in northern Africa. I would also like to mention the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. We want this issue to be resolved in peace through the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group, and we want this to happen soon. Greece is attaching special importance to the EU initiative in the Caucasus, namely the Eastern Partnership. Our country is also paying special attention to the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. From this standpoint, we highly appreciate the Memorandum signed between Azerbaijan and the European Union. I would like to reassure President Aliyev that he can count on real support of Greece.
In conclusion, I would like to thank President Aliyev very much for the very sincere discussions, and I think that the relations between Greece and Azerbaijan will continue to expand further.