Statement by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Mr. President!
Dear guests, ladies and gentlemen!
Let me say welcome to you again. This is your first visit to our country. I am sure that the visit will have positive results.
We have conducted extensive discussions on the issues of the bilateral agenda, regional matters, including the cooperation between the European Union and Azerbaijan. There is high-level mutual understanding between the sides. Political relations between our countries are developing successfully.
The official visit by the President of the Czech Republic to Azerbaijan is evidence of the intensifying political dialogue. It creates good opportunities for the development of relations in other spheres. Both sides are very interested in developing economic relations. Today we will attend the Czech-Azerbaijani business forum. I am aware that Mr. President is accompanied by a large delegation of Czech business people. I am sure that business circles will have extensive opportunities for joint work and study the possibilities for investing and implementing joint projects.
Our relations also have a regional dimension. The partnership between the European Union and Azerbaijan is also part of our bilateral relations. We are very grateful to the Czech side for supporting the partnership between the European Union and Azerbaijan. We are currently involved in the “Eastern Partnership” program and hope that thanks to the program the contacts between the European Union and Azerbaijan will become even closer.
Energy cooperation is part of our bilateral agenda. We are very pleased that Azerbaijan’s hydrocarbon resources are already reaching the Czech Republic. We hope that this cooperation will further expand in the years ahead. At present, we are exporting oil, but cooperation in the gas sector will also be part of our bilateral relations in the future. Especially if we consider that the European Union and Azerbaijan signed a Joint Declaration on the Southern gas corridor early this year. European energy security and energy cooperation with Europe are the issues that are always on the agenda of the partnership between the European Union and Azerbaijan.
Today we have also discussed regional matters, including the issues of regional cooperation and security. I have informed Mr. President of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and the process of talks. Azerbaijani lands have been under occupation for many years now. As a result of the policy of ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis, one million Azerbaijanis have become refugees, 20 per cent of our territory has been under occupation for 20 years. Resolutions of the UN Security Council demand an unconditional and immediate withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from our territories. Four resolutions of the UN Security Council remain unfulfilled. The decisions of the OSCE, resolutions of the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and other international organizations are of the same style and essence. The conflict must be resolved on the basis of international law, Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity must be restored. Only after this can peace be established in the region. I want to reiterate that I have informed Mr. President of the process of talks. I have expressed hope that the conflict will be resolved on the basis of international law.
In general, I want to indicate that the relations between our countries are very positive. Our relations are developing in the spirit of a very strong partnership. I am sure that the visit by Mr. President and its results will strengthen this partnership and we will achieve a further development of this partnership and friendship. Mr. President, welcome again!
Statement by the President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus
- Mr. President!
Ladies and gentlemen!
Thank you for giving me the floor. Mr. President, I am grateful for your invitation. This is my first visit to your country as President of the Czech Republic.
President Vaclav Klaus stressed that he fully shares the opinion of the Azerbaijani President that the relations between the two countries are at a good level and are of friendly nature. Indicating that this manifested itself quite clearly during the negotiations held, he said:
I simply want to repeat that by visiting your country I want to make it clear to the Azerbaijani and Czech people that we are extremely interested in expanding Azerbaijani Czech, Czech-Azerbaijani relations in all the spheres, including political, economic and cultural. This is the main objective and interest behind my three-day visit.
Mr. President, we have come here with an open heart. We have come here to discover and understand your country better.
Saying that he was aware of the successes Azerbaijan had achieved in recent years, the Czech President emphasized that he was pleased with the opportunity to see the development not only of Baku but also of districts. Touching upon a number of issues relating to a further development of Azerbaijani-Czech relations, President Vaclav Klaus said:
We are aware of the painful conflict with Armenia, and we want to provide our assistance, albeit not very large, to resolving it. We are also paying special attention to the European Union’s latest “Eastern Partnership” program. The Czech Republic is one of the initiators of this idea. A meeting on the “Eastern Partnership” was held in Prague two years ago and we met there then. Mr. President, I promised to you then that I would pay a visit to Azerbaijan, and here I am. We are very interested in the “Eastern Partnership” summit which is due to be held in Warsaw later this year. I do hope that this event will facilitate a further development of relations between the European Union and Azerbaijan.
Mr. President, let me assure you that we are interested in developing the relations between our countries and between Europe and Azerbaijan.
Thank you very much.