Joint press statements of Ilham Aliyev and President of European Council
06 february 2017, 17:01
Statement of President Ilham Aliyev
Thank you. First of all, Mr. President, thank you for invitation, I am very glad to visit you and have an opportunity to discuss important issues of our cooperation. I remember your very successful visit to Azerbaijan in 2015. Where we discussed the prospects for cooperation and I am very glad that tomorrow as you said we start negotiations on the new agreement. Cooperation between us is very fruitful, very sincere and with a big potential we have a very active political dialogue, we meet regularly and discuss important issues of political development, political reforms in our country. We are committed to a continuation of democratic reforms in Azerbaijan, in order to provide better opportunities for all the citizens of our country.
Of course, energy cooperation is an important part of our cooperation. We successfully cooperate on the promotion of the Southern Gas Corridor Project which is one of the biggest infrastructure projects now implemented in Europe, and the project which will need, already needs more than 40 billion dollars of investments. Southern Gas Corridor Project is a project of energy security and energy diversification, and when I am saying diversification, I mean not only routes but also sources. Azerbaijan with its huge gas deposits is a new, alternative source for a natural gas for European market and I informed Mr. President that the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor, all the four segments of the project is moving successfully, and hopefully with additional efforts we will speed up the implementation of this project.
As Mr. President said, Europe is our main investor, and Azerbaijan created a very good investment climate, more than 2oo billion dollars were invested to our economy since restoration of our independence, 25 years ago and, also Europe is our main trading partner, we supply many European countries with oil, and hopefully very soon we will supply them with natural gas.
We discussed the issues of resolution of Armenian-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I, once again, mentioned that for many years our lands are under occupation, Armenia occupied almost 20 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan, violated all the humanitarian norms, norms of international law, and actually does not implement four resolutions of United Nations Security Council, adopted in the beginning of 1990ies and demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijani territories. Unfortunately, occupation lasts for more than twenty years, and this occupation cannot be justified. I am very grateful to Mr. President, that in his comments he also once again expressed support to the territorial integrity of our country. We also discussed today the future potential cooperation in the area of transportation, which could be important project, which will be attractive for countries of Eastern Partnership and European countries, and Azerbaijan invested largely to the creation of the new railroad connection in the region. Hopefully this year, the new route connecting Asia with Europe will be in operation which will shorten the time, almost two times from moving cargos from Europe to Asia, and in opposite direction.
Another important part of our cooperation is intercultural dialogue. I am grateful to Mr. President for mentioning that Azerbaijan largely invests in the dialogue between civilizations, cultures. We are country which is a member of the Council of Europe and Islamic Cooperation Organizations at the same time, and we are natural geographical and cultural bridge between civilizations. Investments of Azerbaijan in human capital, in interface dialogue, today bring good results.
Also, I’d like to mention that we have good experience in cooperation with the member states of European Union, with nine of them with one third of the member states we already have documents signed or adopted on strategic partnership. This is a good basis for future agreement between EU and Azerbaijan, and today it’s a remarkable day, in the history of our cooperation, because we are opening the new chapter in our cooperation. I wish success to negotiators and hope that they will not lose time, start immediately, tomorrow and soon we will present a document which will determine strategic cooperation between us for many years to come. Thank you very much.