Gerb

03 april 2017, 14:06

Statement by President Ilham Aliyev

- Dear Nursultan Abishevich,

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen!

Nursultan Abishevich, let me welcome you to Azerbaijan from the bottom of my heart again. You are Welcome. You are our dear friend. The people of Azerbaijan love and respect you very much, and your visit is a great event in our bilateral relations.

The bilateral relations between our countries have a solid foundation. This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our states, although the history of interaction between our peoples dates centuries back. This history has always been a history of friendship, cooperation and mutual support. Today, as two actively developing and independent states, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are strengthening the bilateral format of cooperation. Today's visit of Nursultan Abishevich, the talks that we have held and the documents we have signed testify to very strong ties between our countries.

We are actively developing political interaction. We often meet both within the framework of official visits and on the sidelines of international events. We always find time to talk, discuss and outline ways for the development of our relations. We actively cooperate in international organizations. We always support each other. This is also a good indicator of the sincerity of our relations. I would like to take this opportunity to once again congratulate President Nursultan Nazarbayev and all fraternal Kazakhstan on your election to the UN Security Council, the highest organization of world politics. This is an indicator of the attitude of the world community towards Kazakhstan, a recognition of Kazakhstan's successes, as well as its role in international and global affairs. I am confident that Kazakhstan's activities as a member of the UN Security Council will be aimed at strengthening peace and security. I am confident that this mission will be very successful. I would also like to express my gratitude to you for supporting Azerbaijan in the international organizations Azerbaijan is not represented on.

Today we also discussed issues related to the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I informed Nursultan Abishevich about the current situation in the settlement. Our position is also reflected in the Joint Declaration we have just signed. I am grateful to you for this position. The conflict must be resolved within the framework of norms and principles of international law, the decisions and resolutions of international organizations, primarily the UN Security Council which has adopted four resolutions demanding an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territories. The decision must be taken within the framework of the sovereignty, internationally recognized borders and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and these main points of settlement are reflected in the Declaration signed today. This is yet another sign of Kazakhstan's principled position on the settlement of conflicts, which must be resolved on the basis of norms and principles of international law, as well as a sign of your attitude towards our country.

We also discussed issues of trade and economic development according to the lists and outlined the positions in which we can quickly increase the turnover. Although we have an increased turnover, it does not reflect our potential and intentions. Therefore, we decided to hold a regular meeting of the intergovernmental commission next month and, taking into account the instructions of the presidents, specifically on the points we discussed regarding export positions of our countries, prepare and adopt documents that would increase the turnover in a short time, in particular mutual exports. There are all the possibilities for that. I am also very glad that Azerbaijan has begun to actively invest in Kazakhstan. The opening of a logistical center in Aktau and the construction of an energy plant in Aktau are direct Azerbaijani investments aimed at strengthening our trade and economic cooperation. For us, the Kazakhstan market is of great interest. And I want to say once again that we have specifically discussed the positions on which we can export and import to and from Kazakhstan.

We have also discussed major projects related to the acquisition of modern equipment. We are buying modern vehicles, diesel locomotives and electric locomotives from Kazakhstan.

I have also informed Nursultan Abishevich about the potential of the Baku shipyard, which produces all types of vessels, tankers and ferries. We place orders ourselves and also invite Kazakh companies to take advantage of the opportunities of this modern enterprise. Issues related to transit were discussed very extensively today widely both within a narrow format and with the participation of heads of transport departments of our countries. We have huge potential, and it will be fully utilized in the near future. We look forward to the commissioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway this year. It will significantly reduce the time spent on transportation from Asia to Europe and from Europe to Asia through our territories. Both Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have created the necessary infrastructure.

It was also noted with satisfaction that the first cargo was dispatched to Azerbaijan from the new port of Kuryk, and this is also an indicator of our potential. To some extent, this was a test cargo. I am sure that from an economic point of view this will be very effective. We also noted that over the past year, the transit of goods of our neighboring countries through Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan has increased significantly, on some positions even eight times. For this, of course, infrastructure alone is not enough, although it is impossible to do without it. We work hard on reducing tariffs and unifying rate for all the states located on the East-West route. We have already achieved certain results. The instructions we gave today will make this way not only the shortest, but also the most viable from an economic point of view.

Cooperation in the sphere of oil operations and transit has also been discussed. We also have a clear understanding of how we will move forward. In other words, the entire block of trade, economic, transit, transport and energy issues has been discussed very broadly, constructively and substantively, and we expect good results in the near future.

Of course, cooperation in the humanitarian sphere was also discussed. We have outlined specific steps to strengthen this cooperation, especially by involving the younger generation and organizing various events for Kazakhstani and Azerbaijani youngsters, so that the younger generation could get to know each other well, make friends, strengthen fraternal relations between our peoples, and conduct the same policy pursued by the leaders of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan today.

I want to thank Nursultan Abishevich for having found the time to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan. I wish all the best and look forward to new meetings. You are welcome again!