President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received a delegation led by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov.
Welcoming the guests, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said:
- Dear Sergey Viktorovich, I am very glad to see you in Azerbaijan again. You are welcome!
Your visit is a good opportunity to discuss issues related to the further development of our relations. We are very pleased with the way the interstate relations develop between our countries are developing. They cover almost all spheres and are very dynamic. Regular meetings are held at the level of heads of state. There have been several meetings this year. Foreign ministers and heads of other relevant bodies also meet on a regular basis. All this shows that the relations are at a high level. We have long defined them as relations between strategic partners, and I am confident that we will increase the potential for cooperation in the future.
I would also like to point to good results in the trade and economic sphere. This year, we have registered an increase in turnover and an increase in mutual investment. New opportunities are opening up in the transport sector. We are working hard in this direction, in the energy sector. Humanitarian cooperation is a traditional sphere of cooperation. I think that our relations can serve as an example for all neighbors and all partners.
Also, we will talk about issues related to the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, of course. Azerbaijan is very interested in the speediest settlement of this conflict.
You are welcome once again. I am sure that the visit will be an important moment in strengthening our relations.
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said:
- Dear Ilham Heydarovich, thank you very much for the invitation and for the opportunity to see you.
I fully share your assessment of our political dialogue. You have recently met with the President of the Russian Federation in Tehran. This was on 1 November. He sends you his warmest greetings. He is pleased to remember your contacts, and we are committed to doing everything you and Vladimir Vladimirovich have agreed on. We also note with satisfaction the growth in our trade by more than 60 per cent in the first 9 months, according to our statistics at least. This is a very serious step towards reversing the downward trend in the turnover that has been observed for a couple of years and gathering momentum. There is also investment cooperation, as you said. I would like to note the successful interregional forum held in Stavropol this year. A meeting of the interparliamentary commission has been held in Baku. My colleague and I have exchanged visits on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. In Moscow, there has been an exhibition of archive documents. We will conduct an additional event dedicated to this date tomorrow. I would like to thank the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy for the invitation to speak, which I will do with pleasure tomorrow. We do have a lot of ties that unite us. One good example: most recently, the 100th birthday of Kerim Kerimov, one of the founders of our space program and chairman of the USSR State Commission for Manned Flights, has been marked in Moscow. I believe that such milestones in our history should continue to unite us and set the standard for our further relations.
My colleague and I will also talk about our interaction in international organizations, of course. It develops progressively. We, as a member of the trio of OSCE Minsk Group co-chair states, are interested in helping you in every possible way to seek solutions and ensure progress towards settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We absolutely agree with you that we need to make active efforts in this direction. Thank you again for this reception.
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President Ilham Aliyev expressed his gratitude for the greetings from President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and asked Sergey Lavrov to convey his greetings to the head of the Russian state.