Gerb

25 july 2011, 13:05

Statement by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev

- Dear Mr. President,

Dear guests, ladies and gentlemen!

Mr. President, let me warmly welcome you to Azerbaijan again. Your visit is of tremendous importance. We were further convinced in the meetings and negotiations held today that Azerbaijani-Polish relations are of strategic nature, and I am sure that your visit will create new opportunities for the development of these relations.

Our relations have a very good history. We have always cooperated successfully in the political sphere. If we look at the agenda of our bilateral relations, we can see that it is very broad. I am sure that our political cooperation will be successfully continued.

At the same time, we have had an exchange on the prospects of economic cooperation. There are different opinions, there are different ideas, and I am sure that the Polish-Azerbaijani business forum to be held today will be important for further steps in this direction.

We must pursue even more active policies to increase mutual trade and facilitate the implementation of mutual investment projects in the future. Economic relations will certainly give a strong impetus to contacts in all other spheres.

We have also exchanged views on the current state and prospects for our energy cooperation. There have been exchanges and talks between relevant institutions of our countries during which new opportunities are being sought for taking Azerbaijani oil and gas to world and European markets. Polish-Azerbaijani relations hold an important place in this. I am sure that Poland, a country that currently has presidency in the European Union, will say its word in our talks with the European Union as a whole.

Azerbaijan is rich in oil and gas resources, has a diversified export infrastructure – we have seven pipelines through which our oil and gas can be delivered to world and European markets, and they are operational.

Relations between the European Union and Azerbaijan are rapidly developing, and I am sure that Poland will make a valuable contribution to the development of these relations during its EU presidency. I am certain that the declaration signed in January this year during European Commission President Mr. Barroso’s visit to Azerbaijan will give a powerful impetus to future cooperation.

In general, the relations between the European Union and Azerbaijan have been broadly discussed today, and there are no disagreements on that. We are very interested in a new impetus being given to these relations because they are very important to both Europe and Azerbaijan. Our emerging partnership is of strategic nature. We want our partnership with European institutions to develop further.

We have also exchanged views on regional issues. Both Poland and Azerbaijan have very serious positions in their respective regions for the development of the Caspian Sea – Baltic Sea cooperation. Both countries have very strong geopolitical standing and a final say in terms of their economic potential. We must make cooperation among Caspian, Black and Baltic countries seas more intensive, and Polish-Azerbaijani relations have a very important mission in this sphere.

In addition to regional cooperation, we have also considered regional security issues. In particular, I have informed Mr. President of ways of resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and the current state of negotiations. I want to reiterate that this conflict is the biggest threat, the greatest injustice for the region. For many years Armenia has been violating the internationally recognized territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, 20 per cent of our land is under occupation. Azerbaijanis have been exposed to a policy of ethnic cleansing, more than one million Azerbaijanis were driven out of their homes and became refugees and IDPs persons. International organizations have expressed their positions on the issue. The UN, the European Union, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the OSCE have passed decisions and resolutions. These decisions and resolutions provide the legal framework for resolving the issue.

Of course, the soonest solution of the issue on the basis of international law and within the framework of the territorial integrity of countries will bring peace and cooperation to the region, and all the processes in the region will develop more rapidly and in a positive direction.

In general, I want to indicate that the first official visit of the Polish President to Azerbaijan has been very successful. The visit program is very busy. We will continue our meetings today and tomorrow. I am sure that in general the visit will produce great results which will elevate Polish-Azerbaijani relations to a higher level.

Thank you.

Statement by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski

- Dear Mr. President,

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

First of all, I am grateful for the invitation to visit Azerbaijan. At the same time, I am grateful for the kind words about Poland. I want to emphasize that our contacts are rapidly developing. In fact, these contacts are taking place at both political and other levels, and I think they will develop in all spheres of public life. I am sure that Poland and Azerbaijan are playing important parts in their respective regions, and their role is gradually enhancing. This is confirmed by the fact that we are witnessing rapid economic growth in both Azerbaijan and Poland. Last year economic growth in Azerbaijan was very high. This brings a lot of respect for your country, and we are very happy about that. We are confident that this cooperation, this relationship is natural, and now we must explore for new areas of cooperation. Economic relations between Poland and Azerbaijan should develop. We believe that today's economic forum is very important. It will be attended not only by Polish experts, but also by representatives of Polish relevant ministries and agencies. We will also have meetings with representatives of Azerbaijani political elite.

Our relations are the relations between two states. We can say that both our countries gained independence at the same time, and it brought us freedom. We have taken prudent steps to ensure that our independence is strong, to lay a solid foundation for economic cooperation. In essence, this is not a standard cooperation, this cooperation is above standards. I want to draw your attention to a number of facts that influence Polish-Azerbaijani relations, as these facts go beyond them. This applies, in particular, to Azerbaijan's relations with the European Union, with Europe. As you know, Poland currently has presidency in the European Union. Thus, Poland sets the agenda of the entire EU, including the direction of relations with non-EU countries.

We know that Mr. President will participate in the Warsaw summit due in September. In essence, this will be a summit of Eastern Partnership states. I want to say that Poland is interested in Azerbaijan’s achievements. We would like the negotiations between Azerbaijan and the European Union on the Association Agreement to be successful. We must be bound together by the same principles, the same rules. This represents particular importance for a further development of relations between the West and Azerbaijan. It is also very important for Polish-Azerbaijani relations.

We have reviewed and discussed many issues, talked about regional politics and the influence of our larger neighbors on regional developments. We have also discussed energy cooperation. Poland has reaffirmed its readiness to contribute to energy supplies. I think this is important not only for our country, but also for the EU as a whole. There is a project approved by the European Union – the Odessa-Brody-Plock-Gdansk project. This project is considered relevant, and I want to say that when it comes to importance, the importance of this project from a commercial point of view is growing.

We believe that the most important issues here are not only political but also those of commercial viability because they are important for this project. So I want to say that Azerbaijani oil is already reaching the refineries operating on Polish capital. One million tons of Azerbaijani oil reach the refineries every year. It reaches our enterprises and plants located in the Czech Republic. This means that you are close to our borders. This means that we must make effort to resolve energy issues in our region. We believe that this should be done in an absolutely sound manner.

Thank you very much.