After the signing ceremony, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and President of Hungary Pal Schmitt made statements for the press.
Statement by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Mr. President!
Dear ladies and gentlemen!
Mr. President, let me warmly welcome you and your delegation to Azerbaijan again. Welcome to our country! Your visit is very important. This is the first official visit of the Hungarian President to Azerbaijan. Therefore, the visit is historic in nature, and I am glad that it has been successful.
The negotiations and discussions we have conducted today have reaffirmed that Azerbaijani-Hungarian relations are at a high level. Indeed, we have established excellent political relations. These relations have already been tested. We successfully cooperate in international organizations, and your visit will certainly give a new impetus to political ties. I know that you are accompanied by a large delegation representing the business community. The Azerbaijani-Hungarian business forum is also due today, and I am confident that the ties between business circles will give a powerful impetus to our economic cooperation. We need to work more on this area. The economic cooperation should reach the level of political interaction. I am sure that the business forum will help us in this.
I believe that there are very good opportunities and prospects for a successful economic cooperation, the potential of our countries is also quite strong. For that, business entities should be in even closer contact with each other. I am sure that we will see great results in this area.
We have also discussed issues of regional security today. In particular, I have explained to you Azerbaijan’s position on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Our position is based on international law. It has emerged on the basis of resolutions and decisions passed by international organizations. This conflict must be resolved exclusively on the basis of international law. Four UN Security Council resolutions should be fulfilled. Armenian occupying forces must withdraw from Azerbaijani lands. Azerbaijani citizens must return to their native land. There are quite a few decisions on this matter. International organizations have expressed their fair position on this issue. We hope that this issue will soon be resolved on the basis of international norms and Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.
We have also expressed our attitude to energy cooperation. The relations between Azerbaijan and Hungary in this area have excellent prospects. I do hope that new forms of cooperation between our countries will emerge in this area, particularly in the gas sector, in the coming years.
Azerbaijan is a country rich in natural resources. The energy projects implemented on our initiative provide not only our own energy security, but also the energy security of regional states. Our energy cooperation with European countries is very successfully. Azerbaijani oil has been delivered to Europe for several years now, and I am sure that our gas initiatives will be as successful. Of course, our energy cooperation will give an impetus to bilateral relations. I am very pleased that our energy companies also cooperate very closely. This collaboration will clearly have a positive impact on the overall development of Azerbaijani-Hungarian relations.
At the same time, Azerbaijan is successfully cooperating with the European Union in the energy sphere, particularly in the Southern Gas Corridor. Earlier this year, the European Union and Azerbaijan signed a declaration on this issue and set up a working group. At present, the working group representatives cooperate very closely and make effort to implement the Southern Gas Corridor. In short, energy cooperation will have a positive impact on the development of EU-Azerbaijan relations as a whole. This cooperation is based on mutual interests. I am sure this cooperation has a great future. Besides, I should say that the relations between the European Union and Azerbaijan are developing successfully in general. Hungary has always supported this cooperation. We feel and appreciate this support.
The recent Eastern Partnership summit was also attended by Azerbaijan. The summit and its results will provide the opportunity for the relations between the European Union and Azerbaijan to enter a new phase in the coming years. These links have great prospects. They are built on a mutual interest, respect and trust.
Today we also discussed issues of cultural and humanitarian cooperation. Cooperation in this area has historical roots. Besides, new opportunities are opening up now to expand our cooperation in this field. The citizens of our countries should know each other even better and stay in closer contact. I am sure that your visit and this great and positive message to our societies will certainly have a positive impact on the communication between peoples.
In general, Mr. President, I would like to stress that we attach great importance to cooperation with Hungary. I want to repeat that this cooperation has a beautiful history. Next year we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations. The essence and content of our relations are very valuable. Most importantly, the prospects are very encouraging.
Once again, let me warmly welcome you to Azerbaijan. Welcome!
Statement by President of Hungary Pal Schmitt
- Dear Mr. President!
Dear representatives of the media, ladies and gentlemen!
I want to express my deep gratitude to President Ilham Aliyev for the invitation again. Indeed, this is an opportunity to bring our peoples further together and establish closer relations between them. Mr. President has already visited Hungary. A year ago Prime Minister Orban visited Azerbaijan. Very important talks were held during those visits.
This is my first visit to Azerbaijan, to your independent country as President of Hungary, and I am not alone. I am accompanied by distinguished members of the Cabinet and representatives of our country’s business community. I am grateful for the organization of a business forum here. I want to express my personal position: we are very serious about developing our relations.
I would like to take this opportunity to note that we had a very friendly and good-natured rivalry at the United Nations. We also wanted to get a nonpermanent seat. But we are very happy with Azerbaijan’s victory. We see Azerbaijan as a close partner. We have common cultural roots. It is this area that has been spoken about a lot here. We also take steps within the framework of our bilateral relations, relations between Hungary and Azerbaijan, relations with the European Union. We will continue to do everything possible for the citizens of Azerbaijan to get travel visas in the shortest possible time. I am very pleased that these negotiations will be expedited.
We have held very important talks today. What we can and will do for our peoples, for our Azerbaijani friends mainly concerns the fields of agriculture, irrigation and water treatment, where Hungary has a great experience. Hungary has a developed pharmaceutical industry, and we would want you to participate in various tenders too.
I want to emphasize that the attention of almost whole Europe is focused on Baku now because everyone lives with the hope that it is on this route, on the route of energy resources to be transported to Europe from here that diversification will be ensured.
I would also like to point to our cooperation in culture, sports, education and science. I drew Mr. President’s attention to the fact that we annually host major and important events. One of them is the Congress attended by a quarter of a million people. During such activities we discuss our common roots. I think that the relations between our countries are based on friendship.
Our business relations are also expanding, and it is extremely important to bring our peoples closer too. We were present at the signing of important agreements. Our cooperation is regulated by a number of legislative documents. The documents signed today are highly important. We think this will further strengthen the trust between us and expand cooperation between relevant agencies. I look forward to future proposals from our bodies. Our negotiations will be continued today. I will hold meetings with the Speaker of Parliament and Prime Minister.
Mr. President, I am exceedingly grateful to you, you have prepared a wonderful surprise. A concert has been organized featuring the compositions of Liszt. We are very grateful to you for showing such attention to a representative of European music.