Following the signing ceremony of the document, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the President of Turkey Abdullah Gul had the press conference.
Delivering his statement, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said:
- Dear Mr. President, my dear brother!
- Dear guests,
Mister President, I greet you sincerely once again in Azerbaijan. Welcome to Azerbaijan. Your visit has a tremendous importance. I do not doubt that the agreements reached as a result of this visit will play a very important role in the development of the friendly and brotherly relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Our friendship and brotherhood have a great historical past. Throughout the centuries, our peoples have lived together in the conditions of friendship and brotherhood by supporting each other all the times. Today, the ties between our countries are at the highest level. This relationship has a special significance and our ties cover all areas. We have a very serious collaboration and co-operation in all fields such as political, economic and cultural ones. There are good results in all spheres.
Today, we have discussed widely all these issues in our face-to-face meeting and the meeting with the participation of both delegations. We have analyzed once again our bilateral relations, exchanged our views on future activities and noted once again that our ties have truly the character of brotherhood. The treaty on strategic partnership and mutual assistance signed today is the document which has the great historic importance. This treaty defines our future activities and will continue to determine the friendly and brotherly relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan for decades ahead.
As I noted, our relations are multifaceted and cover all areas. Today, we have discussed with you our co-operation in economic and political fields. The Turkish-Azerbaijani Business Forum held recently is a very significant event in the economic field. We increase not only the volume of mutual investments, but review seriously the issue of making joint investments already in third countries, and I am confident that there could be good results also in this field.
Our co-operation in the sphere of oil and gas has a great history. Baku - Tbilisi - Ceyhan and Baku – Tbilisi - Erzurum oil and gas pipelines are functioning successfully and this activity will be widened in the future. Today, these important projects have resulted by the creation of a new situation. It impacts positively on the regional situation, but exists also as an important condition for future multilateral regional co-operation.
Today, we work on the railway project being implemented jointly by us. This railway will connect not only Turkey with Azerbaijan, but also Europe with Asia. As a result of the construction of this railway, both our political and economic interests will be ensured to the full extent. There are also other projects alike. It is the matter of talks, and I am sure that as a result of will by two peoples, we will attain all our goals.
The ties between Turkey and Azerbaijan impact seriously on the ties between Turkic countries. Our views coincide in this field also. Last year, the Summit we had in Nakhchevan and the agreements reached during that meeting are being realized already. I am sure that the forthcoming next Summit to be held in Turkey will be very successful and thus, the co-operation of Turkic countries will be expanded further. In general, the Turkish-Azerbaijani relationship has a special place in forging the union of Turkic world.
We co-operate and interact in all other fields as brothers and friends. This is our strategic line. Our great leaders have indicated us this way. I recall the saying of the great leader Mustafa Kamal Ataturk. He said: the Sorrow of Azerbaijan is our Sorrow; the Joy of Azerbaijan is our Joy. The national leader of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev said: Turkey and Azerbaijan are one nation and two states. These sayings are highlighted our way to follow, and we progress shoulder-to-shoulder on this pathway and obtain great results. I am confident and do not doubt that as it were all times, the relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan will evolve in steady advance in the years to come.
Among the issues discussed by us, there was also the issue of the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani, Nagorno Karabakh conflict. We had very extensive talks and the exchange of views on this issue. As you know, during long years Azerbaijani lands are under the Armenian occupation. As a result of this occupation and the ethnic cleansing policy, over one million of Azerbaijanis have been expelled from their native lands and live now as refugees and internally displaced persons. The ethnic cleansing policy has been conducted by Armenia against Azerbaijanis. All international law norms were violated. Such international organizations as UN, the Council of Europe, OSCE, the Islamic Conference Organization, and the European Parliament have adopted many resolutions and decisions on this issue. All these demand unconditional restoration of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, the non constructive position taken by Armenia does not allow solving this issue. But, Azerbaijan will continue to undertake all necessary measures for the restoration of territorial integrity. It will increase its political and diplomatic efforts. I am confident that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan will be restored. Availing myself of this opportunity, I would like to stress once again my gratitude and thanks to you and the whole brotherly Turkish people for your continous support you extend to Azerbaijan in this issue.
My dear brother, I greet you wholeheartedly once again in Azerbaijan and extend my welcome. I am sure that your visit will be very successful. Thank you.
Delivering his statement, the President of Turkey Abdullah Gul said:
- Mister President, my dear brother Ilham Aliyev!
- Dear press representatives,
I thank you for this great hospitality extended to me, esteemed ministers in the delegation, members of parliament and all delegation members during my visit to the brotherly Azerbaijan. Here, we make ourselves at home. Any time we came to Azerbaijan, we had the same feeling and were very happy to see that Azerbaijan is developing, strengthening and shining brighter during each our arrival. As you mentioned, we are the one nation of two different states. It is important to feel our hearts with the feelings of solidarity, co-operation and brotherhood in line with this notion of the one nation of two different states. We meet, consult in detail and co-operate constantly and often times in the framework of this notion. We will continue our solidarity and co-operation.
During my today’s visit, we have discussed with you all these issues in the face-to-face meeting and the meeting with the participation of delegations. Our bilateral ties are developing steadily in political, security, economic and cultural fields. In order to have its further development, we have discussed many measures today. We call mutually upon our companies to have more interaction and reciprocal investments. We are very pleased to see investments made by Azerbaijani companies in Turkey. We are also proud of successes gained by Turkish companies here.
Our ties in the political field have also a significant importance. We will continue this relationship in the same manner. The treaty on strategic partnership and mutual assistance signed by us today is a good example of this. We will develop our solidarity by strengthening it in line with this treaty.
Today, we had another wide discussion about measures to be undertaken in order to make Caucasus become the stable and safe region. The resolution of Nagorno Karabakh problem, the end of occupation of Azerbaijani lands – the resolution of all these issues in the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan have been discussed by us. While discussing it, we believe in necessity of the resolution of this problem during short period of time. We know that millions of refugees and internally displaced persons are living in the very difficult conditions. In fact, the entire world should see this reality. There are long years – 18 years – that enough attention has not been paid to this problem in the world. We hope that the time is up and all these issues will be solved within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
We will continue our activities and discussions in this respect because it is not right to keep this issue frozen. The frozen conflicts can unexpectedly become a very big problem. As you mentioned earlier, there are the resolutions of UN, the Organization of Islamic Conference and other international organizations. Taking into account all these resolutions, friendly countries, regional countries and all neighboring countries which have historical ties with this region should be extremely active and help in solving this problem. I hope that the work carried out in this field during previous years will be continued again in intensified manner.
Turkey will continue its activities in this field. No doubt, it will exchange its views permanently with Azerbaijan. Our active efforts will continue for the resolution of these issues in the conditions of constant exchange of views with dear President, my dear brother Ilham Aliyev. On this occasion, I would like to reiterate once again from this podium to all my Azerbaijani brothers that Turkey is always on the Azerbaijani side, is solidarity with you and will continue to do so. I would like to convey to my Azerbaijani brothers once again all affection and love feelings of the Turkish people to the brotherly people of Azerbaijan through media representatives.
I thank you once again for the hospitality and close brotherhood attitude shown to us.
Afterwards, both Presidents took up questions from journalists.
Ugur Alici (TRT): My first question is for both Presidents. The relations between two countries are based on the historic ties. In this respect, was the issue of repealing the visa regime discussed during the visit? My other question is related to the latest situation on the resolution of Nagorno Karabakh problem between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Is the diplomatic way demonstrated by Armenia on the settlement process doomed to failure? Thank you.
President Ilham Aliyev: During today’s meeting, all issues in the agenda have been discussed, and a very serious exchange of views has taken place. As I noted, all issues have been discussed in a very sincere and brotherly atmosphere. The countless number of agreements between Turkey and Azerbaijan creates the legal basis for the development of relations between us. Thus, I can say that the ties between us in all fields are regulated by legal documents. Visa issue has been also discussed today. For the resolution of this issue, Azerbaijan should also pass the internal procedures. These issues should be discussed once again internally. As you know, Turkey has made practical steps to repeal unilaterally the visa regime with all Turkic countries. We are very grateful for such step. I hope that upon the completion of all internal procedures, Azerbaijan will also make the similar step.
As far as the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani, Nagorno Karabakh conflict is concerned, I can say that we are already in decisive stage because during the talks held in last 5-6 years have resulted by the elaboration of some proposals. These proposals have been presented officially to Armenia and Azerbaijan by the Minsk Group. The proposals have the balanced content. Once the proposals would be accepted, the peaceful resolution of the issue in the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan will be possible. The content of the proposals tells that the Armenian occupying forces withdraw from the occupied regions of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani citizens return to their native lands. At the same time, peacekeeping forces will be deployed in the region to ensure the security. It is envisaged to have the corridor between Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh as well as other issues. That’s to say that the content of the issue tells us that Azerbaijani lands will be free of occupation and thus, it is envisaged to restore the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
As far as the future status of Nagorno Karabakh is concerned, this is a matter of the future. On many occasions, Azerbaijani side declared that Azerbaijan will never give its consent on any status of Nagorno Karabakh out of Azerbaijan, and international law norms defend this position. If the Armenian side would demonstrate its constructive approach and respect international norms, abide by the resolutions of all international organizations and withdraw its occupying forces from the lands of another country, then the issue could find its solution sooner. In that case, a peace will be established between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and all communications will open and a wider co-operation will take place in the region. We wish it and wait for constructive steps from Armenia.
Abdullah Gul: Yes, dear Mister President explained that, and I share all his sayings also. We have discussed certainly the issue of visas. For the time being, Azerbaijan has some suggestions that this issue will be discussed by relevant bodies and I do hope that it will be finalized in recent future.
Incontestably, we had the broadest discussions on Armenian-Azerbaijani relations. The latest update has been described by Mister President in detail. We are sure that we will make Caucasus become the area of stable co-operation. For this reason, this problem should be solved. This conflict has continued for last 18 years in this way, and it should not be continued furthermore. In this regard, it is imperative to meet and conduct discussions. It is necessary to conduct sometimes open, sometimes confidential diplomatic activities. There is no doubt that the conflict should be solved in the framework of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Everyone should know that because the occupation of the UN recognized borders by other country in any form neither can be accepted by international law nor be seen as a positive thing in any form. In this respect, all of us will continue to extend our any assistance for the resolution of this problem.
Sevinj Iskenderova (Space TV): My question is for Mr.Abdullah Gul, the President of Turkey. Dear Mister President, earlier, the press published information about the probability of opening of the Turkish-Armenian border for the exercises of NATO to be held in Armenia on September 11-17, 2010. We kindly ask your comments on that issue. Thank you.
Abdullah Gul: We have discussed this topic also some earlier. In order to make Caucasus become the area of stability and co-operation, it is important for us to discuss all problems and solve it peacefully. All these issues will allow building wider co-operation, opening of borders, constructing new roads and conducting broader economic activities in the region. For this purpose, all of us carry out this work jointly. Sometimes, you observe that we discuss it openly. Sometimes, the big problems, the very important problems that you do not see are being solved in quietness but with persistent activities. That’s what the diplomacy says.
I do hope that after the resolution of all problems in the region, there will be a wider place for broader co-operation. In that case, new roads and railways will be constructed in addition to the existing ones. This region will become an incredibly attractive territory and all peoples of the region will have more prosperous life and will be happier.