Statement by President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov
- Dear Ilham Heydarovich!
Dear representatives of the media!
Ladies and gentlemen!
It gives me great pleasure to welcome our distinguished guest, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Heydarovich Aliyev and all our Azerbaijani friends again. I would like to express my complete satisfaction with the concluded negotiations that were held in an open, constructive atmosphere typical of Uzbek-Azerbaijani relations. We have thoroughly and comprehensively discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral nature, and exchanged views on current, regional and international issues. During the visit, we have signed a large package of important documents elaborating and promoting many of the basic and practical areas of bilateral relations, and among them I want to single out the Joint Declaration on visit results.
We in Uzbekistan are very well aware and sincerely admire the impressive successes and achievements of Azerbaijan, a country close to us. Thanks to a balanced, thought-out and largely pragmatic policy of its recognized leader Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan is confidently pacing along the path of strengthening its independence, economic potential and international authority.
Touching upon the development processes underway in Azerbaijan, Islam Karimov said:
- In the short time that I was in Baku, the beautiful city of Baku, the historic city of Baku, the unique city of Baku, I was convinced of one thing: Azerbaijan is confidently moving forward. There are only a handful of countries which, even in the harshest conditions of the global financial crisis, are developing at such a pace and can implement their ambitious plans so confidently.
While describing Uzbekistan’s position on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, Islam Karimov said:
- During the talks, we reiterated that our position on the Nagorno-Karabakh remains unequivocal and unchanged. Uzbekistan has consistently advocated and continues to advocate for a peaceful, political solution to this protracted conflict. At the same time, Uzbekistan considers the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan as one of the key preconditions for its settlement. I believe that this position is absolutely consistent with international standards, meets historical parallels. Uzbekistan's position on this issue remains unchanged: the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is a sacred concept, and it must be followed in all solution options of this problem.
President Islam Karimov added that there is a great potential for the expansion of economic relations:
- Given the broad potential for economic cooperation between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, the parties have acknowledged that the current level of trade and mutual cooperation does not correspond to available opportunities. In this connection, it is important to fully realize the newly-adopted program of economic cooperation for 2011-2015 with active coordination of the work at the government level. We have agreed to explore the possibilities for more effective and mutually beneficial use of the large transport, communication and transit potential of our countries.
Indicating that the two countries were successfully cooperating in the cultural and humanitarian spheres, the President of Uzbekistan said:
- Our almost daily activities aim to strengthen and develop bilateral cultural and humanitarian relations. We are proud of our common roots, we are proud of our common history, we are proud of our similar languages, culture and the spiritual environment which brings our peoples closer together. I am grateful to Ilham Aliyev for the fact that Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade is part of the Azerbaijani delegation. I have great respect for this man and would like to reaffirm my respect for this man in the presence of journalists. He once studied in Uzbekistan and considers Uzbekistan his second home. We too consider him someone who is very close to the culture of Uzbekistan, to the religion in Uzbekistan, a man who knows the history of Central Asia.
President Islam Karimov highlighted the contribution of great leader Heydar Aliyev to the development of Azerbaijani-Uzbek relations:
- The current visit will be marked by yet another milestone in the history of relations between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan - the opening of the Azerbaijani culture center named after an illustrious son of his people, the man who made an invaluable contribution to the development of bilateral relations and, without exaggeration, a great friend of the Uzbek people, Heydar Aliyev.
I remember meeting the students and professors our national university together with him. He spoke to students and the teaching staff for about an hour and a half. When he went to the podium without any papers, I thought to myself: how long can he speak like that? But if he could speak even longer, he could have inspired our students so much that they wouldn’t even feel how quickly the time has passed. He was a great speaker, he was a man who knew how to captivate, to give his words the content, the food listeners need. The contact he established with the audience is unforgettable. And this is when we called him Haidar aka for the first time. In Uzbek, it means "dear", "elder". There are quite a few people with the name Haidar aka in Uzbekistan. So I would call him Haydar Aliyevich more than Heydar Aliyev. I am an admirer of this man and I am proud that I was privileged to work with him to endure and overcome a lot of problems that are difficult to speak about now. Most importantly, he was someone who wholeheartedly wanted only one thing: he wanted the Uzbeks and Azerbaijanis to live in peace, friendship, and to have a shared future.
Statement by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
- Thank you, dear Islam Abduganiyevich, for your kind words, hospitality and the warm welcome. I think that members of our delegation will support me in that we feel at home here. We feel surrounded by friends, brothers and feel very much at home. And the atmosphere you have created is highly appreciated.
Your kind words about the great son of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, resonate in the hearts of all Azerbaijanis. The memory of his deeds, which enabled Azerbaijan to emerge as an independent state, lives in our hearts. And there is Heydar Aliyev’s contribution to what we are doing today.
Today, we are building and strengthening our state on a solid foundation. So I am very grateful to you, a man who was friends with my father and worked with him. There was a lot that bound you together. I am very pleased to hear these words, it is very comforting to know that Heydar Aliyev is revered in a brotherly Uzbekistan. This is an important factor in today's successful development of our states.
Touching upon the successes made by Uzbekistan, the Azerbaijani President stated:
- Once again I want to say that we in Azerbaijan are also very pleased with the successes of your country in the period of independence. Under your leadership, thanks to your principled and wise policy, Uzbekistan has achieved great results. We consider Uzbekistan as a fraternal state, as a close friendly state, a state with which we have very strong historical and cultural ties. And today's relationship is also formed on this basis.
Highlighting the resolute and fair position of Uzbekistan over the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- We are very grateful to Uzbekistan for its principled, consistent and firm position in the restoration of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and, as a whole, in the resolution of all conflicts within the framework of norms and principles of international law. Azerbaijan's territorial integrity is recognized by the whole world. Nagorno-Karabakh as an integral part of Azerbaijan, is recognized by the world, the United Nations. Naturally, the restoration of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity is essential for the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. As for people's right to self-determination, which is often appealed to by the Armenian side, it can be successfully exercised in the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. This principle does not contradict the principle of territorial integrity, and if you look at the Helsinki Final Act, it clearly says that the right of peoples to self-determination must not violate the territorial integrity of states. Especially when you consider that the Armenian people has already gained independence once on the historical Azerbaijani lands, the creation of a second Armenian state, again, on the historical Azerbaijani lands is absolutely unacceptable.
We will strive to restore our territorial integrity. We conduct negotiations, display a constructive approach and expect the same from the Armenian side, too, so that the issue can be resolved. The delay in the conflict settlement is against anyone’s interests, and I think that it is in the interests of all states to find a solution that would fully comply with the norms and principles of international law.
Once again I want to express my deep gratitude on behalf of the Azerbaijani people to you personally, Islam Abduganiyevich, and the brotherly people of Uzbekistan for their support. We highly appreciate it.
Speaking about the importance of the Joint declaration signed by the heads of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Today we signed an important Declaration, which, among other issues, concerns the issue of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The Declaration also highlights other important aspects of regional nature, international security and economic issues. We are determined to develop our relations on all fronts and have discussed specific transportation projects and economic cooperation today. We hope that everything we have outlined will be implemented.