Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the 5th session of the heads of Azerbaijani diplomatic services
07 july 2014, 11:55
- Dear Ambassadors, ladies and gentlemen.
Today's meeting is very important. These meetings are held every two years to discuss various aspects and identify new directions of our foreign policy. In other words, I believe that it is a very successful format which enables us to consistently pursue our foreign policy.
Our foreign policy is a continuation of our domestic policy. Today, Azerbaijan's foreign policy stands out for its integrity and independence. The main reason for that, of course, is the presence of a strong political will. In the absence of a strong political will no country can pursue an independent policy. Such political will is there. This political will showed itself in matters of both domestic and foreign policy. At the same time, the successful development of our country and the comprehensive economic independence of recent years have allowed us the opportunity to speak our word and defend our interests in the international arena as well.
In recent years, both political and economic reforms contributed to very extensive development of our country. Today Azerbaijan is one of a handful of countries capable of determining their future themselves and conducting an independent policy. The economic independence of Azerbaijan is fully secured. Azerbaijan is a self-sufficient country.
So all of these factors, our economic strength and our growing reputation in the world have enabled us to carry on pursuing a principled foreign policy. I can say that this policy is approved by the international community too. The international reputation of Azerbaijan is gradually enhancing. A growing number of countries wants to cooperate with us. Azerbaijan has managed to assert itself in the world, in the international arena as a reliable partner, a reliable friend. The sympathy for Azerbaijan in international organizations is obvious, and this is no coincidence. Graphic evidence of that was our election to the Security Council. It was a historic event. Our election to the world’s top structure, the UN Security Council, has been a tremendous diplomatic and political success for the young and independent state. In essence, it demonstrates the image of our country, it shows what a great road it has covered in a short period of time. The vast majority of the international community, 155 countries, supported our candidacy, believed in us, and I know that they have not regretted doing that. As we stated, in the two years in the UN Security Council we upheld international law and justice. We still stand for them today and will always advocate them.
In short, we have a very positive international image. There are various factors of that. I want to say again: first of all, the successful development, the principled stance of our country, the fact that we put justice and law above everything else, and at the same time, of course, the successful activity of our diplomatic services have played a very important role. So I want to congratulate the entire team of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Azerbaijan has a very successful foreign policy, and I am confident that in the coming years, thanks to the growing power and authority of our country, we will further strengthen our position in the international arena.
The main issue related to our foreign policy is the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Unfortunately, there has not been any progress in this area since our last meeting. Of course, different statements and efforts have been made. The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have repeatedly visited the region. But there is no result. The main reason is the unconstructive position of Armenia and its attempts to keep the conflict in a frozen state.
Unfortunately, the international community and the mediators directly involved in the matter have not sent any serious signals to Armenia. We have developed an opinion that the mediators dealing with the issue are more interested in keeping the situation as it is. Their primary goal is to maintain stability in the region and prevent war. We also want peace. But I have repeatedly stated that we want our lands back, we want to restore the truth and justice, we want a triumph of international law.
For the past several years this position of Armenia has prevented the issue from being resolved through negotiations. Of course, there is another way of resolving the issue. We have never denied this and stated openly that the military option is not ruled out because the situation observed in the international arena in recent months and years suggests that international law, unfortunately, does not work. The power factor plays a major role. The “might is right” principle, unfortunately, has significantly harmed the structure of international relations.
So that is a reality. We live in a real world and have to reckon with the realities. Therefore, our consistent policy associated with army building shows again how correct and timely these steps were. Today, while building up our military capabilities, we can solve the problem by military means. We simply believe that the potential of negotiations has not yet been fully exhausted. Using the political, economic and military pressure, we will strive to ensure that the issue is resolved peacefully.
But it has to be resolved. This issue cannot be frozen. Everyone should know that. The mediators dealing with this issue should also be aware and know that.
I believe that the certain activity observed in the work of the mediators in recent years has to do with our growing economic and military power. Just like Armenia, they are well aware that we can use our military strength to finally resolve the Karabakh issue at any time. I want to say again that the power factor is crucial today. We must become and are becoming even stronger. Our economic, political and military potential is strong enough, and this factor will play a positive role in the negotiations.
Nagorno-Karabakh is native Azerbaijani land. From historical and legal perspectives, Karabakh has always been Azerbaijani land. The Azerbaijani people have lived and worked in Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied lands for centuries. All historical monuments, place names, names of towns and villages have Azerbaijani origin. This is the truth. Of course, we know that, and the world knows and should know that as well.
I believe that the activity of diplomats should be focused primarily on this area. So date, the broad international community still does not know the truth about Karabakh. The Armenian lobby is trying to provide a distorted picture to the world. We should try to convey the real facts to the world public, including the truth about Erivan khanate.
As you know, on my initiative our scientists have created a large treatise on the Erivan khanate. This is very important. But this work reflects more factual and scientific matters. I think that for a wider audience it would be useful to release smaller brochures. I think that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism should prepare such brochures, so that they could be published in different languages and communicated to the foreign community. Also, the broad international audience was not aware of the transfer of Erivan to Armenia in 1918. When I first raised the issue, it seemed somewhat new to some people. But it is a reality. Everyone in Azerbaijan knows that now, and we must, as far as possible, point that out at international conferences, forums and events because this is the historical truth.
Historical factors have played a role in international law, there is case law. Therefore, there are fairly many factors that strengthen our position: historical, legal and political. In short, both historical and legal sides of the issue support our position.
Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan. The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on an unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from our lands. You know that perfectly well. Other international organizations have also adopted resolutions and decisions. So this already represents a very solid legal basis. However, this has yet to yield tangible results. But the historical and legal basis is already in place. Under such circumstances, of course, the creation of a second Armenian state on Azerbaijani territory is completely impossible. Of course, the Azerbaijani state will never allow this to happen and no country will ever recognize the self-proclaimed "Nagorno-Karabakh republic" as an independent entity. The illegal referenda conducted there are not and never will be recognized by the world community. The issue will be resolved within the territorial integrity of our country. There is no other option! I want to reiterate this. A second Armenian state can never be created on Azerbaijani territory! Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity! We simply want to do it as soon as possible. And we will.
I should also note that, of course, our people, refugees and displaced persons are suffering from this conflict. But we need to resolve this issue substantially. In other words, a half-hearted solution to the problem may be only a stage. Of course, a phased solution prevails and will prevail. But we should not forget about our main goal. The Azerbaijanis must be able to return to the occupied territories. Nagorno-Karabakh is also occupied land. Azerbaijan must regain its sovereignty. The Armenian people can live in a high status of autonomy within Azerbaijan. We have proposed this, and this approach is based on the very positive experience available in the world and Europe. You as diplomats know this very well. We have studied this issue – how many autonomies there are in the world, in Europe. All the issues there are regulated perfectly well. Such an approach should also prevail in our issue.
Of course, in the future our people should and will return to all our historic lands. I am sure that this day will come. The political weight, the economic potential of our country and our demographic situation give reason to say so. Our population is growing and will continue to grow, while the population of Armenia is and will be shrinking. This is the goal behind our holding Armenia in an isolated state to some extent. We have isolated them from all economic and energy projects. We have been criticized for this. We are still criticized today, and you are well aware of that. But we need to reach our goals. If the criticism is legitimate, then we can certainly accept it. But we can never take into account unfounded criticism. Therefore, Armenia will continue to be in an isolated state. Under such circumstances, of course, there is no potential for Armenia to develop, as it has a very small domestic market and export opportunities are equal to naught. This is why there is growing migration every year. According to their own official statistics, 40,000 Armenians left the country in the first quarter of this year. But the real figure is even higher. Over the year it will exceed 100,000. Azerbaijan is growing stronger, while Armenia is weakening.
Armenia is held on its feet only by outside assistance, the Diaspora and the special attitude of certain countries. And you know very well that this factor also plays a role here.
However, the development of global processes shows that we are getting closer to our goal with every year and every month, and our goal is to restore our territorial integrity and to raise the flag of Azerbaijan in Shusha and Khankandi. This is our main goal, and in order to achieve it not only the diplomats but also the whole of our society should join their efforts. And it has done! This our national cause. There is no more important issue than this in Azerbaijan. We work hard on it every day and we will work hard to achieve this goal.
The key areas related to our foreign policy have been determined. I want to express my opinion on some issues. Of course, our foreign policy is justified, a strategic course has been chosen and it continues. But, of course, we need to clarify these issues from time to time, the priorities must be identified correctly, and in this case our foreign policy will be even more successful. Our relations with our neighbors are very positive. I believe that we must continue to develop these relationships.
With all our neighbors except for Armenia, of course, we have very sound relationships. These are equal relationships built on a very solid basis. Our relations with all our neighbors already provide for our bilateral interests. And this is the way it should be. We live in this region, in this geographical area. Therefore, sound and good-neighborly relations with neighboring countries are important for every country, including Azerbaijan. I am very glad that with all our neighbors we have excellent, equitable and fundamental relations. There is both political and economic component here.
Of course, historical and cultural ties also play a role, and I believe that we will further strengthen the relations with our neighbors in the coming years. After all, we also want to see development everywhere, we want peace and, of course, the situation around us always to be stable. The current realities of Azerbaijan consist in the fact that there is no internal source of danger. There are no disturbing moments either. This situation has been created by the rapid development of Azerbaijan, the stability and unity among the people and the government, and our successes in domestic and foreign policies. There is no internal source of danger.
Therefore, of course, we want no sources of danger around us. We are working with our neighbors in this direction in bilateral and multilateral formats. I believe that this should remain a priority for the coming years. At the same time, trilateral formats have been determined on our initiative again in recent years. I should note that it is the initiative of Azerbaijan, and such formats exist today. There are trilateral formats of Azerbaijan-Turkey-Georgia, Azerbaijan-Turkey-Iran and more recently Azerbaijan-Turkey-Turkmenistan. Meetings are held at the level of the ministries of foreign affairs, economy and industry. One meeting at the presidential level has already been held. This is also very useful. Here, of course, we discuss political, economic and energy issues. This is a very successful format of cooperation. I can say that there are excellent results of this format. Such meetings in themselves are a very positive sign, as regional cooperation is further strengthened here. We have always sought to strengthen regional cooperation. Every country, including Azerbaijan, can provide for its interests more effectively through regional cooperation. Therefore, when such initiatives yield fruit, it certainly makes us happy. Our foreign policy does not stand still. We must always be in search, constantly think about new forms of cooperation, take the initiative for Azerbaijan's foreign policy to be even more successful.
Of course, we give preference to the bilateral format. We stand for equal and mutually beneficial relations with all countries. We have managed to achieve that. Of course, the bilateral format is the most successful one. We have very strong relations with Muslim countries. Azerbaijan is part of the Muslim world. We are very active in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Through this organization we have held numerous events in Azerbaijan. We are contributing to the strengthening of Muslim solidarity. Of course, the support of Muslim countries in the international arena, particularly in the UN, is very important. This mutual support has already become a reality. Of course, this further strengthens us. We have historical ties with Muslim countries. Today these ties have elevated to a higher level. Therefore, the relations with Muslim countries should be in constant development in the coming years. Here, of course, different options are possible. Political relations are certainly at a very high level. I think that we need to step up our economic cooperation. The possibilities for this are available. I believe that by investing in Muslim countries, we can improve the situation in the economic sphere.
European countries are our traditional partners. I think that the bilateral format is also in our best interest here. With the majority of European countries we have very businesslike and cordial relations. This is evidenced by my visits to European countries and the visits of heads of European states and governments to Azerbaijan. Europe is our main trading partner. Our exports to Europe prevail.
Of course, there are excellent opportunities for the development of bilateral relations. Our relations are also built on mutual interests. By getting closer to Europe, we continue to deepen the political reforms in Azerbaijan. It is very important for us. We learn and adopt the positive experience of Europe in this area, as it is necessary for the successful development of our country.
At the same time, we need the European technology. Today we are rapidly developing our country. The process of modernization and industrialization is under way. There is major development not only in Baku, but everywhere else. It is impossible to achieve such development without new technologies. It is true that none of these technologies are given to us for free. We buy them, and there are no problems. There are so many companies interested in selling the technology to us that there are no difficulties here. But I believe that this issue should also be resolved in the bilateral format. When we consider that some European countries have not eliminated the consequences of the economic and financial recession, then, of course, the activities of European companies in Azerbaijan are of great interest to them.
Infrastructure, oil and gas projects are implemented in Azerbaijan. As you know, tens of billions of dollars will be invested in the coming years. Of course, European companies will be actively involved in this. I think that for our diplomats working in European countries these economic interests should be in the foreground. Azerbaijan is one a handful of countries where there is no crisis, no difficulty and no dependence. On the contrary, our growing economic power and financial capacity have enabled us to invest not only domestically but also in Europe.
Of course, our cooperation with Asian countries has been developing rapidly in recent years, and I am very positive about it. When we had just regained independence, our foreign policy mainly represented a response to the interest in us. In other words, we forged ties with those who took an interest in Azerbaijan. Of course, the first such interest was shown by European countries – countries of the West. In particular, the interest in the oil and gas sector played a major role there. And we, of course, built our relationships primarily with those countries.
In general, in the early years there was an idea that our main partner is the Western world. Of course, we have lived in the conditions of independence for 23 years, and there are no secrets for us in the world. Therefore, in the early years of independence our relations with Asian countries were not good enough for some time. But today they are at a level that fully satisfies us.
My visits, the visits of leaders of Asian countries to Azerbaijan, the mutual interests and mutual respect epitomize these relationships today. There is great potential for political and economic cooperation with Asian countries. There is a great interest in Azerbaijan. This is due to the potential of our country and to the issue I mentioned earlier – the independent policy.
There are not so many countries conducting an independent policy in the present-day world. Sometimes unilateral and radical policies are conducted under the guise of an independent course. We do not advocate that. We do not intend to pursue a policy of confrontation with any country. This is not in our interest. We are ready for any stand-offs. If necessary, we speak your word and defend our interests. But we do not see any need for that. On the contrary, we intend to build good relationships with all countries and have achieved that, but not at the expense of our national interests, which is the main issue, but by establishing equal relationships.
Therefore, our independent policy and principled stance on international issues enhance the sympathy of Asian countries for us. Of course, we will continue to work actively in this direction. We have cooperated with international organizations for many years. I believe that Azerbaijan pursues a very successful policy in international organizations. This is explicitly demonstrated by our election to the UN Security Council. Our activities in the United Nations, of course, are a priority because the UN is the only organization where all countries of the world are concentrated. In fact, the concept of the "international community" should primarily imply the UN.
Unfortunately, the concept of the "international community" has been used in the media in recent years, implying only a group of countries. But the international community is the UN, and the UN supports Azerbaijan and has provided its support to us. So now we have great and indispensable experience, and we need to expand our efforts in the UN. We can strengthen our bilateral ties within the United Nations, in particular with countries with which our relations are not at the proper level yet, and we are doing that.
We are very actively involved in other international organizations and, of course, in the OSCE. Unfortunately, the OSCE has thus far failed to have its say and achieve a tangible result in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Over 20 years, the issue has been in a state of "neither peace nor war". The OSCE has twice sent fact-finding and evaluation missions to the occupied lands. They prepared a report and then tried to balance it. How can this be balanced?
Our lands are occupied, no stone has been left standing. All our cities, mosques, historical monuments and cemeteries have been destroyed, so what balanced report can we talk about here?! Of course, this is a hypocrisy, it is an intolerable approach.
But despite this, they can not completely deny the truth. These missions have also produced positive results, I think.
Baku has recently hosted a meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. We spoke our word from this rostrum too and will continue to do so. We always express and will continue to express our position of principle in all international organizations we are a member of. I want to say again that it is impossible to argue with us from a logical point of view. We tell the truth that some people do not like. That is their own business. But we are telling the truth. We are telling the truth also on the Karabakh issue, on other issues, on the domestic situation, on the processes going on in the world. It is impossible to deny the truth. Therefore, of course, our activities in the OSCE will continue to be very active.
I have already mentioned the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. I believe that our work in this organization has been very successful. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has repeatedly adopted principled resolutions on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I believe that within the framework of this organization and also in the bilateral format with Muslim countries we must fully communicate the truth about Karabakh. Of course, they know it. If they did not know, these resolutions would not have been adopted. But what do we see? Armenia is trying to establish or strengthen bilateral relations with Muslim countries. Sometimes the lack of information creates such opportunities for them. But I think that if the officials of all Muslim countries find out that the Armenians have destroyed mosques in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, it is unlikely that Armenia will ever succeed in establishing these relations.
Therefore, I believe that it is necessary to publish 5-10-page brochures, books of various sizes, magazines consisting of photographs and information about destroyed monuments and religious sites of Azerbaijan. These should be sent to all external agencies, ministries of foreign affairs, media organizations, "think tanks" of all countries, so that they know: how can a country destroying mosques collaborate successfully with Muslim countries?! Armenia, of course, wants to conceal and deny this truth, but we must not let this happen. Therefore, of course, in parallel with diplomatic efforts there should be powerful propaganda. In fact, it is already conducted and there are positive results. I simply want it to be even more positive.
Our relations with other international organizations are also successful. We currently chair the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. While in Strasbourg recently, I set out our priorities related to the chairmanship, so I do not want to repeat that. At the same time, I have repeatedly expressed my opinion about our activities within the organization as a whole.
Unfortunately, this organization has an anti-Azerbaijani group acting for many years. Diplomats will know very well that this group did not want to admit Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe. At the same time, they put forward unfounded accusations against us. Some even said that if Azerbaijan became a member of the Council of Europe, this would change the blood of this organization. Just look at the racist, xenophobic and fascist position taken by these people! There are such people and no-one can deny that.
They are backed by the Armenian lobby. As you are well aware, the number one target for the Armenian lobby today is Azerbaijan. By joining their forces they are conducting a campaign against Azerbaijan. They have representatives, of course, in the media, other governments and public entities. They have deep roots and selected Azerbaijan as target number one.
They are trying to attack us from all sides. Despite this, they cannot have an impact on our successful development. It would be good if they had a better understanding of the deplorable situation Armenia is in at the moment and asked themselves: why is Armenia in such a terrible state, why is this country gradually losing its independence, is unable to pursue an independent policy and is only engaged in serving others and sees its future in that!? The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has the Armenian lobby, as well as members that stick to a biased position against Azerbaijan. We have given them an answer. I responded to them back when I was the head of our delegation. I responded to them this time too, because, let me I say again, they cannot argue with us on the basis of logic. They can lie, but when we are there, we expose this lie because a lie is a lie. Once again, if criticism is justified, we will accept it as it helps us. But unjustified criticism is just an attempt to slander our country.
At the same time I believe that our successful activities in the Council of Europe have completely changed the situation. The biased anti-Azerbaijani report prepared in January of last year has suffered a complete fiasco. The deputy who presented the report was completely disgraced. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe rejected this unfounded and biased report, which was compiled on the basis of false information. It is our great victory. Therefore, we will continue to work actively in the Council of Europe. I know that the smear campaigns conducted against us recently both frustrate and disturb Azerbaijani society. The information and questions I am receiving boil down to the following: why shouldn’t we respond to blatant injustice? We do respond!
Why is our European policy still among foreign policy priorities? I always say that we should go towards our goal, and we do.
I think it would be wrong if we were to pay attention to those who are trying to hamper us because, in fact, we have very strong and sound bilateral relations with European countries. This is evidenced by my numerous visits to European countries and the visits of European heads of state and government to Azerbaijan. I can openly tell you that during bilateral visits paid in the 11 years and in the bilateral meetings with European leaders, I have never encountered any disrespect for Azerbaijan or attempts to interfere with our affairs. Never! Some people calling themselves opposition or human rights activists believe that someone may say something to us and we will fulfill that. These are naïve people. To put it mildly, either they are really naive or they just want to create such an impression. Over the 11 years European leaders never told me a word in connection with our domestic policies. I am saying this for the first time today. Of course, international organizations should speak, such is their political life. We just need to know that.
Of course, we have to respond and fully respond to every unfounded accusation. Our diplomats also need to keep an eye on this in the countries where they work and respond to unfounded accusations in the media or a non-governmental organization.
However, let me say again that this should not deflect us from the common goal. Our goal is to become a developed country.
Our goal is to restore the territorial integrity and secure a prosperous life for the Azerbaijani people in the years ahead. We are moving towards this goal. We are moving ahead in all directions. We have a domestic policy, an economic policy, a social policy, an army building policy, in connection with foreign policy a policy that relies on a judicious and conceptual approach.
This is the reason for our success. Foreign visitors often ask me about the reasons for Azerbaijan’s success. How can I explain that? To explain this, we must look at the 10-year history again. In other words, it is the result of a coherent policy.
So I think that we simply have to further intensify our work in all bilateral formats and in international organizations. We must and do speak our word. I think that equal relationships have been made possible thanks to the growing power of Azerbaijan.
Of course, our embassies should maintain an active relationship with Diaspora organizations. I know that this is the case. In previous years there were certain contradictions. Both during meetings with representatives of the Diaspora and at the Congress afterwards I repeatedly said that Diaspora organizations and embassies should be together. The embassy is an entity conducting the foreign policy of Azerbaijan. Diaspora organizations should rally around embassies. They shouldn’t argue with each other and should not harm the country through their activities.
Of course, I believe that our state policy has produced results here, and I know that in most cases Diaspora organizations are working together with the embassies and conducting various activities. I think that this multiplies our strength. At the same time, representatives of the Diaspora feel confident because they know that a strong Azerbaijani state is behind them. They also know that the Azerbaijani government will always protect and defend its citizens. Many events have confirmed this.
Our growing economic opportunities, of course, have a positive impact on our foreign policy. I want to say again that there is a great need for investment abroad today. You will also know quite well that the main focus of the policies of some Western countries in handling the crisis is on increasing investment. But at what expense? If there are no domestic resources, then how can investment be made? Only by means of foreign investment. Most foreign investors – at least our experience shows that – are Western countries. Now there is a crisis there. So there is a strong interest in countries with investment opportunities. And Azerbaijan is one of such countries. Therefore, I believe that our economic diplomacy should also be very active. Here I see a few directions.
First of all, it is necessary to channel Azerbaijani investment to foreign countries. In fact, it is an integral part of our policy today. There are economic laws. In the future we will not be able to invest a lot in the country's economy because it can accelerate inflation and lead to other negative processes. We invest in controlled volumes. We also have financial resources.
So we are accessing foreign markets now – the countries with which we have good relations – with our investments. It is also very important.
Therefore, I believe that a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Economy and Industry, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is required. We, of course, approve the portfolio of investment to be made abroad. Our embassies are trying to take Azerbaijani companies to foreign markets. I set this task at the previous meeting. The number of Azerbaijani companies working abroad has been growing in recent years and their activities expanding.
Our energy diplomacy is also, of course, a very important issue, because it is impossible to separate energy security from national security today. Azerbaijan has fully provided for its own energy security and is actively involved in providing for the energy security of other countries.
The agreements signed in recent years will greatly enhance our capabilities and transform Azerbaijan into a country even more important for the world and Europe. “Shah Deniz-2”, TANAP and TAP projects are the largest infrastructure projects in Europe. Azerbaijan has assumed the leadership. As a result of these projects, we will obtain access to a vast market. Europe will obtain access to a new source of gas. A new source of gas is the most important thing – not a new route but a new source of gas. A new source of gas for Europe today is only Azerbaijan. There is no and will not be any other new source in the near future.
Therefore, in connection with this matter – at the same time, during the implementation of these projects tens or hundreds of foreign companies will be in operation – contracts will be signed. Many contracts have already been signed and are a great source of income for these companies. I think that all the issues here, of course, will be resolved through open bidding. Again, Azerbaijan as a leader and initiator of these projects can speak its word. Here, it seems to me, we should consider both the economic parameters and our bilateral relations. Therefore, as a result of these projects, we will achieve several objectives. I am confident that we will implement these major projects on time.
I want to say again that Azerbaijan conducts a principled and consistent foreign policy. We conduct and will continue to conduct an independent foreign policy. Azerbaijan’s diplomatic corps works successfully. In general, I am satisfied with your work. Of course, there may be various errors and shortcomings. But overall, the Azerbaijani diplomacy is undergoing a period of development. I wish you continued success in your activities. Thank you.