Ilham Aliyev and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon made statements for the press

16 october 2014, 13:00

After the ceremony of signing the documents, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon made statements for the press.

Statement by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev

- Thank you, dear Emomalii Sharipovich!

First of all, I would like to thank you for the invitation to pay an official visit to the brotherly Tajikistan. I also want to thank you for the hospitality extended to me and members of my delegation from our first moments on Tajik soil.

This is my second official visit. Emomalii Sharipovich has also paid two official visits to Azerbaijan. This fact in itself indicates the high level of our relations. There is a very active political dialogue between us. We also meet regularly at various international events – summits and conferences, we have the opportunity to regularly exchange views on topical issues of regional security, global politics and bilateral relations.

As already noted by Emomalii Sharipovich, the agenda of our relations is very extensive. Today we discussed important issues of our cooperation. The presence of very active political relations also involves the active development of relations in all other areas. We participate in many international organizations together and support each other. I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank the President of Tajikistan for supporting Azerbaijan in the election to the UN Security Council. This support was very important, and for two years we represented ourselves, all our friends and partners in this authoritative international body.

The political declaration signed today defines a whole range of our future relations. This is a very important political document which reflects our priorities and how we see our future together. I would also like to express my gratitude to Tajikistan for its principled position on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. As it is noted in the declaration we have just signed, the conflict should be resolved within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions. These resolutions were adopted over 20 years ago but, unfortunately, they are not being fulfilled. They explicitly state that Armenian occupying forces must withdraw from Azerbaijani territories. The settlement of the conflict within the framework of international law, in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council and on the basis of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity is the only way of ensuring peace in our region.

Today we discussed issues related to economic cooperation. Of course, we can’t be contented with the trade turnover, but the meeting of the joint economic commission held yesterday, as we have been briefed, gives us the optimism that we can increase the turnover in a short time. Specific steps in this direction are being taken. There are great opportunities in the transport sector, especially given the investments being made in the transport infrastructure of Azerbaijan and the region as a whole. This includes the opening of a new international seaport in Azerbaijan, which will be the largest port in the Caspian region, as well as the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which we plan to complete next year. This will create ample opportunities. It is the shortest, the most effective and the cheapest way for the transit of goods from Asia to Europe and back.

We have also talked extensively about the humanitarian aspects of our cooperation today. There are already very good achievements here. We are close to each other in terms of history and culture. We represent one and the same civilization. Of course, this brings us closer together. Therefore, we will carry out various activities related to cultural programs in the future. Azerbaijani Culture Days in Tajikistan and Tajikistani Culture Days in Azerbaijan were a great success, and our people saw once again how close we are.

We also discussed issues of regional security and the fight against terrorism. Of course, we are concerned about the situation in the region which is not too far away from us. We need to join the efforts of progressive forces to provide security in the region. There is a very positive development in Tajikistan and Azerbaijan, there is stability, economic and social issues are being addressed. Therefore, there are no internal security threats in our countries. Everything that disturbs us is outside our borders. Therefore, the strengthening of our borders and our contribution to regional security are the issues we are actively discussing.

I would also like to note that Azerbaijan is watching with great interest the transformations taking place in Tajikistan under the leadership of Emomalii Sharipovich. You are providing for sustainable economic growth and addressing many social problems. Tajikistan is highly respected in the region and the world. In your region you are playing a very important role in terms of economic cooperation and regional security. Of course, an ordinary visitor can see the transformations in Dushanbe. I was here a few years ago and I see a great progress, new beautiful buildings, public spaces and parks.

Everything is being done for the people, for their comfort and well-being. Our peoples have experienced grief in the early years of independence, when there were civil wars in Tajikistan and Azerbaijan, and a period before independence when we were not independent states. So, now our people deserve a good life. I think that the people of Tajikistan and the people of Azerbaijan are seeing the benefits of independence. After all, we have been able to achieve such great successes only in the period of independence. As friends and brothers, we rejoice in your successes and are confident that the dynamic development of Tajikistan will be continued for the good of your people and for the benefit of the entire region.

Thank you very much again for your hospitality, and I want to take this opportunity to invite you, Emomalii Sharipovich, to visit Azerbaijan at any time convenient for you. Thank you.