Ilham Aliyev and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban made statements for the press
11 november 2014, 22:15
After the signing ceremony, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban made statements for the press.
Statement of President Ilham Aliyev:
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear Mr Prime Minister,
First of all, Mr. Prime Minister, I would like to thank you for the invitation. The meetings that we had yesterday and today, the exchange of views once again demonstrate that our relations have indeed reached the level of strategic partnership. At the same time, I would like to mention that being in Budapest is always a great joy as it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Under your leadership and by the desire of residents of Budapest, your historical past is being preserved, all historical buildings are being repaired, and this rightly increases our confidence in and respect for you, your country and people.
As far as our bilateral relations are concerned, we are very optimistic about the development of these ties. I`m confident that these relations will develop more rapidly in the future. The agreements signed today, in fact, testify to our intention.
They prove that our relations are diverse and cover various areas, including economic, political and humanitarian ones.
The Joint Declaration on strategic partnership occupies a special place among these agreements because it is a detailed document and it will ensure successful results of our projects that will be realized in the years ahead. I can say that the Declaration on Strategic Partnership lays an excellent basis for future possible agreements between the European Union and Azerbaijan as this document reflects all directions of our cooperation. Political ties are, off course, a priority for achieving such level. These are very positive, excellent ties.
Dear Mr Prime Minister, you have visited Azerbaijan two times. And this is my third visit to Hungary. The number of visits in the last few years testifies to the high level of our relations. At the same time, these excellent political ties have a positive impact on the economic sector too. Our joint intergovernmental commission is successfully working. The agreements that were signed today and the ones that will be signed as part of the business forum will, off course, contribute to the growth of our trade turnover. And our trade turnover increased several times according to results of the last year. Business circles have quite a high mutual interest. Joint projects that will be implemented in the years ahead will contribute to the growth of our trade turnover. Mutual investment making, cooperation in information and communication technologies sector, the growth of trade turnover, and, off course, cooperation in the energy sector are all our priorities.
And I`m happy that Hungarian companies are now more actively involved in the Azerbaijani market. They will participate in various projects relating to construction, transportation, agriculture, infrastructure, water supply, and etc. We have excellent ties that will certainly make a positive impact on the joint work of our business structures.
As far as energy issues are related here we have brilliant opportunities for cooperation. Azerbaijan is playing its role in ensuring new energy resources for Europe. Azerbaijan initiated the Southern Gas Corridor project. I`m happy that the Southern Gas Corridor project is already being realized. Two months ago Baku hosted a solemn ceremony, and we are starting the construction of the new gas pipeline. This will bring new additions to the energy map of Europe. This energy map will, in reality, be changed, and the transportation of Azerbaijan`s abundant gas resources to the European market will start.
We have a concrete working schedule relating to the Southern Gas Corridor. I`m confident that Azerbaijan`s gas will be transported to Europe in proper time – in 2018-2019. For this we must carry out high-level coordination work. The issues – both in the bilateral format and between the European Union and Azerbaijan - must be solved because we want to realize this project in time. Both we and Europe need this. It will become a new, alternative source of gas for Europe. And for us the European market is the most profitable one. Here our interests coincide. In addition the interests of transit countries, consumers and Azerbaijan coincide. We decided to start negotiations on this issue in the Hungarian-Azerbaijani bilateral format in the nearest future. I`m confident that these negotiations will yield excellent results because we want that our abundant gas resources are transported to European countries to the maximum degree. Off course, it`s about large investment. Azerbaijan will cover the major part of this investment. According to initial estimations, at least 45 billion dollars must be invested in the Southern Gas Corridor. The economic and financial crisis is still ongoing in the world and Europe, our region. And investing such amounts under these circumstances, off course, reflects our serious intention and political will.
Energy issues are, off course, very important. But the humanitarian area is also of great significance. I would like to take the opportunity to thank you, Mr Prime Minister, for allocating 200 stipends for Azerbaijani students. The Hungarian side ensures the allocation of these stipends. This is a great support and a sign of respect for us. This also allows Azerbaijani students to learn deeper your ancient history during their studies in Hungary. They will become kind of ambassadors of Hungary and Azerbaijan, and then link their future with Hungary. This has a very positive impact on ties among people. Off course, we want very much that Hungarian universities open their branches in Azerbaijan. This issue was discussed yesterday and today. I`m confident that we will achieve this thanks to joint efforts. Other issues – tourism, the organization of flights – all this will bring us closer to each other.
I would like to reiterate that it is a strong political will that lies at the heart of our ties, and both sides demonstrate this will.
I`m confident that we will carry out a more important work in the future. I would like to take the opportunity to invite you, Mr Prime Minister, to Azerbaijan at your convenience so that we continue this excellent dialogue.
Thank you once again for hospitality.