Azerbaijani and Afghan presidents held an expanded meeting

22 december 2015, 13:00

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani have met in an expanded format.

The presidents made speeches at the meeting.

President Ilham Aliyev said:

- Dear Mr. President,

Distinguished guests!

I would like to welcome you to Azerbaijan once again. We are very glad that you are visiting our country on an official visit. We have discussed and recalled your last year’s visit. But that was a very short visit, while the current one is official. It is a good sign of our cooperation. We have briefly discussed various aspects of our bilateral cooperation. We are already seeing good opportunities and good achievements. Our countries are friendly.

This friendship is based on the history and current common interests of our countries. We are engaged in a very active political dialogue in international organizations and cooperate closely in the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Economic Cooperation Organization. We are very grateful to your country for its continued support for the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. You supported us during the voting in the UN General Assembly. You supported us when Azerbaijan was a candidate for nonpermanent membership in the UN Security Council. We are very grateful to you for that. At the same time, we also support Afghanistan in all of its initiatives and in all international organizations. With such perfect political ties we must focus on economic issues now.

We have discussed the presence of very good opportunities for increasing the turnover and a package of investment projects. Both public and private companies of Azerbaijan are ready to invest in your country and strengthen the economic component of our cooperation. Today we also discussed issues related to communication and the railway link. I informed you that we are completing the remaining part of the Silk Road – the rail link between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. I hope that next year we will celebrate the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. However, we in Azerbaijan have already received first container trains from China for transit through the territory of Azerbaijan. We are already testing the route. Of course, we want to enhance international cooperation in the transport sector. There are good opportunities also in the field of energy resources. Therefore, we want to expand our cooperation in all areas. As we discussed, Azerbaijan is a member of the Resolute Support Mission, and we are trying to contribute to peace and development in your country. I want to congratulate you and your government on the successes Afghanistan has achieved in this transformation.

Mr. President, welcome to Azerbaijan again.
                                                                                                   Х Х Х
President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said:

- Mr. President, first of all let wish you a happy birthday!

Secondly, on behalf of the people and Government of Afghanistan, I would like to express my deep sorrow over the tragic incident that resulted in the loss of life on an oil platform.

Let me, first of all, express our deep appreciation for your last year's participation in the NATO Resolute Support Mission, as well as your sustainable participation in this mission. As you said at the Chicago conference, Azerbaijan has made a significant contribution to this mission. In addition, the creation of conditions for the use of your facilities and airports was of great importance for the NATO mission. Currently, we are expanding these horizons towards very stable and counter-terrorism cooperation. I believe that we will achieve these goals not only in the short, but also in the medium and long term. I believe that the support Azerbaijan has given us in all organizations and the obligations you personally have undertaken are commendable. Of course, we fully support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. The fate of the displaced people and the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan for you and the founder of your state, your late father, are of paramount importance. We have come to Azerbaijan with a large delegation to familiarize ourselves with the changes taking place in your country. We would like to congratulate you.