Statement by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Prime Minister,
Let me welcome you to Azerbaijan once again. We attach great importance to your visit. Hungary is a very close and friendly country for us. I am glad that the visit has been very successful, and its results will play an important role in the development of Hungarian-Azerbaijani relations.
Our political relations are at a very high level. During my visit to Hungary at the end of 2014, we signed a Joint Declaration on strategic partnership with you. This in itself is an indicator that our relations are of strategic nature. Our meetings are also of regular nature. The high level of political relations has a positive impact on all other areas. We successfully work in international organizations. Hungary has played a very positive and active role in Azerbaijan's relations with the European Union. The relations between the European Union and Azerbaijan are developing successfully, and I am confident that Hungary will continue to consistently support the development of these relations.
Today we exchanged views on many issues – political ties and cooperation in the field of economy. I want to emphasize the activities of the Intergovernmental Commission. Many issues are resolved at the level of this commission. Based on the excellent political relations, we must also establish a strong economic cooperation. I am glad that exports from Hungary to Azerbaijan increased last year. This is an excellent indicator. Today we exchanged views on many specific projects. There is excellent cooperation in the field of energy. The cooperation between SOCAR and MOL already has a good history, and it should rise to a new level. We talked about that today. The energy policy of Azerbaijan is highly valued by the European Union today. At the end of last month Baku hosted the second meeting of the Advisory Council for the Southern Gas Corridor. The Declaration adopted at the end of the meeting notes the leading role of Azerbaijan in the energy security of Europe and the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor. We have ample reserves of oil and gas. Today, the Southern Gas Corridor is a project of energy security and energy diversification. The 3,500km pipeline will connect Europe with Azerbaijan even more closely in the future.
Today, we talked in detail about other directions as well. Members of the commission also exchanged views yesterday. There are wonderful opportunities in the field of agriculture. Specific instructions have been issued to further strengthen cooperation in this field. Hungarian experience is very interesting for us. Agriculture in Hungary is well developed. This industry is one of the top priorities for us today, and I think that there are great opportunities for cooperation.
Regarding the transport sector: I informed the Prime Minister that at present Azerbaijan is working to create the East-West transport corridor. The first test container train has already proceeded from China through Azerbaijan to Europe. Further operation of this corridor will connect our countries and ensure transport security. There are great opportunities in tourism. We successfully cooperate in the field of education and are grateful to the Government of Hungary for the establishment of a special scholarship for our students. Cooperation in the field of education means that our citizens will also be in close contact with each other in the future.
Today we discussed many specific projects. The overall result is that Hungary and Azerbaijan today confirmed their strategic partnership again. The documents signed yesterday in respect of intergovernmental relations and the specific projects signed within the framework of the business forum today will bring us closer together. We want this. Hungary is a close and friendly country for us. Our personal relationship with Prime Minister is also friendly. The activities of Prime Minister are perceived with great respect and appreciation in Azerbaijan.
Hungary is a country that pursues an independent policy. Its external and internal policies are based only on the interests of the Hungarian people. Therefore, there are similarities between us in this area. This is why Hungary has successfully overcome all the crises ongoing in Europe and the world. This is exactly why the Hungarian people value the activities of Prime Minister. If the government protects the interests of the people and is committed to developing the country, the people will always support this government.
Therefore, dear Prime Minister, a friend like you is very dear to us. I am very glad that thanks to the determination of political leaders, our relations are at the highest level today. I am sure that this visit will also give an impetus to the development of these relations.
Dear Prime Minister, let me welcome you and your delegation to Azerbaijan again. "You are welcome!"