Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Gurbanguly Malikguluyevich,
Ladies and gentlemen!
Dear Mr. President, let me sincerely welcome you to Azerbaijan once again. Welcome to our country.
Your visit is very important for the development of Turkmen-Azerbaijani relations. The negotiations we have conducted and the signed documents today show once again that Turkmen-Azerbaijani relations are at the highest level. These ties are underpinned by unity, friendship and brotherhood of our peoples. For centuries, the Turkmen and Azerbaijani peoples have lived together, cooperated and been friends. Our interstate relations are built on this solid foundation. This year we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Over these 25 years, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan have covered a great and successful road.
Mr. President, I would like to talk about the successes that have been achieved in Turkmenistan, especially under your leadership. Under your leadership, your country is rapidly developing, social and economic issues are being successfully resolved, and the well-being of your citizens is improving. Turkmenistan plays a major role in the international arena. Your neutral policy is supported by the world community. The United Nations adopted a resolution two years ago in connection with the neutrality of Turkmenistan. Azerbaijan was also a co-author of that resolution.
The Joint Declaration holds a special place among the documents signed today. It is a Declaration on Strategic Partnership. In other words, it is the highest level of communication. Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are already strategic partners. This Declaration identifies practically all areas of our future joint activities. It reflects political, economic, humanitarian, cultural, transport, energy and security issues. Both parties have reaffirmed their strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and the inviolability of each other's borders in the Declaration.
Our ties are developing successfully. We will intensify our activities in many areas. Today we successfully cooperate within the framework of international organizations – we support each other within the framework of the UN, the OSCE and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. There are good achievements in trade, in the field of economy. Our turnover increased last year.
Today, a major part of the talks was devoted to transport issues. Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are building and will soon commission new sea ports. This will lead to an increase in the volume of cargo transportation. At the same time, one of the topics discussed today has been the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. This road will significantly enhance the transit capacities of both Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.
There are good opportunities for cooperation in the field of energy. The Memorandum signed today creates a good basis for further action. We successfully cooperate in all areas and, of course, in the humanitarian sphere. The public can also see that we don’t even need an interpreter. During the conversation with Mr. President, we noted that if our citizens visit each other for one month, there will be no unfamiliar phrases left at all. This similarity is a great asset for us. We have common historical, cultural and ethnic roots, and we are building our activities on this solid foundation.
Turkmenistan is a close, friendly and fraternal country for us. The Turkmen people are a brotherly people for us. We highly appreciate this. I would like to highlight the activities of President Berdymukhamedov again because the historic event marking our successful cooperation took place in 2008. In May of that year, the President of Turkmenistan paid his first visit to Azerbaijan, while I visited Turkmenistan a few months later, in November 2008. Those visits became a watershed. Those visits created a format for broad cooperation, and today we are seeing its excellent results.
Mr. President, I would like to express my gratitude to you once again for accepting my invitation to visit Azerbaijan. I want to express my confidence that your visit will have excellent results. Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan will become even closer to each other. Thank you.