Statement of President Ilham Aliyev
- My dear brother, dear Mr. President,
Ladies and gentlemen!
Mr. President, I sincerely welcome you to Azerbaijan. Welcome to our country, welcome to your homeland!
First of all, I want to take this opportunity to sincerely congratulate you on your convincing victory in the presidential election again and wish you continued success in your future activity.
We are very delighted that you are paying your first official visit after the election to Azerbaijan. Your swearing-in ceremony took place in Turkey yesterday, and today you are on an official visit to Azerbaijan. This shows once again that Turkish-Azerbaijani friendship and brotherhood are unshakable and eternal. Your visit is yet another example of Turkish-Azerbaijani brotherhood and a further demonstration of our unity.
The Turkish people have shown great confidence and support for you again. For many years, you have been doing a great job for the development of Turkey. Under your leadership, Turkey has covered a long and glorious road and evolved into a great force on a global scale. Turkey enjoys authority in international affairs today. Economic reforms are successfully under way. In terms of economic development, Turkey is in one of the leading places in the world. Under your leadership, stability has been fully established in Turkey. We, the people of Azerbaijan, are very pleased with Turkey’s successes. An important role in the fact that Turkish-Azerbaijani ties have reached this level is played by our joint efforts. There is personal friendship between us, and this brings our countries even closer together. Turkish-Azerbaijani relations are at the highest level today. We stand by each other on all matters, always support each other and are side by side on all international issues. Turkey always provides Azerbaijan with great support in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It is Turkey that gives Azerbaijan the biggest support on this issue on a global scale.
As you know, our lands have been occupied by Armenia for many years. As a result of occupation, our people have been subjected to ethnic cleansing. The soonest settlement of this conflict will mean a restoration of the norms of international law. The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions in connection with the conflict. They explicitly state that the Armenian armed forces must withdraw from Azerbaijani lands immediately and unconditionally. These resolutions must be implemented and the territorial integrity of our country must be restored.
Turkey's position on this issue meets the norms of international law and also rests on Turkish-Azerbaijani brotherhood and friendship. Azerbaijan, in turn, also always supports Turkey on all matters. We will continue to be together in the future.
During our meeting held today, we exchanged views on a number of issues. We have analyzed the work done and discussed plans for the future. Our trade turnover is growing and should grow even more. Mutual investment will be continued. To date, Azerbaijan has invested 13.9 billion dollars in the Turkish economy. Turkish companies have invested more than 12 billion dollars in Azerbaijan. These large figures actually demonstrate the level of our connections because such major investment can be made only in fraternal countries.
As you know, we are implementing energy projects of great importance for our countries, peoples and the world together. Last month, we jointly participated in the inauguration of TANAP in Eskisehir. This is natural and quite logical because we laid the foundation of the TANAP project in Istanbul together in 2012. The TANAP agreement we signed has already been implemented and this historic project has been launched.
The successful implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project is coming to the end. The completion of the TANAP project is a very big step in this direction. As you know, other major energy projects were jointly implemented in previous years. Turkey and Azerbaijan have redrawn the energy map of Eurasia.
Transport-related projects have strengthened our countries and, at the same time, created a healthy link between continents. So our joint efforts are of great importance not only for our countries, but also for the entire region and Eurasia. Turkish-Azerbaijani unity and friendship have greatly benefited regional stability. I am sure that peace will be established in the region thanks to the joint efforts of Turkey and Azerbaijan. Turkey has a very strong military potential. The Turkish army is one of the strongest armies in the world. Our cooperation in the military sphere has been very successful. Seven military exercises will be held between our servicemen this year, three of which have already been conducted. Azerbaijan acquires a lot of military equipment from Turkey. A part of this equipment was demonstrated in the military parade held in Azerbaijan last month.
We have multifaceted relations. They are underpinned on unity and common interests of our peoples and states. We are friendly and fraternal countries. This is further evidenced by the fact that the President of Turkey is paying his first visit after the election to Azerbaijan.
My dear brother, let me welcome you once again. I wish you further success in your activities. Thank you.