Statement of President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Mr. President
I would like to once again express my gratitude to the President of Turkmenistan, my dear friend, for the invitation, for the very warm welcome and for the hospitality. I have been on fraternal Turkmen soil since yesterday. I have had the opportunity to get acquainted with Turkmenistan's socioeconomic development achievements. We rejoice in your success just like in ours. And I would like to take the opportunity and convey fraternal greetings from all the people of Azerbaijan to the fraternal Turkmen people. We are united by history, culture, common roots, traditions and world outlook. This is the powerful foundation which allows us the opportunity to build our relations on the basis of equality, good-neighborliness, friendship and fraternity.
The visit is drawing to a close. It is already possible to say that this visit will have a special place in the history of relations between our countries, the relations that have great potential. Today, during the talks held, the exchange of views between the presidents in a one-on-one format and at the level of delegations, we discussed important issues of our cooperation. We summarized the work done and outlined ways for further interaction. Today, more than 20 documents have been signed, and each of them has a very specific character. This is an indicator of the level of our relations, an indicator of the volume of cooperation and an indicator of our intentions, our brotherly attitude towards each other. Only with a close country can you work in such different areas of life.
In the future, we agreed to provide mutual support to each other in international institutions and international organizations. Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan always support each other in all international organizations. This has become a common practice, but it underlines the sincerity of our relationship.
The President of Turkmenistan has already spoken about the main issues on our agenda. On my part, I would like to note that we will work hard to increase the turnover between our countries. We have given relevant instructions to the intergovernmental commission between our countries, so that it could intensify work on increasing exports from Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan and from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan. There is a specific range of goods, and heads of relevant agencies are discussing these issues. I think that if we concentrate on specific areas, we can further increase our trade in a short time.
As President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Malikgulyyevich Berdimuhamedov has said, we have paid great attention to cooperation in the transport sector. On the eve of the visit, our delegations worked hard, held several rounds of negotiations and agreed the main issues for the operation of the East-West international corridor. Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, for their part, have done a tremendous amount of work in previous years to create modern transport infrastructure and logistical facilities. We did not coordinate that, but it so happened that we were doing this work parallel to each other. And this is natural, because this is what is necessary for our countries and peoples. It is no coincidence that the opening of international trade ports in both Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan occurred at the same time this year and in the same month – in May. It was a far-sighted decision to begin to invest in these projects – each country on its own territory. And today we are talking about full integration of our trading ports. A relevant document was signed today. This creates opportunities for our countries to increase trade and transit. We are also creating huge potential for our neighbors. Our further successful development as important transportation hubs also depends on the regional situation. Therefore, our good relations with our neighbors strengthen security and stability in the region, and also turn Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan into important transport and logistical hubs.
The modern infrastructure, the major investments in the transport sector create excellent working conditions. I don't want to cite any figures, but I am sure that we will see a significant increase in cargo traffic between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan in the near future. A special place is now being allocated at the Baku International Trade Seaport in Alat to receive additional cargo from Turkmenistan, and we will certainly see growing transit between our countries along the East-West and West-East route.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway was put into operation last year. It is the last link which was not there before. It provides access to world markets. It is yet another access, an additional route which, I am sure, will bring great profits to our countries and also strengthen the entire package of transport agreements, strengthen regional security. The transport sector will lead to the creation of new jobs and economic activity, improve living standards of countries located on the Great Silk Road. This will enhance stability and security.
We have resolved the most important specific issues of bilateral relations today, the issues that create new conditions for regional cooperation. Therefore, I believe that the visit will be very important for our further cooperation and for the strengthening of traditionally fraternal relations between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. It will create an even better situation between countries of our region.
I would like to use this opportunity and wish the fraternal Turkmen people peace, prosperity and further development under the leadership of President Gurbanguly Malikgulyyevich, and wish him continued success, well-being and good health. Thank you.