A dinner reception has been hosted on behalf of President of the European Council Donald Tusk in honor of heads of state and government of the Eastern Partnership countries.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the reception.
Prior to the reception, President Ilham Aliyev and President Donald Tusk posed together for photographs.
Heads of state and government of the Eastern Partnership countries then posed for official photos.
Addressing the dinner reception, President Ilham Aliyev noted that Azerbaijan is one of the countries which takes an active part in the Eastern Partnership Program.
The head of state said that Azerbaijan also enjoys close relations with the European Union member states. “Azerbaijan’s relations with the nine EU member states are those of strategic partnership.”
The head of state described the EU as a key trade partner for Azerbaijan, saying that the member states of the organization are top investors in the country.
The President expressed his regret that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which are the participants in the Eastern Partnership Program, has not yet been solved. The head of state emphasized that 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands were occupied by Armenia, and that more than a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs, noting that the conflict has been lasting for more than 25 years.
President Ilham Aliyev underlined that the conflict must only be settled in accordance with the norms and principles of international law, on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions, and within the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and inviolability of borders of Azerbaijan.
President Ilham Aliyev said the Partnership Priorities document concluded between Azerbaijan and the European Union last year in Brussels reaffirmed support for territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders.
Hailing Azerbaijan’s contribution to energy security of Europe, the head of state noted that in the energy projects initiated and involving Azerbaijan, the interests of producer, transit and consumer countries are jointly protected under their cooperation.
Pointing out Azerbaijan’s crucial role in implementing the East-West transport corridor, the head of state praised the country’s successful cooperation with the European Union in the field of transport.