Baku, July 11, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov.
Welcoming the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Welcome, dear Sergey Viktorovich! I am very glad to see you in Baku again. We recently met in St. Petersburg and prior to that. I looked at the previous schedule. We meet every month: in April in Baku, in May in Vienna, last month in St. Petersburg and now in Baku. This is good evidence of how our relations are developing, as well as an indicator of the effective role Russia is playing in the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
We appreciate the efforts of the Russian side and of the President personally. I would like to express my gratitude to you and to the President of Russia for initiating the meeting in St. Petersburg, which we also view as very effective and positive. And of course, we are counting on the fact that the positive momentum that started in the negotiations in the last three to four months will be continued. As far as I remember, this period of negotiations is the most dynamic and, hopefully, it will be the most effective. Your visits to Baku today and to Yerevan earlier are another sign that Russia is sincerely interested, as a friend and a neighbor of both countries, in resolving the conflict. Naturally, we are also interested and want an early settlement of the conflict so that peace and security are established in our region.
Also, of course, your visit is a good opportunity to discuss the agenda of our bilateral relations. We discussed these issues with the Russian President last month. We did not find a single topic that would require immediate intervention. Our main task is to strengthen relations in all areas - in the political sphere, in economy, transport, energy and humanitarian cooperation. We are moving steadily forward as friends and partners. I am sure that your visit will be successful and will also contribute to further rapprochement of our countries. Once again, welcome!
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said:
- Thank you, dear Ilham Heydarovich.
It is very nice indeed to be back to the beautiful city of Baku, the shores of our common Caspian Sea, especially since there will be another meeting of Foreign Ministers of the "Caspian Five" tomorrow. Together with my colleague and friend, we will continue the efforts which, among other places, started at the Baku summit. And we will try to achieve a result.
First of all, I would like to convey warm greetings from Vladimir Putin. He has, just like you, very warm recollections of the meeting in St. Petersburg when you were able to discuss bilateral relations and hold a trilateral meeting on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.
Our bilateral agenda is very broad. You have just mentioned that. Before the end of the year, there will be a session of the intergovernmental trade and economic commission, the Russian-Azerbaijani inter-regional forum and the Fifth Baku International Humanitarian Forum, which has been held under the joint patronage of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia a number of times.
Of course, we are pleased, together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, to hear your feedback that no special action is required on the part of the heads of state at this stage at least. We are interested in developing our cooperation in all areas. And, of course, we very much appreciate your views on the Russian side's initiative on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement. The process is moving forward. President Putin is satisfied with the results of the meeting in St. Petersburg. On his instruction, as you said, I am visiting the two capitals. I do hope that today's meeting will help us to define our next steps more clearly and in absolutely concrete terms.
Thank you again for your hospitality and kind words.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you. Please convey my greetings and best wishes to Vladimir Vladimirovich.