Tbilisi, November 5, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili have made statements for the press.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev:
- Thank you very much, dear Mr. President.
Dear ladies and gentlemen.
First of all, I want to thank you for the hospitality extended to me and our delegation. I am very glad to be back on the brotherly Georgian soil.
Dear Mr. President, you also mentioned that Azerbaijan recently held a parliamentary election. I am paying my first official visit after the election to brotherly Georgia. This in itself shows how highly we value our bilateral relations.
The Joint Declaration signed today determines the prospects for the development of our relations. Our relations are underpinned by unity between our two nations, our shared history and brotherhood. The Declaration reflects very specific provisions on the prospects for our development. We can say that Georgia and Azerbaijan closely cooperate in all spheres. We successfully cooperate within international organizations. We support each other on all matters, particularly in matters related to the territorial integrity of countries. There are excellent opportunities for further cooperation in international organizations. I am sure that our two countries will continue to consistently support the positions of each other.
The Declaration also contains very accurate expressions related to the settlement of conflicts. All conflicts, including those on the territory of Georgia and Azerbaijan, should be resolved within the territorial integrity and sovereignty of countries and inviolability of borders. They should be resolved on the basis of the decisions and resolutions of international organizations. For many years now, the ancestral and historical part of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as seven adjacent districts, has been under occupation. Unfortunately, the conflict remains unresolved despite the fact that all influential international organizations have adopted resolutions and decisions on the settlement of the conflict within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
We successfully cooperate in the economic sphere. We want our turnover to increase further. Of course, the mutual interest is quite high. Azerbaijan invests a lot in Georgia. Georgia is a very attractive country for investments. Your country has established an excellent investment climate. I want to cordially congratulate you on this occasion.
Of course, we have widely discussed energy and transport issues today. We have once again expressed our will: these issues and projects should be implemented soon, in particular, the Southern Gas Corridor, which is being successfully implemented. If we had not built oil and gas pipelines such as the Baku-Supsa and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipelines and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, there would be no basis for the Southern Gas Corridor now. The Southern Gas Corridor today is of great economic and political importance for Georgia, Azerbaijan and Europe. This project is being successfully implemented. I am sure that Azerbaijani gas will be delivered to Turkey in 2018 and to Europe in 2020 in even greater volumes. This is a major project. I believe that this is the largest energy project in Europe today. There are plans to invest at least $45 billion in the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor.
Azerbaijan possesses ample reserves of gas. Proven gas reserves amount to 2.6 trillion cubic meters. This means that Azerbaijan will be able to provide both itself and neighboring countries, as well as Europe, with large volumes of natural gas for at least 100 years.
Of course, the joint activities of Azerbaijan and Georgia, our common position will show great reliability of this corridor in the future. This will increase the geopolitical importance of our countries. Of course, our revenues will also be increased.
Today, in an expanded meeting, I said that Azerbaijan had recently established the Coordination Council on transit cargo. We want Georgia and Azerbaijan to speak with one voice on issues of transportation. We can pursue a common tariff policy to substantially increase the volume of goods passing through our territory. This is possible. I believe that in the future the countries where goods will be delivered can conduct joint presentations. There is competition for goods in today's world. The main thing is that this competition should be sound. In this case, the transit opportunities offered by Georgia and Azerbaijan will, of course, be preferable.
Today, of course, we also discussed other issues. I am very pleased that we have no differences on all the issues discussed. We are friends and brothers. My successful visit is, at the same time, an excellent step for our further dynamic cooperation.
I want to express my gratitude for the attention and hospitality extended to me and the delegation again. Thank you.