Baku, March 11 AZERTAC
After the ceremony of signing the documents, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain have made statements for the press.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Mr. President, dear friends, members of delegations,
I would like to once again welcome you, Mr. President, and your delegation. Welcome to Azerbaijan! We attach very big importance to your visit. Your visit will further strengthen the relations between our countries and the people of Pakistan and Azerbaijan. For centuries the people of Pakistan and Azerbaijan have lived in peace, cooperation, friendship, for centuries we have supported each other and lived like brothers. Today the two independent countries create a new format of cooperation based on our historical legacy, our traditions, our religion, at the same time, based on our strategic interests.
Today the document which was signed between Mr. President and myself is the Declaration of Strategic Partnership between our countries. Actually this document covers almost all the areas of our cooperation and is an important milestone in further development of our strategic ties. We are friends, brothers, we are strategic partners and we will continue our cooperation to the benefit of our peoples, our countries and to the benefit of regional security and regional stability.
Political relations between our countries are on a very high level, and the official visit of the President of Pakistan to Azerbaijan, the documents which have been signed just now clearly show that. We support each other in all the international organizations and will continue to do so.
We discussed with Mr. President today a broad range of issues of bilateral, multilateral importance and particularly our cooperation in international institutions. We support each other in the United Nations, we support each other in Islamic Cooperation Organization and other international institutions. We are very grateful to Pakistan for consistent support of Azerbaijan in the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
As you know, for more than 20 years, internationally recognized lands of Azerbaijan have been under Armenian occupation. Armenia conducted the policy of ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis as the result of which more than one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons. Twenty percent of our territory is now under occupation. Armenians conducted the Khojaly genocide, killing innocent Azerbaijanis, children, women, elderly people just because of their ethnic identity. And the people of Azerbaijan are very grateful to their brothers in Pakistan. Pakistan was the first country in the world which officially recognized Khojaly genocide as genocide. Now it is more than 10 countries that recognized Khojaly genocide, but the first was Pakistan.
We are grateful to Pakistan that it was one of very few countries which did not have diplomatic relations with Armenia because of continued occupation of our lands by Armenia. This is an attitude of brothers. This is a real sign of support, and our government and our people are very grateful to your government and your people for this position. United Nations Security Council resolutions demand unconditional and immediate withdrawal of Armenian forces from occupied territories. Unfortunately, these resolutions are not implemented.
Azerbaijan in its turn always supports Pakistan on the issues of Jammu and Kashmir. Resolution of these issues is based on relevant United Nations documents. In other words, cooperation between our countries has a very strong historical base and today on international arena, we are supporting each other to protect our national interests.
We discussed today also the prospects for cooperation in economic area. I am glad that Mr President is accompanied by a big group of representatives of the business community of Pakistan. Tomorrow we will together be at the business forum and hopefully this business forum will create additional opportunities for economic cooperation, business-to-business contacts, mutual investments and joint ventures. Today during the meeting of delegations we discussed this issue and members of delegations will continue their work tomorrow and report to us about the results.
We have active cooperation in the military area and also discussed further plans in cooperation in defense industry. Pakistan has made a very big progress in defense industry and, off course, we are also creating defense industry in Azerbaijan and want to combine our efforts in having access to modern technologies and also to have opportunity to engage in joint activity with respect to research, science, defense technologies in order to modernize our potential.
An important part of our cooperation is cooperation in humanitarian area, area of culture, science, social area. So all this is very important for our people and our countries because this is actually the level of the strategic cooperation and strategic partnership, mutual support in international arena, economic cooperation, cooperation in energy sector. Also both our countries are very active in the issues related to strengthening the Islamic solidarity. We need more unity in the Muslim world. We need more mutual support. We need to support each other from political, economic points of view, from the point of view of our activity in international organizations. And we contribute a lot to the strengthening of Islamic solidarity. Azerbaijan and Pakistan will continue to play their important role in this respect. In other words, we cooperate in all the areas, we have very clear intentions to strengthen this cooperation. For us Pakistan is one of our closest friends and allies and today we are very glad to host the President of the brotherly country in Azerbaijan. I hope that the visit will yield very good results and we will have very good memories of the visit.
Once again, Mr. President, welcome to Azerbaijan.