Ankara, March 15, AZERTAC
Following a ceremony of signing documents, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan have made statements for the press.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
- My dear brother, dear Mr. President!
First of all, I would like to express condolences to the brotherly people of Turkey on behalf of the Azerbaijani people and the state over the ruthless terrorist attack in Ankara two days ago. May Allah rest the souls of the dead and bestow healing upon the wounded. May Allah grant patience and endurance to the families and friends of the victims.
We strongly condemn this heinous terrorist act and reiterate that we stand by the Turkish people today. Our unity is eternal and indestructible. We are always together on both joyful and difficult days. We in Azerbaijan are absolutely convinced that the terrorist attacks against the Turkish people and the state will not have any results. They can’t crush the Turkish state, influence the will of the Turkish people and force Turkey to deviate from its path.
For the past 25 years, Turkey and Azerbaijan demonstrate unity and solidarity. Twenty-five years ago, Azerbaijan regained its state independence, and Turkey was the first country to recognize it. We will never forget that. It was essentially a recommendation to other countries and signaled a rapid process of recognition of Azerbaijan as an independent state. Over these years we have been successfully cooperating in all fields. Today, Turkey and Azerbaijan are the closest countries worldwide. Our relations are underpinned by unity and brotherhood between our two peoples. This is the main issue. It is on this foundation that we are building a magnificent building of our friendship and brotherhood.
As noted by my dear brother, we successfully cooperate in all fields. The documents signed here today and the negotiations held once again demonstrate our unity. We always support each other in the international plane. We are very pleased that Turkey has become a global powerhouse. Turkey has been able to climb the highest peaks in recent years, thanks to the tireless work of my dear brother. Turkey's role in the world is enhancing and its position is strengthening. We are pleased with the trust and affection with which the international community treats Turkey.
It is no coincidence that Turkey hosted the G20 summit in November of last year. We are pleased that Turkey invited Azerbaijan to this prestigious event. Turkey could invite only one country, and it was Azerbaijan. My dear brother, I would like to reaffirm my appreciation to you personally and to the Turkish people for this brotherhood.
The stronger Turkey, the stronger we will be. Our strength lies in unity. We are together. We stand by each other in all international matters. Turkey has always supported a fair settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in accordance with international law. This support is still being provided today. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan has been violated. It must be restored. The decisions and resolutions adopted by international organizations must be implemented. In this issue we are faced with double standards, and the support of such a large state as Turkey is very important to us.
We are also united through military cooperation. Our military have recently conducted joint exercises. This has also become a wonderful tradition. Our cooperation in the military and technological sphere is also deepening. We are already buying military equipment and weaponry from Turkey. Turkey's successes in this area, of course, reinforce the defense potential of Azerbaijan.
As noted by my dear brother, we are united through energy projects as well. In 2012, Turkey and Azerbaijan launched the TANAP project. If we hadn’t launched the TANAP project back then, the Southern Gas Corridor project could not be realized today. Today, Turkey and Azerbaijan play a leading role in the implementation of this corridor. We will try to implement this transnational project in time, as it requires major financial resources. I am sure that in two years we will celebrate the opening of the TANAP project. By the way, we laid the foundation of this project in Kars together.
The project we are jointly implementing in the field of transport links continents. Today, this issue was widely discussed, and there are already new opportunities in the transport sector. They are being explored. We would very much like to see the volume of goods coming from Turkey increasing and being transported through Azerbaijan in various directions. In order to achieve this, we have already taken practical steps.
Turkey has a special role in strengthening the intercultural dialogue. As noted by Mr. President, next month, the Global Alliance of Civilizations forum will be held in Baku. This forum was also initiated by esteemed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The contributions of Turkey and Azerbaijan to world culture are highly valued on the world scene. We are fighting Islamophobia together. Today, Islamophobia has become a state policy in some countries. Unfortunately, many media organizations are conducting a targeted campaign against Islam, Islamic culture, our customs and traditions. We are seeing attempts to sully and tarnish Islam, and identify it with terror. This is intolerable. This can lead and is already leading to inter-civilizational problems in the world. Today we are seeing a refugee crisis. And again, the main burden falls on Turkey. For several months now, Turkey has been unselfishly housing millions of refugees and displaced persons on its territory. Turkey spends heavily on this. As a country suffering from a humanitarian disaster itself, we know how difficult this issue is. In the early 1990s, Azerbaijan was also faced with a humanitarian catastrophe in the aftermath of Armenian occupation.
Today, when these migrants flee for their lives to Europe, look what awaits them there. They are humiliated, insulted, put in cages and subjected to a campaign of utter lies. But where are human values, democracy, human rights and mercy?! We don’t see that. Therefore, Turkey and Azerbaijan are among countries that raise their voice. We can’t remain indifferent to the bitter fate of these people. On behalf of the Azerbaijani people I want to once again express our gratitude to the leadership of Turkey for taking up this heavy burden. Turkey has once again demonstrated to the world how it is possible to overcome the refugee crisis.
In short, the relations between us cover practically all areas. I want to note again – I believe and am confident that this view is shared by everyone in Turkey and Azerbaijan – there are no countries in the world today that would be attached to each other like Turkey and Azerbaijan. This unity is our national heritage. We are protecting and will be protecting it. I am confident that in the coming years we will see even more impressive victories.
I would like to express my gratitude for the hospitality extended to me and the delegation. I wish the brotherly Turkish people happiness, peace, tranquility and new victories.