Baku, May 14, AZERTAC
After the signing ceremony, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Truong Tan Sang made joint statements for the press.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev:
- Dear Mr. President,
Let me sincerely welcome you to Azerbaijan once again. Welcome to Azerbaijan!
We attach great importance to your visit. I am confident that your visit will be an important step in the development of Vietnamese-Azerbaijani relations. Last year I paid an official visit to Vietnam. The visit was very successful. I will never forget the hospitality I enjoyed. I believe that your visit to Azerbaijan within one year suggests that the relations between us are developing very fast.
Today, we broadly discussed various aspects of our bilateral relations. We have seen once again that our positions overlap on many issues. First and foremost, the two sides intend to expand bilateral ties. In particular, we will develop our political relations. Currently, our political relations are at a very high level. This is confirmed by mutual visits. At the same time, we cooperate very successfully and support each other within international organizations. As a result of today's talks, we have reached the decision to continue supporting each other in all international organizations. This is a very important issue because it demonstrates the high level of bilateral relations.
Today, we also exchanged views on regional security issues. I informed Mr. President about the current events in our region. I noted that the biggest threat to regional security is posed by the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Unfortunately, the issue has remained unresolved for many years even though the UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on an unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian forces from Azerbaijani lands. Unfortunately, Armenia ignores them, does not fulfil these resolutions, thereby continuing the occupation.
As a result of this occupation and the policy of ethnic cleansing, more than a million Azerbaijanis have become refugees and IDPs in their own native land. We have been subjected to a policy of ethnic cleansing. Twenty per cent of our territory is still under occupation. I must say again that many international organizations have expressed their fair position on this issue. The UN and its Security Council, the OSCE, the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Non-Aligned Movement – all of these influential organizations have unequivocally supported the just cause of Azerbaijan and adopted relevant decisions and resolutions.
This and all other issues must be resolved on the basis of international law. Territorial integrity is a fundamental principle of international law. The international community must demonstrate a unified position on this issue. There can’t be any discrimination here. The territorial integrity of all countries should be approached in the same manner.
Of course, we also had an exchange of views on the work done in the field of economy. It is very positive that the turnover between us is high and can grow even further. To achieve this, we must prepare a plan of specific measures. We have talked about this. I believe that there are good opportunities for increasing the turnover. We have discussed issues of mutual investment. Both Vietnamese and Azerbaijani companies already have extensive experience in this matter. I am sure that business entities of the two countries will also have their say on this matter at the business forum upcoming today. In short, the economic and trade relations have a very positive impact on our overall cooperation. There are great prospects.
Of course, according to the tradition, we have also heard reports related to the oil and gas cooperation. A wonderful experience has been accumulated in this area. Azerbaijani specialists used to work in the oil and gas sector in Vietnam and share their experience. Today, too, there is room for that. We are now inviting Vietnamese companies to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has ample reserves of oil and gas. We would like Vietnamese companies to also work on our fields and to participate in their development. At the same time, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, SOCAR, has also evolved into an international energy company and is committed to working in Vietnam.
The focus today was also on cooperation in the humanitarian sphere. There is a wonderful experience and great tradition in this area. While visiting Vietnam last year, I met with Vietnamese students who received their education in Azerbaijan. It was a very cordial meeting and I invited them to Azerbaijan. I am glad that they came to Azerbaijan a week ago and saw their homes again. I am sure they have returned to their homes with great impressions. The Vietnamese-Azerbaijani friendship forum has also been held. Mr. President and I have expressed our views on this issue again today. We also want to train more Vietnamese students in Azerbaijan. Thus, our relations can become even broader.
In short, in conclusion of my remarks I should note that our relations are already at a high level. Two official visits have been paid over the course of one year. This in itself is a record. The essence of our relations is also very positive. They are very durable. In the future, as two friendly countries, we will further expand our relations and strengthen the Vietnamese-Azerbaijani friendship.
Mr. President, I sincerely welcome you to Azerbaijan again. I say to you once again - "Welcome!"