Baku, September 17, AZERTAC
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov has met his Turkish counterpart Feridun Sinirlioglu to discuss the development of Turkish-Azerbaijani relations.
Following the meeting a press conference was held.
The sides focused on the issue of the completion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project. Elmar Mammadyarov said: "All the work has been done on the sides of Azerbaijan and Georgia. We are confident that by the end of this year and beginning of next year Turkey will also complete the work. It is a strategic project and is important for both the South Caucasus and Central Asia.
We have discussed these issues with Kazakhstan too. Turkmenistan and China are also very interested in this project. The railway brings the nations closer to each other. "
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister noted that the meeting also discussed regional issues. "We have touched upon the issue of the Syrian refugees. It is an important issue for us. Azerbaijan also faced a similar situation in its recent history. Nearly two million refugees have settled in Turkey. The problem should be eliminated as soon as possible and the people should return to their lands."
Elmar Mammadyarov stressed that Turkey has always supported Azerbaijan in settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh dispute. We are grateful to the brotherly country for it, he said.
The Turkish FM said that Turkey and Azerbaijan are not only fraternal countries, but also strategic partners.
'Azerbaijan is a rapidly developing country in the region and Turkey is very glad for it. Turkey attaches great importance to the role of Azerbaijan in this region, always supports Azerbaijan and will remain committed to it,' he said.
Feridun Sinirlioglu noted that the occupation of Azerbaijani lands is the biggest problem and impedes development of the region and Turkey considers it important to resolve this problem within the framework of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity. Solution of this problem is essential for the region's development and security. The sooner the world community realizes that, the better it would be. Armenia should be much more interested in solving of the problem, he said.
The Minister added that the steps that lead to the deepening of the conflict must be avoided. The recent so-called "municipal elections" in Nagorno-Karabakh are misleading and provocative step and we condemn it. It is obvious that this step will have no effect.
Feridun Sinirlioglu said that special attention is paid to the development of trade turnover between the two countries. Necessary measures are taken for security and fight against terrorism. Security of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, TANAP and TAP projects is very important for Turkey and all measures are being taken for it.