The Azerbaijan State News Agency


Azerbaijani, Serbian presidents made press statements VIDEO

Belgrade, November 23, AZERTAC

Following the ceremony of signing documents, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic have made press statements.

The President of Serbia made the statement first.

Statement by President Aleksandar Vucic

-Dear President Aliyev,

Dear friend, distinguished ministers in the government of Azerbaijan, distinguished ministers in the government of the Republic of Serbia, dear journalists.

I am very happy to be able to host today in Belgrade a true friend of our country, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. We had excellent discussions as of this morning, and I am a bit sorry, because due to overall situation he cannot stay longer in our country. But we believe that within short period of time we will have the opportunity again to host him here in our Serbia. We have many things in common with Azerbaijan starting from that we both relentlessly preserve our territorial integrity and help each other in the international arena and international institutions and organizations precisely by observing the UN Charter and international public norms based on order in organization of United Nations, because this is the only thing we can rely on. Today, we learnt a lot from President Aliyev. Only few things left for the international law, apart from several dozens of countries stick to international public law, and since we believe this is the only possibility and the only option for our future. Anyway, our relationship with Azerbaijan as of today when we signed this statement and memorandum of strategic partnership in alliance we put this cooperation on a new level. We discussed all important issues today, starting from how to cooperate in the field of energy. Azerbaijan is a super-power when it comes to production and export of gas. And in seven, eight or ten years Azerbaijan will be exporting more than 35 billion cubic meters of gas to date and the export is around 22 billion cubic meters of gas. Out of that more than half goes to the European countries and that is why we work on establishing interconnector between Serbia and Bulgaria so that we could provide in advance important amounts and quantities of gas from our friends in Baku. We discussed the electricity transmission because there is a huge European project that is going to connect Georgia, Romania, Hungary and Azerbaijan. We are going to discuss with our European partners to join, because this is the underwater cable of a huge power. It goes under the Black Sea in order to successfully join our transmission network to the Romanian or Hungarian one, so that we could buy energy in the future and they buy secure and guarantee full energy safety for our country. It is also because of the growth of the industrial production in our country and for constantly bigger needs of our citizens. We are going to need this energy safety and we are very grateful in that regard to our friends from Azerbaijan, and in particular to President Aliyev for understanding this. Serbia is, of course, a reliable partner, and I made a joke a while ago. President Aliyev told me that he couldn’t believe when he saw, they built to us as you know a road, a highway actually to Tartak to Brelina. This league Brelina section was built by them. It was really difficult section and they delivered on time, almost without a day of delay which was strange for us and they surprised when we one year and a half earlier we paid the entire debt that we took back in 2011. We fully paid in advance, because countries usually don’t do that, but Serbia is in custom of doing things like that whenever we can to repay our debts. Why I said this, because also in that regard Azerbaijani side understands that Serbia is a very reliable partner, as we have always known that President Aliyev and Azerbaijan are absolutely a reliable partner not only to us but to everybody. I told President Aliyev, because of all transparent protocol matters to sign some things, but for us his word is enough. Because we believe in his word more than into any signature whatsoever. That’s quite enough for me. When he says something, I know it’s going be like that. So, for us this is really important. We discussed many other important issues. We talked about the lack of fertilizers to how they phrase the petrochemical facilities and many other things. We discussed about military technical cooperation, and all other issues between our ministries and for promotion of cooperation in international arena. So, literally at all levels cooperation within the agriculture, very important agreements in the area of labour, social welfare that are signed today by the ministries of the two countries. Today we are going to continue discussions and I expect that in coming 20 days I pay an unofficial but important and essential visit to Baku, Azerbaijan to discuss few these tremendously important topics for us. And I will be accompanied by several ministers from the government of Serbia precisely to deepen this strategic partnership that we inaugurated today and with very concrete agreements and tangible steps. I saw this is not a joke, even if it might look to someone like a joke. Ilham Aliyev is the most popular man in Europe now. It’s incredible, how incredible changes happened in Europe. They usually didn’t have time for him. Now they have all the time in the world for him. It’s all reserved for Ilham Aliyev, since they need his gas and everything that Azerbaijan can offer, now, he is quite loved over there. But I know that he is a smart guy. He sees everything, he understands everything, and I’m a bit jealous to tell you the truth. They call me only when it comes to Kosovo, and when they need something about Kosovo, when they need to slap me on my head. But they call him because they love him, they are begging him, asking him for everything. But I am really happy to see how friend of mine, and a great friend of Serbia succeeded and he didn’t change. He is a man who has always kept safe his country, respected his own country and took care of his own country and interests of his own country. Let some other think whether they might change meanwhile or change their approaches and principles. Serbia is a small country. We do not have gas. We have lithium but we are the genius. We are the only country that gave up lithium production worldwide today. When some smarter people come to power they will know, you know, to put this back on track. But we’re going to keep our country safe, and at least, as half successfully as Mr. Aliyev did for his Azerbaijan. We can always see who true friends of our country are. We are going to make the best possible cooperation with them and I’m very happy. I really look forward to the rest of the day but also to our meetings in Azerbaijan. I hope, I look forward to another meeting here in Belgrade, but on that occasion ask President of Azerbaijan to spend a bit more time in our country. Because here we feel hurt when you don’t spend even or at least one night in our country. So, we believe that we can show our hospitality, and we believe that you can feel nowhere in Europe like at home like you can do here in Serbia. Once again, thank you very much. I wish all best to your people. Many things are ahead of us. I’m very very happy because of everything we signed today. I know that many more things are yet about to come and that we will be able to do many more things in the interest and to the benefit of the people and citizens of Azerbaijan and Serbia. Thank you once again. Thank you. I kindly ask President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev to take the floor.

x x x

The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan then made the statement.

Statement by President Ilham Aliyev

- Dear Mr. President,

Dear ladies and gentlemen.

First of all, Mr. President, I would like to thank you for the hospitality you have extended to me and the delegation. Thank you very much for the invitation to visit your beautiful country. Also, let me thank you for your kind words about Azerbaijan. These are the words of a true friend. President Vucic and I have friendly relations, and I believe that this factor has played an important role in the rapid development of Serbian-Azerbaijani relations.

The documents signed between us constitute the legal basis of our bilateral relations, and among them, of course, the documents on strategic partnership have a special place. We are strategic partners in the true sense of the word because we cooperate successfully in many areas and our cooperation has strategic goals.

Serbia and Azerbaijan always defend and support each other in the international arena. As President Vucic has said, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our countries are supported on a reciprocal basis, and this position is unequivocal, unchanging and will remain so. At the same time, I would like to say a few words to comment on the words of President Vucic regarding international organizations. Our lands were under occupation for many years. The world's leading international organizations adopted important and truthful decisions and resolutions regarding this occupation. Among them, of course, I should mention the four resolutions of the UN Security Council. Those resolutions demanded an immediate, unconditional and complete withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijani lands. The UN General Assembly, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the OSCE, i.e. all the leading international organizations adopted decisions and resolutions in support of our position, but the issue was not resolved. What does it indicate? It shows that decisions and resolutions of international organizations and their implementation are selective in nature. In some cases, resolutions of the UN Security Council are implemented in a matter of days, in others they are implemented within a few hours. But as far as our issue was concerned, we had been waiting for the implementation of these decisions for 27 years but could not achieve that. This is why the world community should come up with suggestions regarding the future of international organizations. We in Azerbaijan are ready for that. Because if the decisions made are not implemented, if they are not fulfilled, this, of course, is food for thought.

As a result, when we saw that all these efforts, including the negotiations, were proving ineffective, we used the factor of force. International law gave us this opportunity, the UN Charter gave us this opportunity. The right to self-defense should be applicable to all states, including Azerbaijan. We restored our territorial integrity by force, we restored justice, and the people of Azerbaijan have been rebuilding the liberated lands for two years now – restoring buildings, rebuilding the entire territory covering an area of more than 10,000 square kilometers.

Of course, we analyze these and other developments from the perspective of the interests of our countries, and today we touched upon many international issues in a bilateral format. At the same time, we have discussed regional security matters. As my friend Aleksandar said, we have discussed cooperation in the field of energy, and these discussions will be continued today. There are ample opportunities for cooperation in the fields of natural gas and electricity. Today, Azerbaijan’s rich gas resources play a role in the energy security of many countries, and this role will continue to grow. Of course, first of all, we intend to deepen cooperation with friendly countries in this and all other fields. In particular, cooperation in the military and technical field is already underway, and additional steps will be taken to deepen and widen this cooperation.

In a nutshell, we have laid out an agenda for the coming years. Of course, the presidents will keep this agenda in mind and monitor the implementation of these issues. To do this more promptly and efficiently, of course, we need to meet frequently.

I have invited my dear friend, President Vucic, to visit Azerbaijan. I believe that such a visit can be organized both before the end of the year and after. Of course, I will come here again. My visit to Serbia is slightly overdue, it has been somewhat delayed, because President Vucic was in Azerbaijan three and a half years ago. I also had to pay a reciprocal visit. But due to the intervention of COVID, it was slightly delayed. But I am very happy to be back to your beautiful country. We will have many such visits. Our friendship will be eternal. Thank you again for your hospitality and attention.

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