Tehran, March 5, AZERTAC
Following a ceremony of signing documents, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani have made statements for the press.
Statement of President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Mr. President!
First of all, I want to thank you for your invitation and the hospitality extended to me. I am very glad to be visiting the brotherly Iranian land. This is my third visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran in the last three years. In total, I have met with President Rouhani eight times over the past three years. This in itself is an indicator that the Iranian-Azerbaijani friendship and fraternal relations are developing very successfully and rapidly. Our relations are based on ancient history, culture and common religion. On this solid foundation, we have established excellent cooperation. Our political relations are at high level. We support each other in all international organizations. We express our gratitude to the Islamic Republic of Iran for its efforts to resolve the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan. This position is based on the principles of international law and justice. The territorial integrity of any country is inviolable.
There are good results in the economic sphere. Our turnover increased by more than 70 per cent last year. This is a result of the agreements reached. All the documents signed are being implemented. Last year alone, 18 documents were signed as part of my visit to Iran and the visit of President Rouhani to Azerbaijan. Today we signed two other documents. This creates a solid legal basis for our relations. The Iranian side has started to invest in Azerbaijan, and we are grateful for that. At the same time, as President Rouhani has stressed, Azerbaijan has mobilized significant financial resources for the construction of the Rasht-Astara railway. A year ago, I said in this room that Azerbaijan would build a railway to the Azerbaijani-Iranian border in 2016, and we achieved that. This is already a reality. Moreover, the railway bridge over the Astarachay River has been built and put into operation. The first train has recently crossed the border via the new bridge.
The North-South transport corridor being implemented jointly is a historic event. At the same time, this project is making an important contribution to regional cooperation. There is a growing number of trilateral formats in the region now.
Great progress has been made in the field of energy. We have joined our electricity lines and there is an exchange now. There are good opportunities for cooperation in the oil and gas sector. The Iranian company is an active participant and investor in the Shah Deniz-2 project. Today, we have a wide exchange of views on the implementation of joint oil and gas operations in the Caspian Sea. I want to emphasize the activities of the joint economic commission. The Commission is working very actively. It executed all the instructions of presidents in a timely manner and at a high level. Iranian-Azerbaijani relations are important not only for our people but also for the entire region. Our close ties make an important contribution to stability in the region.
I should note that the current year has been declared a Year of Islamic Solidarity in Azerbaijan. We are committed to strengthening the unity and solidarity of the Islamic world. We are very committed to our national-spiritual and religious values. Two months later, Baku will host the Fourth Islamic Solidarity Games. This will not only be a sporting event. It will signify unity of the Islamic world. I am sure that Iranian athletes will achieve a great success in this competition and reach high places. I should note that we attach particular importance to the development of Iranian-Azerbaijani relations and appreciate them very highly. My visit will provide great support for the development of these ties.
Thank you very much for your hospitality again, and I would like take this opportunity to invite you, Mr. President, to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan.
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