Ankara, April 25, AZERTAC
Following the ceremony of signing documents, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan have made press statements.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
- My dear brother, dear Mr. President.
Ladies and gentlemen.
First of all, my dear brother, I want to express my gratitude for the hospitality extended to me and our delegation. As you noted, I am paying my first visit after being elected president to the fraternal country. This is natural. As you have noted, this is a tradition. It shows that Turkey and Azerbaijan are the closest countries to each other today. We are the closest allies on a global scale.
My dear brother was the first world leader to congratulate me on winning the presidential election. The inauguration ceremony was held in Baku a week ago. Two days ago, we have completed the formation of a new government, and yesterday I was already in Ankara. We started meetings with my dear brother yesterday and we are continuing them today. Today's ceremony, the discussions held yesterday and today show once again that the unity, brotherhood and friendship between Turkey and Azerbaijan are strong and have a great future.
First of all, I want to sincerely congratulate my dear brother and the entire fraternal Turkish people on the successes you have achieved. Thanks to the leadership of my dear brother, Turkey has covered a long and glorious road. We, the people of Azerbaijan who love Turkey very much, are very delighted with the development your fraternal country has achieved. The economic, political and social development of Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pleases us a lot. Turkey is a force on a global scale today, its power is gradually growing, friends rejoice and ill-wishers are upset. We in Azerbaijan are very delighted to see the development of Turkey. I am sure that Turkey will continue to follow the path of success and victories. Taking this opportunity, I would like to invite my dear brother to pay his first visit after the election to Azerbaijan, so that this tradition continues.
We stand by each other on all matters. As I have already mentioned, there are no other countries in the world that would be so close to each other. We are always together in terms of ethnic roots, culture, history and common interests.
There is no other country in the world that would provide us with so much support in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as Turkey. Turkey is always with us and supports the fair position of Azerbaijan in all international organizations. This support and solidarity give us additional strength. The Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved in accordance with the norms and principles of international law and on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions. The territorial integrity of our country should be restored.
Azerbaijan, in turn, also always supports Turkey in all international organizations, always demonstrates solidarity with Turkey in its fight against terror, and always stands by Turkey. I congratulate the entire fraternal Turkish people on the successful Olive Branch operation. The Azerbaijani people have always displayed solidarity in this matter. This is a common issue for us.
Turkey and Azerbaijan today are jointly implementing very large projects in our region. As my dear brother has said, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars and TANAP are historic projects. These projects have been implemented thanks to our will, initiative and unity. Today we are redrawing the energy and transport map of Eurasia. These projects multiply our strength, strengthen regional cooperation and ensure stability in the region. In other words, the initiatives and projects we are implementing together are not just economic, they also carry a tremendous political meaning. These projects strengthen security and stability. I am sure that our future joint projects will also be successfully implemented.
We are also increasing mutual investment. To date, Azerbaijan has invested about 14 billion dollars in the Turkish economy, and Turkey has invested more than 12 billion dollars in the economy of Azerbaijan. Such investments can only be made in fraternal countries. The opening of TANAP and the “Star: refinery in the near future will, of course, further enhance our capabilities. I should also note that the largest port in the Aegean region, the port of Petlym, was built at the expense of Azerbaijani investments. It is the third largest port in Turkey. We have come close to the signing of a preferential trade agreement. I do hope that this agreement will be signed in the near future and the trade turnover will therefore increase even more.
Joint military exercises are conducted in the field of defense. Turkey has a well-developed defense industry, and we meet the needs of our army also with the military products manufactured in Turkey. In today's talks we reached the decision that steps would continue to be taken in this direction in the future. We see that Turkey has a very developed defense industry, and the products manufactured meet the highest standards.
We always stand by each other in all spheres – in the sphere of culture, education, art, and in the humanitarian sphere. We share an ancient history. We also share recent history. In May of this year, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Azerbaijan Republic. Following this, we will celebrate the liberation by the Caucasian Islamic Army and the army of the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic of Baku from Armenian bandit detachments. This is our glorious history. It shows that we have always been together, and we are together today. I am sure that we will always be together.
My dear brother, let me express my gratitude to you once again for the great attention and hospitality and wish the brotherly Turkish people continued prosperity and progress. Thank you.
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