President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met on October 31 at “Ulduz” palace with President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze, who had arrived to attend the inauguration ceremony of the President-elect of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Having congratulated Ilham Aliyev on his election to the highest office of the state on behalf of the people of Georgia and himself, the head of the Georgian state has expressed hope for further developing of the Azerbaijan-Georgia relations in the spirit of brotherhood and good neighboring that had become firmly established due to the invaluable role of President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, has thanked President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze for the warm words and expressed on behalf of Heydar Aliyev and himself the gratitude for Head of Georgia’s coming to the ceremony of inauguration. He stressed that Azerbaijan leadership’s polity towards Georgia will remain steady..

With the meeting completed, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze have answered the questions from journalists.

QUESTION: Ilham Heydarovich, what does the presence of Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze at the inauguration mean for you?

ILHAM ALIYEV: With all my I thanked highly esteemed Eduard Amvrosiyevich for finding time and coming to attend the inauguration. It one again indicates fraternal character of the relations between our two countries, mainly predetermined at this stage by the personal friendship and mutual respect of our peoples’ leaders - Eduard Shevardnadze and Heydar Aliyev. And I am very happy that despite the great pressure of work and processes expected in Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze had found the time and arrived. I am very grateful to him for that. Relations between our countries will be developed as before, on the base of brotherhood, mutual support and understanding. And I hope the policy of succession in Azerbaijan and the one being carried out in Georgia will promote further rapprochement of our countries and peoples.

QUESTION: Mr. Shevardnadze, what do you expect for the new Azerbaijan President with respect to Georgia.

EDUARD SHEVARDNADZE: I can add nothing to what Ilham Heydarovich just has said. We, two Presidents – Heydar Aliyevich and I – have managed to lay a solid foundation of the friendship and fraternity between our peoples. Together we used to solve economic problems, the most complicated problems related to the oil pipeline, and other questions. The most important thing is what we have just agreed on – to continue friendship in the same spirit. Friendship between presidents is the best example for peoples. Heydar Aiyev and I have managed to demonstrate to our peoples that it serves the interests both Azerbaijani and Georgian people. I am happy that we will do so with Ilham Aliyev. I have known him no so long as Heydar Aliyevich – since his study in Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and used to pay attention to him. I think the people of Azerbaijan and Heydar Aliyevich have made a right choice and Azerbaijan will have happy future.

The meeting was attended by Ambassador of Georgia to Azerbaijan Zurab Gumbaridze and president of the International Oil Corporation of Georgia Giya Chanturia.

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