Official dinner reception was hosted on behalf of President Ilham Aliyev in honor of Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang VIDEO

Baku, May 14, AZERTAC

An official dinner reception has been hosted on behalf of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva in honor of President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Truong Tan Sang and his spouse Mai Thi Hanh.

The heads of state made speeches at the reception.

Speech by President Ilham Aliyev:

- Dear Mr. President,

Dear Mrs. Tran Le,

Ladies and gentlemen.

First of all, I would like to thank you for accepting my invitation to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan. Let me once again welcome the delegation you are leading.

Today we held very useful meetings. I am convinced that the exchange of views and discussions we have conducted on issues of mutual interest, the agreements reached and the documents signed will contribute to the further development of bilateral relations between our countries.

The basis of friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Vietnam was laid last century by the visits of the great son of the Vietnamese people Ho Chi Minh to Azerbaijan and of national leader of our people Heydar Aliyev to Vietnam. I believe that my last year's official visit to your country and your current visit to Azerbaijan as a continuation of that great tradition will further strengthen our relations and give a powerful impetus for the high-level contacts to gain momentum.

Today, there are great opportunities for cooperation and long-term partnership between our friendly countries in the political, military and economic spheres, including energy, transport, agriculture, etc. We are very interested in using all possible avenues to expand cooperation with Vietnam.

It is gratifying that the nature of our relationship has advanced to a qualitatively new level in recent years. I think it is commendable that the Center for studying the history and culture of Azerbaijan has been established within the Institute of Policy, Law and Management of Vietnam. I am convinced that this center will play an important role in communicating full information about the customs and traditions, history and culture of our country to the Vietnamese public.

I would also like to emphasize the Azerbaijani-Vietnamese friendship forum held in Baku last week. The event attended by the Vietnamese most of whom have graduated from higher educational institutions in Azerbaijan will further strengthen the friendship between our peoples. It is reassuring that these people have received education in Azerbaijan and are making a significant contribution to the development of many industries, particularly the oil and gas industry, of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

I believe that the business forum held with the participation of influential Vietnamese companies today will be very useful in terms of assessing the favorable economic environment and the tourism potential of our country. In addition, the participation of Vietnamese companies in the projects being implemented in our country’s oil and non-oil sectors is desirable from the standpoint of expanding our cooperation.

We also attach particular importance to multilateral cooperation with Vietnam. I think that by coordinating our activities within the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and other influential international organizations, we will be able to achieve successful results.

We have also had an exchange of views on regional security issues. I noted that the most painful problem in the region, the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, remains unresolved. As a result of the military aggression of Armenia, 20 per cent of Azerbaijani territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh, which is our historical land, and adjacent seven regions, have been occupied. As a result of Armenia's deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing, more than a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs.

There are four UN Security Council resolutions demanding an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories. There are similar decisions and resolutions of the OSCE, the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other influential international organizations. The summit of the Non-Aligned Movement saw 120 countries adopt a resolution on the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Our definitive position is that the conflict must be settled only in accordance with international law and within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

Mr. President, although our countries are far apart from a geographical point of view, I believe that our mutual efforts will bring the relations of friendship and cooperation between Azerbaijan and Vietnam even closer.

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