Baku, October 24, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received the U.S. President’s National Security Adviser John Bolton.
The head of state noted that Azerbaijan and the U.S. maintain successful cooperation in a variety of fields. President Ilham Aliyev said that as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States plays an important role in searching for ways to settle the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The head of state underlined that the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan have been occupied by Armenia for many years, adding that nearly one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs as a result of this occupation. “The Armenian occupation is a clear evidence of the gross violation of the norms and principles of international law. The UN Security Council adopted relevant resolutions on the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Armenia, which ignores these resolutions, tries to perpetuate the status quo and freeze the situation, which is unacceptable.” The head of state pointed out that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored and that the country hopes that the activities of the Minsk Group co-chair countries will yield practical results.
President Ilham Aliyev noted that Azerbaijan participates in the peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan and the country has recently increased the number of its servicemen there up to 120, describing it as a good sign of the country`s contribution to Resolute Support Mission. “Azerbaijan also provides important transportation and logistic support to these operations.”
Touching upon relations in other areas, the head of state underlined that numerous U.S. companies have been successfully operating in energy and non-energy sectors in Azerbaijan as investors and contractors for many years. “Azerbaijan and the United States enjoy high-level cooperation in energy sector, which results in the implementation of huge global projects. And this contributes to the regional development.” President Ilham Aliyev said that the Southern Gas Corridor is of great importance among these projects. “Worth $40 billion, this largest infrastructure project in Europe is about to complete and will contribute to ensuring European energy security and regional stability.” The head of state thanked the U.S. government for supporting the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project. Noting that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to John Bolton`s visit, President Ilham Aliyev expressed confidence that this trip will contribute to strengthening partnership ties between the two countries.
Thanking for the reception, the U.S. President’s National Security Adviser John Bolton said he is pleased to pay his first visit to Azerbaijan and expressed hope that he will visit the country again. Stressing that relations with Azerbaijan are a top priority for the U.S., John Bolton said that the importance of ties in political, economic, security and other areas has increased. Pointing out that Azerbaijan is located in an extremely strategic part of the world, John Bolton noted that during the visit to Azerbaijan they intend to discuss the current state of relations as well as threats to international peace and security. Touching upon the economic cooperation, John Bolton stressed that taking into consideration Azerbaijan`s key role in international energy issues, the U.S. government wants to expand cooperation with Azerbaijan in the energy sector as well as in other areas, including the fight against international terrorism and human trafficking. John Bolton noted that the U.S. very well understands that the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a top priority for Azerbaijan, adding that one of the main goals of his visit is to get more information about how Azerbaijan assesses the state of the settlement of the dispute.
The sides discussed various areas of strategic cooperation between Azerbaijan and the U.S., and expressed confidence that the two countries will maintain successful cooperation.
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