Baku, August 13, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Turkey Hulusi Akar, Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, Army General Yasar Guler, Commander of the Turkish Land Forces, Army General Umit Dundar, Commander of the Turkish Air Force, Army General Hasan Kucukakyuz, Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, Admiral Adnan Ozbal and other members of the military delegation visiting Azerbaijan.
Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Erkan Ozoral was also present at the meeting.
Welcoming the guests, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Dear Minister, distinguished guests!
I sincerely welcome you to Azerbaijan – welcome to Azerbaijan! Today is the last day of the Turkish-Azerbaijani joint military exercises. The first stage of military exercises is coming to an end. This is a very significant event that once again demonstrates our unity and brotherhood. Exercises have been held in various cities of our country for several days. These exercises are of great importance from the point of view of military cooperation. At the same time, they are very important and useful for the strengthening of relations between our people and brotherhood between nations. This is a tradition. As you know, more than 10 joint exercises are held in both Azerbaijan and Turkey every year. Therefore, these exercises have become a common occurrence. There is no need to look for any extraordinary circumstances here. We are also seeing that these exercises have caused some concern in certain countries. But there is no reason for this. This is another manifestation of Turkish-Azerbaijani unity and brotherhood.
As is the case in all other areas, our cooperation in the military and military-technical spheres is developing fast. It is no secret that Turkey currently possesses a strong military-industrial potential and we are benefiting from this potential. We are very delighted that Turkey produces the most sophisticated weaponry and military equipment today. Of course, we want to continue to benefit from these opportunities, as we have done to this day. I am confident that as is the case in all other areas, Turkey will be our number one partner in the area of military-technical cooperation in the near future. As you know, our relations in the political, economic and other spheres are an example for all countries. As you may know, I have repeatedly said that there are no countries in the world today that would be as close and attached to each other as Turkey and Azerbaijan. And this is true. This is a fact based on both historical and ethnic roots. At the same time, we as two brotherly countries are further strengthening this unity through our policies.
A month ago, as a result of yet another attack by the Armenian armed forces on Azerbaijan, servicemen and a civilian person were killed, which once again shows that Armenia’s aggressive policy against Azerbaijan continues. Turkey was the first country to unequivocally support us. My dear brother, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, you, dear Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other officials have repeatedly made very harsh and serious statements that Turkey will always be next to Azerbaijan. This further encourages us and once again shows how close we are to each other.
I believe that the successful implementation of these exercises is a very important event, of course. These exercises will be continued in the future. I believe that the intensity of these exercises will be increased from now on. Naturally, there is a need for this. I am sure that our brothers, the personnel of the Turkish Armed Forces visiting Azerbaijan these days, saw that they are perfectly at home here. I am convinced that after returning to Turkey, they will keep these memories in their hearts. Welcome again!
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Minister of National Defense of Turkey Hulusi Akar said:
- Thank you! I am very grateful to you, dear Mr. President.
We express our respect and gratitude to you again for taking the time to receive us. I would also like to convey to Your Excellency the greetings and good wishes from Mr. President.
I want to note that both we and Mr. President are looking forward to your visit to Turkey with your family as soon as possible. We are, indeed, one nation in two states, and everyone, young and old, knows this. In Turkey, the pulse of our 83 million people beats in unison with Azerbaijan.
From the first day, all our 83 million people led by Mr. President angrily condemned the latest attack in Tovuz. We see that these provocations represent a large-scale attack and contradict international law, that this is a continuation of criminal actions since the time of the Khojaly genocide and the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh. You are aware of our position on this. Azerbaijan is our brother. We are like two sons of one mother. We do feel perfectly at home here.
All this should not just remain in words but be implemented. The cooperation between the Armed Forces of Turkey and the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan has always existed, and not only today. As you know, with the development of relations with the Republic of Turkey, which was the first to recognize the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991, the ties between our armies began to develop. In particular, we have framework military agreements and agreements on cooperation in the field of military education. We are cooperating in the field of the defense industry. As a logical result of all this, we have a strategic cooperation agreement signed in 2010. Thus, within the framework of these agreements, our trips, contacts and joint presence at exercises are quite natural activities. So far, we have done everything necessary for the sovereignty, independence and security of our countries, and we will continue to do so.
Naturally, these exercises are highly important. Exercises are like a laboratory where theory turns into practice. We have seen an example of this today. We have witnessed great love, great enthusiasm and great inspiration. Everyone's eyes were on fire, people not only felt unity but also experienced the joy of being able to do the job.
So we have seen a continuation of our cooperation, not the completion of these exercises today but of just one stage. Military exercises and military education are a continuous process. Therefore, activities in this direction will be continued.
Therefore, the Republic of Turkey and our 83 million people led by Mr. President are indeed watching this activity here with great love and enthusiasm. As Ataturk said, the joy of Azerbaijan is our joy and its sorrow is our sorrow too. This is truly a natural result of being one nation.
Together with the Chief of the General Staff, the Commanders of the Land Forces and the Naval Forces, we consider this a very important assignment and an important matter.
We have told our friends here that Azerbaijan is not alone. Let everyone know this. We are together, we are one, we are one nation! We stand for peace and stability. We are supporters of peace and tranquility not only in the sense of security and tranquility of our countries, we stand for peace and tranquility in the entire Caucasus, in the entire region. On the other hand, we want everyone to know that we will not allow our rights and interests to be violated, and will do everything necessary to protect them.
Thank you for your welcome again. Thank you!
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much! Please convey my sincere greetings to my dear brother President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
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