Presidents of Azerbaijan and Israel made press statements VIDEO
Baku, May 30, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the State of Israel Isaac Herzog have made press statements.
First, the President of Azerbaijan made a press statement.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Mr. President.
Dear guests, ladies and gentlemen.
Mr. President, welcome to our country. I am very glad to have an opportunity to host you in Azerbaijan. Your visit demonstrates close partnership relations between our countries. And I am sure that the visit will strengthen our bilateral ties. We have very active political dialogue. And we communicate with Mr. President by telephone and now. During the official visit, we had more opportunities to address important issues on our bilateral agenda. Opening of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Israel this year, of course, will elevate relations on a high level and at the same time, will create more opportunities to have closer interaction.
Looking at some economic figures, I saw that our trade turnover is more than 1.7 billion US dollars, which is a substantial amount. But I think, in the coming years we need to try to diversify the trade turnover. Hopefully, as a result of joint projects, which we plan to implement, we will have a more balanced trade turnover. And it will not only depend on energy factor, though, for many years Azerbaijan continues to be reliable supplier of crude oil to Israel. This actually demonstrates also close cooperation in the energy field.
Today, during the discussions we also addressed the issue of how to expand cooperation in the energy field. Because we see great opportunities of investment projects, projects related to creation of interconnectors and potential projects of cooperation in third countries.
We also discussed our plans and what has already been done in the area of irrigation and agriculture. We know about the great achievements of Israel in this area, and we want to use this positive experience in order to increase productivity of our agricultural products and to diversify the market of our exports.
One of the areas, which we started to cooperate in relatively recently, is the area of cybersecurity. We are very glad that active communications in this area have started. Today, it is not a secret that cybersecurity is an important part of national security of every country. Definitely, great experience of Israeli companies in this area will be helpful to us including training of young generation, education, which will be fundamental factor in order to achieve our goals and protect ourselves from threats.
Talking about threats, I would also like to mention with pleasure, the long-lasting cooperation in the area of defense industry. Azerbaijan has had access to modern Israeli equipment in this area for many years, which helps us to modernize our defense capability and be able to protect our statehood, our values, our national interests, and our territorial integrity.
Today, we also talked about how to enhance the level of mutual tourism traffic. We have only four flights per week, which is, I think, not sufficient. And instructions have been given to members of our delegations to increase the number of flights not only on a seasonal basis - because we have usually more flights during the summertime - but also on a permanent basis, and also to explore the opportunities, to have more presentations of capabilities and facilities in Israel so that we could invite more tourists from Israel and tell them more about centuries-long Jewish community’s life in Azerbaijan. This is a big asset for our country. Representatives of Jewish community, citizens of Azerbaijan, people who contributed and contribute a lot to the modern development of our country. They fought shoulder-to-shoulder with us, with all the other representatives of ethnic groups in Azerbaijan for our independence, and for our territorial integrity. And today this factor is important not only for successful development of Azerbaijan, intercultural peace and friendship but also for our bilateral relations. I know that Azerbaijani representatives who live in Israel also play an important role in building bridges between our countries. We have diaspora organizations of Azerbaijanis all over the world. But only in one country, in Israel, they are predominantly consist of people of Jewish origin. And this is really a demonstration that there is no distinction, no division between us. We have a centuries-long history of interaction, friendship, mutual support, and as an independent country - Azerbaijan is only 31 years old - but we have ancient history. Jews in Azerbaijan always were very active and a prominent part of society and remain as that today. So these are so-called cultural bridges between our countries. Therefore, their contribution to our bilateral strategic cooperation is very important.
We really have a very broad agenda. I just have a limited time for this otherwise, we would have talked maybe for hours about the broad agenda of our bilateral cooperation. Of course, members of delegations will be engaged in close interaction today and tomorrow.
In conclusion, I want to express gratitude to Mr. President for accepting my invitation and visiting Azerbaijan with an official visit and wish him and the people of Israel peace, success, prosperity. I wish you a pleasant stay in Azerbaijan. Welcome once again.
Then, the Israeli President made a press statement.
Statement by President Isaac Herzog
- Thank you, Mr. President. My visit to Azerbaijan is the dream for me and my nation that has come true. This visit is of great importance for the people of Israel and for bilateral relations between the peoples of Azerbaijan and Israel.
Mr. President, thank you for your hospitality and your invitation. As a reciprocation, I would like to invite You and the First Lady to pay a state visit to Israel. It was really an expression of the incredible relationship - which has developed over the years - the cornerstone of which was laid down by your late illustrious father. President Aliyev, who then established your nation and you developed it so tremendously in the last few years.
Our relationships are based on deep roots. The roots of the Jewish heritage in this country, unique heritage by the way, is an example in its own, as Jewish communities who came forward 120-130 years ago and onwards contributed so much to the story of Azerbaijan in the world. Together with a joint strategic vision that we have for peace and common good and doing good, and a dialogue - a fruitful, honest, frank and friendly dialogue - between Jews and Muslims - a vision with which we can dream about and which we can show.
It's no secret that your country is a Muslim country with a predominant Shia majority, and yet their love and affection, which are between our nations is simply an example of how we can change the world and move forward. The ceremony, which we just witnessed between our ministers of health, is another example and epitomisation of how many issues and fields of cooperation we have, as was outlined by you.
We share the vision whereby I see Azerbaijan making a huge impact in the world and in the region. You explained to me the impact of Azerbaijan in the energy sector in Europe, in the region as a whole, in Asia and of course, in the Middle East, which therefore connects to us. We looked at the entire global and regional security structure, which is endangered and threatened by Iran - clearly something, which we discussed in depth. And we of course, also look forward as to the ability to develop fields of cooperation in academia, in sciences, in agriculture, and so many, many more fields as you have outlined in your introductory remarks, Mr. President.
So I want to thank you wholeheartedly for this great moment. We are celebrating 75 years of Israel’s independence. And it is coupled with 30 years of very strong relations between our nations and I'm sure that this visit of mine and my delegation will be a benchmark for another, upgrading of the relationship. So thank you very much. As we say, Shalom, Mr. President.