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"SCO plus" meeting was held in Astana
 President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev addressed the meeting VIDEO

Astana, July 4, AZERTAC

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the "SCO plus" meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev arrived at the Palace of Independence to participate in the meeting

President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev welcomed President Ilham Aliyev.

Then, the participants posed together for a group photo.

An official lunch was hosted in honor of the participants

It was followed by the "SCO plus" meeting.

The Chairman of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, greeted the heads of state and government participating in the "SCO Plus" meeting and delivered a speech.

The Kazakh President highlighted Azerbaijan's high-level relations with SCO member countries and emphasized the significance of the upcoming COP29 conference in Baku this November, stating:

"We will have the opportunity to demonstrate our solidarity on the climate agenda at the COP29 conference in Baku this November. Taking this opportunity, I wish esteemed President of Azerbaijan Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev success in hosting this global event."

x x x

The meeting was addressed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko, Acting President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Mokhber, President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Zhaparov, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and President of Mongolia Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev then stated:

"Now, I would like to give the floor to the heads of state invited as honorary guests. I give the floor to the esteemed President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev."

x x x

The head of state made a speech at the meeting.

Speech by
President Ilham Aliyev

- Dear Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich,

Dear Heads of State and Government,

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the President of Kazakhstan for the invitation to the Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

This is my fourth visit to Kazakhstan in the last two years. In the same time period, President of Kazakhstan has visited Azerbaijan three times, which demonstrates the high level of bilateral relations between our countries.

Azerbaijan for the second time is invited to participate at the SCO Summit. We consider it as a sign of growing partnership between Azerbaijan and the SCO Member States.

Connectivity along East-West and North-South transportation corridors constitutes an important area of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the SCO Member States. The geographical location and substantial investments in transport infrastructure have enabled Azerbaijan to become one of the transport and logistics hubs in Eurasia.

The annual handling capacity of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway – an integral part of the Middle Corridor, has increased from 1 million tons to 5 million tons thanks to the Azerbaijani investments.

We are working with partner countries to ensure digitalization of the Middle Corridor.

Furthermore, Azerbaijan aims to increase the annual capacity of the Alat International Sea Trade Port from 15 million tons to 25 million tons.

Azerbaijan also plays an important role in the development of the North-South transportation corridor. Railroad and highway infrastructure of Azerbaijani segment of the North-South corridor is ready and functioning successfully. Currently, we are working to expand it to the volumes of railway cargo of 15 and later, when needed, 30 million tons, annually.

Dear colleagues,

In September 2023, Azerbaijan fully restored sovereignty over its internationally recognized territories, thus restoring international law and historical justice. Azerbaijan put an end to Armenia’s 30-year-long occupation and implemented by military-political means 4 UN Security Council resolutions which had remained on paper for 30 years.

Azerbaijan is a strong supporter of multilateralism. We have successfully chaired the Non-Aligned Movement in 2019-2023 and strengthened its visibility and influence at the global arena, contributed to its institutional development by creating with the support of Member States the Parliamentary Network, the Youth Organization as well as laying the foundation of the Women Platform of the Movement.

With the unanimous support of almost 200 countries Azerbaijan will host COP29 this year. We will spare no effort in building bridges between developed and developing countries at the COP29 in Baku, and strive towards reaching an accord that would take into account the legitimate interests of the developing nations.

Azerbaijan’s priorities also include the support to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) facing existential threat due to adverse effects of climate change. Azerbaijan has initiated the establishment of a special technical assistance fund to support the SIDS.

We will continue our work with the SCO on the preparation for the COP29 – the world’s largest international conference. I have already sent official invitations to the leaders of the SCO member states and hope to see my colleagues this November in Baku.

Thank you.

x x x

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said:

"Dear Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev, thank you for your substantial speech. We highly value Azerbaijan's efforts to strengthen its relations with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization."

x x x

Next, Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of the Republic of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the Ruler of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi delivered their speeches.

x x x

The “SCO plus” meeting brought together the heads of state and government from 16 countries. President Ilham Aliyev is participating in the Summit at the invitation of President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as the SCO Chairman. This marks President Ilham Aliyev's second participation in a SCO Summit. Previously, at the invitation of President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, then Chair of the SCO, the head of state attended the SCO Summit held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on September 16, 2022.

During the Summit titled "Strengthening Multilateral Dialogue – Striving Towards a Sustainable Peace and Prosperity", the heads of state and government of the SCO member countries will discuss a wide range of topical issues related to political, economic, trade, cultural and humanitarian cooperation, as well as other issues.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization founded in Shanghai in 2001 by six countries - China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Currently, there are 9 SCO members (Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, India, Iran), 3 observer members (Afghanistan, Mongolia, Belarus) and 14 dialogue partners (Azerbaijan, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Armenia, Egypt, Cambodia, Qatar, Kuwait, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka).

Azerbaijan was granted the status of a dialogue partner at the Ufa summit in 2015. According to the Memorandum signed in 2016 in Beijing, Azerbaijan and the SCO agreed to cooperate in the various areas of mutual interest such as strengthening regional security and stability; fighting against terrorism, extremism and separatism and etc.

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