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First meeting of Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan High-Level Intergovernmental Council was held VIDEO

Baku, March 11, AZERTAC

The first meeting of the Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan High-Level Intergovernmental Council has been held with the participation of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Addressing the meeting, President Ilham Aliyev said:

- Dear Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich.

Esteemed guests.

Dear friends.

Once again, I sincerely welcome you to Azerbaijan. We have just concluded a very interesting conversation, discussing a wide range of bilateral agenda items and regional issues. Now, we are commencing the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Council. The decision to establish the council itself is historic. This once again underscores the high level of our relations and serves as evidence that both sides are committed to strengthening the potential of mutual cooperation. We believe that the outcomes of the visit and the meeting of the Intergovernmental Council will largely shape the future agenda of our relations.

Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are two brotherly states. For many centuries, our peoples have lived in peace, brotherhood and cooperation, regardless of socio-political formations. As two independent states, for over 30 years, we have been actively cooperating both within international institutions and in a bilateral format. Recently, the dynamics of our mutual visits have been very illustrative, indicating that our relations have gained new momentum.

We rejoice in the successes of Kazakhstan. I would like to congratulate you and the entire fraternal people of Kazakhstan on the impressive achievements in socio-economic development and innovative progress. The economic growth and the increase in Kazakhstan's gross domestic product indicate a sound and well-calibrated economic policy. We also fully support your reforms aimed at modernizing the country and diversifying the economy, which have already made significant progress.

Today, we extensively discussed regional issues. I informed Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich about the peace negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia and expressed hope that this process will culminate in the signing of a peace agreement, turning this difficult and dark page of our history.

We extensively discussed the projects that bind us together. I conveyed my gratitude to the President of Kazakhstan for the fraternal support in the reconstruction of Karabakh. In particular, the Kurmangazy Children's Creativity Center in the city of Fuzuli is a gift from the Kazakh people to the Azerbaijani people and is an initiative of President Tokayev. Tomorrow, we will inaugurate this center, which will also serve as a center of our friendship.

We are grateful for the words of solidarity in the process of restoring Azerbaijan's sovereignty. Of course, it is widely acknowledged in Azerbaijan that Kazakhstan is our steadfast friend and ally.

Our agenda today covers many topics. We will give the floor to the members of the delegations to discuss issues in the fields of transportation and logistics, energy, digitization, and humanitarian cooperation. The works are progressing successfully across all these domains. The recent meeting of the intergovernmental commission in Astana was aimed at preparing for your state visit. We meticulously prepared for this visit to ensure its substantive enrichment and facilitate subsequent monitoring of its implementation. I am confident that we will issue appropriate directives and remain regularly updated on the progress of our agreements.

Once again, welcome, esteemed Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich. I am very glad to see you again in Azerbaijan.

x x x

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said:

- Thank you, Ilham Heydarovich, for this opening statement with kind words about Kazakhstan. First of all, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the hospitality shown to us and, taking this opportunity, to congratulate you again on your very convincing victory in the presidential election. This victory is a testament to the high confidence and popular support for your strategic course. You are the universally recognized leader of the Azerbaijani people, and it is in this capacity that you are perceived in the international arena.

Besides, as you rightly noted, we sincerely rejoice in Azerbaijan's historic victory and the restoration of sovereignty over its entire territory. This victory is historic in its essence and will certainly go down in the annals of Azerbaijan and world history.

As for Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan relations, we are holding a meeting of the High-Level Intergovernmental Council for the first time. In general, this is also a historic event. We have just held a detailed discussion of literally all the issues related to our trade, economic and investment cooperation, our interaction in the international arena, and have reached common conclusions. This shows that Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are actually strategic partners and allied states. And this is where a very important understanding of what is happening in our cooperation lies. The prospects are very broad, and there is understanding that the governments will naturally be engaged in the implementation of the agreements that will be reached today in the form of signed documents and agreements today.

The level of cooperation, interaction and contacts is quite high. We have talked about the fact that your expected and planned participation in the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and in the meeting of the Consultative Meeting of Leaders of Central Asian States.

For my part, I am accepting the invitation to take part in the informal summit of the leaders of the Organization of Turkic States with great expectations and gratitude. And, of course, the COP29 summit is also a great historic achievement of the Azerbaijani state and its diplomacy in general. The summit is of utmost importance from the point of view of addressing the existing climate problems and global cooperation in this sphere. Baku will certainly cope with this task. We took part in the COP28 summit in Dubai and saw that it is indeed a very important forum. We are happy that Baku was chosen as a venue for such an important global forum.

We have also talked about the fact that both Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are essentially neighboring states across the Caspian Sea, and this naturally adds a special specificity to our relationship. The turnover between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan has increased fivefold since 2020. Of course, the absolute figures may not be so impressive. There is work to be done here, but the dynamics itself can only be assessed positively. Our countries have significant economic potential, and I think that further successes are not far off. Indeed, the range of cooperation is very broad. We have talked about that today – from transport and logistics to issues of digitalization, not to mention oil and gas and so on.

I am satisfied that we are working successfully in the international arena. Our delegations, whether in the United Nations or other international organizations, are working together successfully. I think that this line will be continued.

I would like to mention, on a positive note, the twinning relations between the holy cities of Turkestan and Shusha, as well as Uralsk and Mingachevir, and Shymkent and Ganja.

In general, I also attach great importance to cultural ties between our countries. This is extremely important from the point of view of bringing our peoples closer together. The perpetuation and opening of the streets of Ahmet Baitursynov in the city of Sumgayit – we are grateful to you for that – and Heydar Aliyev in Astana have been a landmark event for our countries.

Last year, the Days of Culture were held in Azerbaijan with great success, and as you noted, we will open the Kurmangazy Children's Creativity Center in Fuzuli tomorrow. This will also be a symbol of our interaction and cooperation.

There is nothing more to add, as they say, because we have already talked about literally all the issues that are on the agenda of our cooperation. I propose to proceed to the Council meeting.

President Ilham Aliyev:

- Thank you very much, Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich. We have several items on the agenda. These include the cooperation in development of trade, economy, and investments, cooperation in the fields of oil and gas, renewable energy, transportation and logistics, digital communications, as well as cultural and humanitarian collaboration.

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