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President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan held expanded meeting VIDEO

Ankara, February 19, AZERTAC

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has held an expanded meeting with President of the Republic of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.

Speaking at the meeting, President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan said:

- Dear Mr. President, my dear brother.

Dear members of the delegation.

Let me welcome you with most sincere feelings and love. I am deeply honored to host you in Ankara for your first official visit following your historic victory in the election held on February 7. I wholeheartedly believe that we will raise our excellent cooperation to a higher level than ever in this new era.

My dear brother and I had a very useful meeting a little while ago, especially discussing our relations in the fields of trade, energy and defense industry. We have exchanged views on regional processes, including the relations with Armenia. We have increased our bilateral trade turnover by more than 16 percent compared to a year ago to the level of 7.5 billion dollars. Of course, as you may know, our goal is 15 billion dollars. My dear brother and I have reaffirmed our determination to do that.

The 11th meeting of the joint economic commission, which we will hold in Ankara in May, will contribute to the determination of the Road Map to be prepared in this direction. The “Agreement on the elimination of double taxation with respect to taxes on income and the prevention of tax evasion” to be signed today will also contribute to achieving our goals.

The processes such as the coronavirus pandemic and the Ukrainian war affecting the geopolitical order have once again shown that the Middle Corridor is a reliable route. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which was opened in 2017, was a strategic stage of the Middle Corridor. Completing the work on this line as soon as possible and making it fully operational is in our best interests. Due to the unplanned closure due to repairs, the freight carriers were left in a difficult situation. Besides, a line that remains closed for a long tome loses its international appeal. It is also important that we make transit transportation by land free as soon as possible. I count on your support in this matter.

Mr. President and I have discussed our cooperation in the field of energy in great detail. We drew our attention to the importance of increasing our joint efforts in projects across Europe. I attach importance to the completion of electricity exports from the Nakhchivan territory of Azerbaijan and the Igdir-Nakhchivan natural gas pipeline projects as soon as possible.

I am also satisfied with the development of our relations in the field of education. In this context, the Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of Türkiye-Azerbaijan University, which will be signed a little later, will be a new turning point in terms of cooperation in the field of higher education. Our university will raise our relations in the fields of science and technology to a new level. In this direction, our exchange of experience in the fields of engineering and technology, especially healthcare, will increase.

In addition, I am very pleased that you are hosting the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP29, this year.

Dear members of the delegation, you know the great importance I attach to the Organization of Turkic States. Inshallah, we will hold our next extraordinary Summit in Shusha. Thank you for the sensitive and supportive attitude of the Azerbaijani side in the matter of participation in the Summit of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. We expect the same sensitivity from other members of our organization. I believe that we will continue our joint efforts to further develop cooperation within the framework of our organization.

The Economic Cooperation Organization, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization and D8 are other important regional organizations that crown our cooperation in the field of economy and trade. I believe that we will use the potential of the Economic Cooperation Organization to an even greater extent.

We will fully support the next Summit to be hosted by you. We strongly support Azerbaijan's application for D8 membership. I have put forward initiatives in this direction before D8 members and Egypt, which has some hesitations, and we will continue to put them forward.

In conclusion of my speech, I would like to thank my respected brother Ilham Aliyev and his esteemed delegation again for this visit. I pray to the Almighty that the coming period will be good for Türkiye and Azerbaijan.

X X X

Addressing the meeting, President Ilham Aliyev said:

- My dear brother, dear Mr. President.

Dear friends.

First of all, I would like to thank you for the invitation and for the hospitality. As you mentioned, my first official visit after the presidential election is to brotherly Türkiye, which is natural. The relations between Türkiye and Azerbaijan are unparalleled, and these ties are getting stronger day after day.

During a one-on-one meeting today, we discussed many issues and reviewed the roadmap for this year and for the years to come. There are great developments in the field of defense industry, and the first event I attended just two days after the presidential election was the presentation of the “Bayraktar Akinci” unmanned aerial vehicle. UAVs are already flying in the skies of Azerbaijan, creating additional opportunities for us. At the same time, it is an important condition for our technological development. Work on establishing a training, educational and service center of “Baykar Holding” in Azerbaijan is progressing rapidly. I hope that this wonderful center will be opened this year or next year. At the same time, we are in the final stages of negotiations on joint production with several Turkish companies.

X X X

It was emphasized during the meeting that the Shusha Declaration had raised the relations between the two countries to the level of alliance.

The sides noted that bilateral trade has reached 7.5 billion dollars. They stressed the importance of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Türkiye in the defense industry, military, energy, education and other fields, as well as on the issues related to the Middle Corridor, further increase of the capacity of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, joint projects in Nakhchivan, the documents signed during the last visit, including projects on gas supply to Nakhchivan and the construction of the Kars-Nakhchivan railway.

The President of Azerbaijan reiterated the support of brotherly Türkiye and personally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the 44-day war, emphasizing their moral and political support, which played a key role in the liberation of our lands and was an important factor in writing the Karabakh saga.

During the meeting, the presidents touched upon cooperation between Azerbaijan and Türkiye in international organizations and the continued mutual support of the two countries.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan conveyed his congratulations on the occasion of COP29 to be held in Azerbaijan.

The President of Azerbaijan said there were great prospects for cooperation between the two countries and that Azerbaijan was ready for it. The sides also stressed importance of joint initiatives of the two countries.

President Ilham Aliyev noted that the Organization of Turkic States was Azerbaijan’s family, adding that he had stated this in his speech at the swearing-in ceremony in the Milli Majlis. The importance of further developing the Organization of Turkic States, which has a large geography, natural and human resources and broad potential, was underlined.

Issues of further deepening cooperation in the field of defense industry and joint training of the Armed Forces of the two countries were also touched upon.

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