The Azerbaijan State News Agency

OFFICIAL NEWS

PRESIDENT OF AZERBAIJAN ILHAM ALIYEV RECEIVED STATE MINISTER OF GEORGIA

On 27 December, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received at the President Palace governmental delegation led by the State Minister of Georgia Zurab Zhvania.

Warmly greeting the guests, head of the Azerbaijani state Ilham Aliyev said:

“Dear Mr. State Minister,

Dear guests,

I am pleased to welcome you in Azerbaijan.

Between our countries, there exist traditionally friendly and fraternal relations. It is important that these relations are preserved and multiplied nowadays as well, when both our countries survive as independent states. I think, the relations between our countries – is a good example of how should be the relations between the neighbors. We are connected by common history, have many cultural ties and political contacts, and of course, cooperation in the economic plane. Today, with participation of our countries are being realized the greatest in the world energy project. Perhaps, this arouses particular responsibility for all of them who are engaged in this question. The fact how the project is being realized once again evidences that with the presence of political will the good neighboring relations such important for both the region and the whole world programs can be successfully realized.

These energy projects were launched in 1994 on the initiative of President Heydar Aliyev. In that complicated period, this required particular fortitude, farsightedness and decisiveness. The situation was more complicated then.

Our duty is to continue and develop it, and in particular, in larger context. I think, the leadership of our countries will cope with it.

I know that today you had opportunity to become familiar with the course of things in a few part of this project. I am confident that the next year that is very significant in the plan of complete realization of the project, will be successful.

I would like to take the opportunity and wish Georgia, fraternal country for us, and your people, - tranquility, peace and stability. Our countries are so connected that their development is possible only together.

Once again, I would greet you. I hope your visit and the conducted meetings will promote much more rapprochement between our countries and nations”.

Expressing gratitude to President Ilham Aliyev for warm reception, state Minister if Georgia Zurab Zhvania said:

“Thank you very much, Mr. President. We are thankful for reception.

First, once again I would like on behalf of our people to express the deepest condolences on demise of the outstanding statesman also for Georgia Heydar Aliyev. In our country, everybody even not connected with policy, can tell in detail what Heydar Aliyev has done for both Azerbaijan and Georgia, in order to make the inter-relations between out countries absolutely standard and unprecedented from the point of view of the relations between the two neighboring states. I can confidently say, without exaggeration, that memory on the great President of Azerbaijan who laid foundation of the truly great and successful Azerbaijani state, will be eternal in Georgia. I am proud that I had several times met him. It was with deep regret that I could not take part together with the heads of our state at the farewell ceremony. In the first chance, I considered necessary to express my deep respect for his memory.

Mr. President, for me, it is the first foreign visit as a state minister of Georgia. It was a joint decision of the Acting President Ms. Burjanadze and the future President, I can confidently say, Mikhail Saakashvili. We wanted to underline that for the new leadership of Georgia, Azerbaijan remains an exceptional partner. Say, in many questions we carefully regard to all what were created during the previous years by the joint effort of President Heydar Aliyev and President Eduard Shevardnadze. We are to not only preserve, but also deepen in all directions our relations, maximum use the potential that we have.

You know that I have many times been in Azerbaijan. The existing extremely warm relations between our peoples urge us for many. Moreover, as You noted, we are connected by the project of the century, the most grandiose project in the world. I witness and heard how Azerbaijan is developing, which high rates and scales of development your country reached. I have not been in Baku for two years. I am very pleased that I went to Sangachal terminal. When you eyewitness such scales, rate of growth, this arouses deep impressions. For us, the primary task is in any way to promote acceleration of the construction works in the territory of Georgia. We extremely responsibly regard our obligations connected with the construction of pipeline and with optimism look forward to development of the project of transportation of gas from the Shahdeniz prospect.

Mr. President, I once again would underline that I am happy today on behalf of the government of Georgia to address President of the country which we consider out close ally, partner in all questions. We are connected with good traditions and very serious perspectives for further development of mutual relations”.

Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, Mr. State Minister. I remember, when You came to Baku as a chairman of parliament and Your meetings with President Heydar Aliyev.

Of course, it is easy for us - the actual heads of our countries. Because we shall build the bilateral relations, likewise, develop our states on enough firm ground. I hope that joint efforts of our countries both in bilateral relations, also in the regional context and in larger context related to the existing problems in the world - coincide in many aspects. It is not by chance that our countries are considered in the world as strategic partners. We have many coincidence of point of views to the ongoing global processes over the world. This also bring close us. Common economic interests, common tendency of integration to the world community, common priorities on many questions, as well as a solid base of cultural and spiritual links – all these predetermine development of our countries, including bilateral relations. Our task is to strengthen and develop, fill with new content. In perspective, there will exist new opportunities for inter-relations. We are convinced that Georgia and Azerbaijan will further pursue the policy aimed at rapprochement of our countries and peoples. I am sure the new leadership of Georgia will cope with this task. Likewise, I am confident that the new leadership of Azerbaijan will also cope with this. We are to necessarily work in close inter-action to successfully complete what were meant and launched.

***

Head of the foreign relations department of President Administration Novruz Mammadov, ambassador of Georgia to Azerbaijan Zurab Gumberidze were participating at the reception.

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