The Azerbaijan State News Agency

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VISIT OF AZERBAIJAN PRESIDENT ILHAM ALIYEV TO SLOVAKIA
HEAD OF AZERBAIJAN STATE TOOK PART AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “ENLARGED EUROPE: NEW AGENDA”

The international conference on the topic “Enlarged Europe: New Agenda” commenced in Bratislava on 19 March, AzerTAj correspondent reported form Slovakia.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev took part at the conference.

Prior to the Conference, attended by heads of state and government of fourteen countries, President of Slovakia Rudolph Schuster at his residence arranged business dinner in honor of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

President Ilham Aliyev made notes in the Honorary Book of the residence of Slovakian President.

The Conference was hosted at the National Philharmonic building. In the opening, Prime Minister of Slovakia Mikulas Dzirunda welcomed the participants, noting that he feels pride of hosting the Conference, and that the representatives from the countries of Europe to Northern America, from Atlantic to the Caspian, Baltic and Mediterranean have gathered to discuss the issues ensuring the future of Europe.

The first issue on the agenda was “The Balkans and questions of integration to Europe”. Prime Ministers of Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina spoke of the works done in their country in the field of integration to Europe and the existing problems.

Speaking on the topic “The Black Sea and Caucasus neighborhood of Europe”, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev expressed to the host country his gratitude for good organizing of the Conference. Touching upon the difficulties in the first years of independence after collapse of the USSR, President Ilham Aliyev reminded that Armenia has occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands, which caused catastrophic situation in the Country, and that despite of this, the new development period started in 1996. And since, the GDP has increased 10 percent annually, and Azerbaijan holds one of the leading places in the CIS space on the foreign investment per capita. The Country will develop and become stronger in the region, President of Azerbaijan emphasized. The large-scale projects being realized in Azerbaijan are evidence to that. In particular, construction of the oil-gas pipelines connecting Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey will give strong impulse to development of the region, including the Country, he stressed.

Azerbaijan’s integration to European structures and the North-Atlantic space goes successfully and the Country takes active part in the PfP Program of NATO, the head of Azerbaijani state said.

Dwelling on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorny Karabakh conflict, President Ilham Aliyev said that as a result of the Armenian military aggression more than one million of citizens of the Republic have become refugees and IDPs, and this causes very hard sequences. Unfortunately, efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group towards the conflict do not give any result. Therefore, the European Union and the Council of Europe should intensify their efforts for peaceful resolution to the problem. Ensuring peace ands security in the region corresponds the interests of Europe either. The head of Azerbaijani state reiterated that we condemn aggressive separatism, demand liberation of our lands and are for settlement of the problem in the frame of international law. There is no any country’s military base in Azerbaijan, and we, generally, against the existence of foreign military bases in the Caucasus region, President of Azerbaijan underlined. Should the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict be settled, the region would gain stability and security.

***

Speaking at the conference, representative of Armenia, foreign minister Vardan Oskanyan said that Armenia could not be named aggressor for keeping under control the lands that do not belong to it.

Thus, the Armenian foreign minister, in fact, confirmed that his country is an aggressor.

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