Statement of President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Mr. President, distinguished guests and friends!
Emomali Sharipovich, let me sincerely welcome you to Azerbaijan once again. The visit of the President of Tajikistan to Azerbaijan is an important event in the bilateral relations of our countries. We often meet in Tajikistan and in Azerbaijan, and our contacts are regular in nature. Also, we always find time within the framework of international events to talk and discuss important issues. But an official visit, of course, is a completely different format, a completely different level of discussion and resolution of issues.
First of all, I would like to note that we are closely following the successful development of Tajikistan under the leadership of President Emomali Sharipovich Rahmon. Tajikistan is successfully resolving issues of socioeconomic development. The international authority of your country is growing. You are putting forward very important global initiatives aimed at sustainable development and resolution of important social issues. There is social and political stability in Tajikistan, which is the main factor for sustainable development. We rejoice in your successes and are sure that Tajikistan will follow the path of development and progress under your wise leadership.
Both in our private conversation and at the level of delegations, we discussed very important issues related to our bilateral agenda and regional issues. I am sure that the visit will have very good results, which will definitely have a positive impact on the socioeconomic interaction between our countries and bring our peoples even closer together. Many important documents have been signed today, creating important legal framework for our relations. These documents focus on the final result. I think that the successful implementation of the agreements we have reached will lead to a significant increase in the turnover and intensify our work in many areas. Of course, among the documents signed I would like to emphasize the Joint Statement of the Presidents of Tajikistan and Azerbaijan we have just signed. This is a fundamental and important political document covering all spheres of interaction between our countries. This document underscores the high level of political relations between our countries. This document reflects the main priorities in the spheres of economic, transport and humanitarian cooperation, as well as of the strengthening of security. The document also touches upon important issues of concern for our countries. Azerbaijan actively supports the initiative Tajikistan has put forward in the UN to declare the next decade, 2018-2028, a decade associated with the "Water for sustainable development" thesis. This is a very important initiative. We support it, as I said. This is reflected in the joint statement that has just been signed.
I would also like to express my gratitude to Tajikistan for its position in connection with the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The statement we have signed says that this conflict must be resolved in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and OSCE decisions, based on the principles of territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of the borders of Azerbaijan. On behalf of all Azerbaijani people, I would like to express my gratitude for such a fair position. This is both a friendly attitude and a fair position. After all, the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan has been under Armenian occupation for many years. Armenia flouts the decisions and resolutions of leading international organizations such as the UN Security Council, the OSCE, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and others. All of them have passed decisions and resolutions in connection with the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, stating that the conflict must be resolved within the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
Today we have also extensively discussed issues of trade, economic and transport cooperation. We have reached some serious agreements in this direction, which will lead to rapid growth in industrial development of our countries. We saw once again how interconnected we are and how actively we can resolve issues related to our cooperation. This concerns issues of cooperation in the field of aluminum supplies, this concerns the Memorandum on the supplies of petroleum coke signed today, and many others. These are not just trade and economic agreements – these are projects that will contribute to the development of relations in the economic sphere for many years and create opportunities for creating hundreds of jobs.
I have informed the President of Tajikistan in detail about the transport projects Azerbaijan has implemented jointly with its partners. These projects are opening up completely different opportunities for exports, including those from Tajikistan and also from other Central Asian countries, through the territory of Azerbaijan. The launch of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railrway, as well as the construction of a large commercial port of Alat, have ushered new opportunities for using this corridor for the exports of goods. Of course, we count on an increase in freight traffic from Tajikistan and agreements on this have been reached. We also expect a significant and multiple increase in the transit of cargo through the territory of Azerbaijan to international markets.
We have discussed issues related to humanitarian cooperation, cooperation in the fields of education and culture, and issues related to the development of agriculture. We have agreed to send special delegations to work out issues of close cooperation. In other words, we have full mutual understanding on all the issues we have discussed, and I am sure that everything we have discussed will be realized because all this is aimed at a specific result. I am sure that the results of the visit of the President of Tajikistan to Azerbaijan will make an important contribution to the further strengthening of fraternal relations between our countries. Dear Mr. President, welcome to Azerbaijan!