Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Alexander Grigoryevich.
I am glad to be back to friendly Belarus. I am grateful to my friend Alexander Lukashenko for the invitation. I must say that this is my fifth official visit to Belarus. Alexander Grigoryevich has paid four official visits to Azerbaijan and I have invited the President of Belarus to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan again. The sheer number of reciprocal visits and their intensity are evidence of a high level of relations between our countries. Alexander Grigoryevich has said that our countries are strategic partners, and we demonstrate this in every area of our cooperation.
The high level of political relations, mutual respect, trust between our countries and personal friendship between the presidents – all this is the foundation on which the powerful building of Belarusian-Azerbaijani friendship is being constructed today.
We actively cooperate in international organizations and support each other on all issues. And this support, I would say, is automatic in nature – even without discussion, without consultation and without agreement. If any question related to Belarus or a candidate from this country being nominated for any governing body is raised in an international organization, Azerbaijan provides unconditional support. And we see the same attitude from Belarus. This is an indicator of the high level of our relations. We also support each other in the organizations either Azerbaijan or Belarus is not involved in, and this is also natural. The same naturally applies to cases when we discuss issues of international politics, international relations, regional issues and issues related to international security. All this is natural between friends.
Today, the level of our relations allows us the opportunity to openly discuss any issues. And as Alexander Grigoryevich has said, we have no closed topics and there are no restrictions in any area of our cooperation. Today we have signed many documents that will determine the nature of our relations in the future. Among them, of course, I would first of all note the Joint Statement of the Presidents. It is an important political document that covers the key areas of cooperation and expresses the political will of our countries.
I am particularly grateful, and I would like to express gratitude both on my own behalf and on behalf of all the people of Azerbaijan, for the position of Belarus on the issue related to the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Joint Statement explicitly states that this conflict must be resolved in accordance with the norms of international law, within the framework of territorial integrity and the inviolability of the borders of Azerbaijan and in accordance with relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council. We are grateful to Belarus for such an objective position on an issue that is extremely important both for us and for the entire region.
As Alexander Grigoryevich has said, there are good prospects and results in the trade and economic sphere. Of course, we are delighted with the growth in trade. We analyzed the situation today, members of our governments did a very good job yesterday – the meeting of the intergovernmental commission produced very good results. We were informed that contracts worth tens of millions of dollars had been signed. So this is a good indicator for the future. We analyze what has been done, outline ways to resolve issues and resolve them. The same happened when we agreed with Alexander Grigoryevich to set up an assembly plant on the basis of the Ganja Automobile Plant to assemble “Belarus” tractors. And as Alexander Grigoryevich has said, there are already more than 10,000 tractors, and the level of localization is growing by the year. This creates new jobs in Azerbaijan. It already created a new industry. It has led to an increase in our industrial potential. It created an opportunity for Belarusian manufacturers to share their experience with us and promote their products. And now it is already entering the markets of third countries.
Today we agreed on a similar approach to the production of combine harvesters. As already mentioned, Belarusian automobiles are manufactured in Azerbaijan. So there is full-scale industrial cooperation with a very high degree of efficiency.
I visited the Trading House of Azerbaijan this morning. I was pleased. I can’t not say that I was surprised, but I was pleased with the fact that a beautiful part of Azerbaijan has been created in such a wonderful place, in the center of the city. It will demonstrate our achievements to the people of Belarus. I was also told that our products have already entered the Belarusian market and are in good demand. We are lagging behind the Belarusians. In Baku, there are already seven shops selling Belarusian products of highest quality and enjoying tremendous popularity among our citizens. So we intend to promote our products to the Belarusian market and, I think this will strengthen not only our bilateral trade and economic ties, but will also further demonstrate the capabilities of our countries.
We are pleased that Belarus has taken the baton from Baku and the second European Games will be held in Minsk – at the highest level, I am sure. Excellent sports infrastructure has already been created. There are also good conditions for visitors. I think that the organization will be at the highest level because all large-scale international events held in Belarus meet the highest standards.
One of the areas of our cooperation is cooperation in the military-technical sphere. We are very pleased with this cooperation. Both the quality and efficiency of products are at the highest level. Therefore, it is no coincidence that military-technical cooperation between our countries already has a good history, fairly large volumes and a good tendency towards expansion. And it is no coincidence either that the documents signed today include a Memorandum which, in the shortest possible time, will be transformed into a contract for the purchase of another batch of military equipment from Belarus.
On all other directions we have discussed today, there is also a good momentum – in the social sphere, agriculture, migration and emergency situations. Our relations are full-fledged, very friendly and sincere. I am sure that my visit will give them a new impetus. Thank you again for your hospitality.