Joint press statements of Presidents of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan

21 june 2022, 16:51

Statement by President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev

- Dear Ilham Heydar oglu,

Dear representatives of the media.

I want to sincerely welcome the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, esteemed Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev, and all members of the Azerbaijani delegation to the hospitable Uzbek land once again. Welcome to Uzbekistan!

The relations of traditional friendship, trust and mutual understanding with Azerbaijan are particularly valued in Uzbekistan. They are based on shared spiritual values, religion, culture, and language. A long history binds our peoples together. Many cities of Azerbaijan where the mutual influence of eastern and western civilizations took place are mentioned in the scientific works of Ahmad Ferghani and Abu Reykhan Biruni. The funds of our Institute of Oriental Studies carefully store dozens of unique manuscripts of Azerbaijani poets and thinkers such as Nizami, Khagani, Tusi, Fuzuli, Khatai and many others. Today I presented one of Fuzuli's manuscripts to esteemed Ilham Heydar oglu. This, I think, is a treasure for us. There are a lot of such manuscripts in Uzbekistan. This further proves that the Uzbek people have treated Azerbaijani culture with great respect and interest for centuries. I want to specifically note that the founding father of Uzbek literature and poetry, Alisher Navoi, was inspired by the works of great Nizami Ganjavi, whom he described as “the king of poets.” This is how he assessed it.

The glorious history of relations between the two peoples has created a solid foundation for developing multifaceted cooperation between our countries in modern times. It is quite symbolic that the current visit is taking place exactly 25 years after the first official visit to our country by the national leader of Azerbaijan, Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev. It has become a great honor for me today, together with our dear guest, the distinguished President, to open the renovated street named after Heydar Aliyev and the bas-relief installed there. This is our tribute to the memory of a great man, a true leader of his people and a close friend of Uzbekistan.

Dear journalists, in our meetings in private and in an expanded format, we discussed in detail issues of our bilateral relations. I want to tell you that we have been frank in all areas. We have very carefully, with pens in our hands, so to speak, outlined how we should advance our relations so that they reach a strategic level, and there is a tangible result from this historic visit of Ilham Heydar oglu to Uzbekistan. I think that in the expanded format, too, each member of our delegations was told in detail what we wanted and how we would work, and we agreed that the two presidents would ask and check every month. The co-chairs of the intergovernmental commission will exchange views every month. We have even agreed that at the initial stage, once a month, the co-chairs would meet to synchronize watches so that there is a tangible result. Why are we doing this? Because we are raising our relationship to a whole new level. Why are we doing this? We want a tangible result so the two countries’ peoples can sense that.

I think that thanks to our joint efforts and the desire for further closeness, the relations between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan have acquired an open and comprehensive nature. Trade, economic, inter-parliamentary, cultural, humanitarian and interregional cooperation has been stepped up. The current talks, I want to say again, demonstrate that we are ready to further strengthen interaction in every possible way in the interests of our peoples.

You have just witnessed the signing of a solid package of documents. Among them is the Declaration on deepening strategic partnership and building comprehensive cooperation, which opens a new stage in our bilateral relations. We have also identified key areas of cooperation. The most important priority for us is to increase trade and industrial cooperation. We are seeing significant progress in this direction.

We agreed today that we would not limit ourselves to the figures our teams and delegations have prepared because figures do not mean anything. They have, of course, increased six times, but speaking in general, they do not correspond to our relations, our capabilities, and we said that we would start from scratch and promote genuine and comprehensive projects in all directions, in all sectors of our economy. I want to say again that we agreed to intensify our interaction drastically. We have ample opportunities for this, first of all – the fact that our economies complement each other. As a result of the business forum yesterday alone, agreements and contracts worth more than half a billion dollars were signed. Of course, the figure of half a billion means something, but it does not correspond to our capabilities.

Special attention will be paid to cooperation projects. As you know, we have successfully established a joint production of cars in Hajigabul. We are developing cooperation in the field of sericulture. In the automotive industry, we agreed that we would increase production in new areas because we already have experience and complete mutual understanding and trust. We said that we would support this industry from both sides. We are working on dozens of new projects in the extractive industries, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, production of building materials, finished textiles, food, jewelry and winemaking. To this end, we have agreed to launch a joint investment fund this year. We have also instructed our joint intergovernmental commission to adopt industrial cooperation programs.

Another strategic direction is the development of transport communications. Today, the volume of cargo transportation is increasing, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. We have agreed to develop new corridors, increase multimodal transportation, and create favorable conditions for the transport companies of our countries.

Against growing climate and food security challenges, we intend to work more closely in agriculture. We will extensively share scientific and innovative developments, establish cooperation on the digitalization of the agricultural sector, and implement investment projects. We have also agreed on agriculture – the sectors we will work together in and those that will produce results faster, the areas in which we will complement each other. In Azerbaijan, digitalization in agriculture is very developed, and we said that it would be very beneficial for us to adopt this digitalization experience in agriculture.

Particular attention in the talks was paid to the activation of interregional ties. An agreement has been signed today that opens up ample opportunities for direct contacts between our cities and regions. We plan to hold the first forum of regions and establish close contacts, primarily in the field of trade, innovation, culture and tourism. We have had much in common since ancient times in the cultural and humanitarian sphere. In Uzbekistan, people not only listen but also perform Azerbaijani mugham with pleasure, and people in Azerbaijan listen to our maqoms. Azerbaijani and Uzbek variety art enjoys great popularity in both countries. We are grateful to our Azerbaijani friends for the recent publication in Baku of dozens of books by Alisher Navoi translated by well-known literary critic Ramiz Asgar. Works of Azerbaijani classics and modern writers are also regularly published in Uzbekistan. The presentation of a new book by People's Writer of Azerbaijan Anar took place in Tashkent the other day. During negotiations with esteemed Ilham Heydar oglu, we agreed to hold mutual Days of Culture and Cinema and actively develop a humanitarian and tourist exchange program.

We have also exchanged views on topical issues on the international agenda and outlined plans for military and military-technical cooperation. We have acknowledged the constructive nature of the dialogue and the importance of mutual support within the framework of the United Nations and the Organization of Turkic States, the CIS, the OSCE, the Non-Aligned Movement and other international organizations.

Dear friends, the results of the historic state visit of the President of Azerbaijan are genuinely a breakthrough. Today, my brother Ilham Heydar oglu and I shaped up all the conditions for establishing and achieving tangible results in the future so that, as I said, your historic visit is aligned with our strategic partnership. We are talking about the deepening of strategic partnership. We want our entire team, all our ministers, to take a completely different attitude to the matter. I want to sincerely tell you that I am delighted with today's talks. We spoke in great detail about all the issues we raised at meetings in a limited and expanded format. We have a mutual understanding and common approaches to international and interregional politics. We have paid particular attention to our bilateral relations.

So I want to say again that we are doing everything to have a strong Uzbekistan and a strong Azerbaijan. When they are strong, we will make others respect us. And we have every reason for that. So the visit is historic, it has an excellent basis, and we must implement this basis in the future. I want to tell you again that we have agreed that Ilham Heydar oglu will visit Samarkand in November. In Samarkand, we will listen to how ministers follow up on today's agreements. Why am I saying this? Because, you know, we have great opportunities, but a minimal result. So today we agreed on several promising projects for our further cooperation. I think the visit is historic and I am delighted with our talks. Thank you for your attention, and now I am pleased to give the floor to Ilham Heydar oglu.

Х Х Х

Statement by President Ilham Aliyev

- Dear Shavkat Miromonovich, let me again express my gratitude to you for the invitation and hospitality extended to members of the Azerbaijani delegation and me. I am happy to be in the land of fraternal Uzbekistan and to have the opportunity to discuss a wide range of bilateral relations and important issues on the foreign policy agenda with you.

My visit today began with a significant event – the opening of a bas-relief of national leader Heydar Aliyev in the center of Tashkent, a square bearing his name and a beautiful park. I express my gratitude to you, Shavkat Miromonovich, as President of Azerbaijan and as the son of Heydar Aliyev, for such an attitude towards the memory of my father. I express my gratitude on behalf of myself and the entire Azerbaijani people. We appreciate it very much. We have seen how much love and respect the memory of Heydar Aliyev is honored in Uzbekistan, and we are very pleased. Today, at the opening of the bas-relief and the square, we spoke and talked about Heydar Aliyev about his attitude towards Uzbekistan. This is the attitude that I am sure every Azerbaijani shares today. As the successor of my father's work and as President of Azerbaijan, I always pay special attention to our bilateral relations. Today's state visit is an explicit confirmation of this. It was postponed due to the pandemic. It was also necessary to prepare it carefully so that, as my brother Shavkat Miromonovich said, we could make a breakthrough. I think this is a breakthrough visit because, in terms of the essence, form and content of the topics discussed, the decisions we have reached, this visit and the agreements signed will be the basis for the future development of our relations.

Many documents were signed within the framework of the business forum yesterday. The total number of documents is close to 20 now. As Shavkat Miromonovich said, the Political Declaration on the deepening of strategic partnership and building up interaction is of a very global nature. This is essentially a roadmap for our activities in the future. It reflects foreign policy priorities, expresses mutual support for our states' territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty, and defines specific tasks and goals in many areas of life. Having already spent several hours together today, we have further specified the areas where we will work. Orders have been given. Shavkat Miromonovich has already spoken in detail, so I do not want to repeat the discussed areas. And I am sure there will be results because it is under the control of the presidents. I am sure that relevant ministers and heads of state agencies are well aware that we will monitor and require them to fulfill the presidents’ tasks. The fulfillment of these tasks will lead to the fact that the relations between our countries will become even more robust, and there will be even more cooperation and mutual support. The region of the Caspian Sea, Central Asia, and South Caucasus today is a region that needs peace and stability. The basis of this, of course, is the political resolve of the leaders, as well as economic prerequisites. I think that the agreements we have reached today on increasing trade, investment projects, transport and logistical areas, and the projects related to the deepening of cooperation in agriculture will create excellent opportunities for increasing trade and even greater cooperation between our countries and peoples.

I want to note the emerging cooperation in the military and military-technical spheres. This area is a priority for each country, and even more so for our countries, as we are located in regions that require daily attention to issues of security and defense capabilities. Therefore, I think what we agreed on today will be fulfilled. We will actively communicate on the exchange of experience, the cooperation in the military-technical and the educational spheres of the defense sector, and we will also plan steps that will mutually strengthen our security.

The Declaration was signed today. The Political Declaration essentially takes our relations to a qualitatively new level. And, of course, mutual support – be it within the framework of international organizations or other issues related to the security of our countries and peoples – naturally requires constant attention. This will be done because there is a political will for this.

I want to note today the support the Uzbek people and the President of Uzbekistan had provided Azerbaijan when we were restoring our territorial integrity. Azerbaijanis know this very well, remember and highly appreciate your fraternal attitude. The words of the President of Uzbekistan, his congratulations on our Victory – naturally, all this is perceived in Azerbaijan as the words of a friend, the words of a brother. We do appreciate that. For our part, we are also next to Uzbekistan, next to the Uzbek people in all matters. Today's visit is another demonstration of this. Today, we are also talking about economic cooperation, contacts between business entities, and security and defense capabilities issues. Foreign policy initiatives, the deepening of cooperation within the framework of international organizations, issues related to the humanitarian sphere, and culture – so, in a broad sense, the foundation is being laid for our future active interaction. I am sure that everything we have planned will be fulfilled.

In conclusion, I would like to congratulate the fraternal Uzbek people on their recent achievements. We are closely following what is happening in Uzbekistan, we rejoice in your successes, and we are glad that the reforms initiated by Shavkat Miromonovich are already yielding results. Such fundamental reforms take time. But what has been achieved in a short time speaks, firstly, of the will of the President, of the fact that the Uzbek people support these undertakings, and that they are producing results. And this is visible not only in statistics; it is evident, I am sure, for every person visiting Tashkent. I have been to Tashkent before. Witnessing today's transformations, I am sincerely glad that the brotherly country is thriving; peace, order, stability, and unity of the government and society are each state’s main development factors. Of course, I would like to congratulate the President on the fact that everything he has outlined is being carried out and, I am sure, will be fully implemented. I also want to congratulate the fraternal Uzbek people on these achievements. I am sure that everything the two presidents have instructed their delegations to do today will be fulfilled. Of course, they know that we will strictly monitor performance, we will control this quite seriously, we will not forgive mistakes, and if there are good results, we will be happy to praise them.

Once again, dear Shavkat Miromonovich, thank you for such a kind attitude and hospitality, and I wish prosperity and further development to the fraternal Uzbek people. Thank you.