Presidents of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan made press statements24 August 2022, 13:55
Following the signing ceremony, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev made press statements.
First, a statement was made by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich, I sincerely welcome you to Azerbaijan again. Welcome to our country! You are paying an official visit to Azerbaijan. This is a manifestation of friendship and brotherhood between our peoples. Extensive negotiations have been held within the framework of the visit on current issues of the bilateral agenda, matters related to regional security and international problems. Many documents have been signed. Some were signed with our attendance, and more than 20 documents were signed between relevant agencies today. This creates a broader legal framework for our relationship. Of course, of these documents, I would like to particularly mention the Declaration on Strengthening Strategic Relations and Deepening of Allied Interaction between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, which we have just signed. The title of this Declaration itself testifies to the importance of the document. We are not only strategic partners but also allies. Of course, this puts a special responsibility on us, and we are ready for this responsibility. The Declaration covers many aspects of our cooperation and will undoubtedly serve as a substantial basis for our future interaction.
We have identified ways to develop our cooperation in the international arena. We actively interact within the framework of leading international organizations, and this, of course, creates new preconditions for multilateral cooperation. In June, the ministers of foreign affairs and of transport of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkiye met in Baku. This is a new format of multilateral cooperation, and this cooperation has excellent prospects. The Joint Declaration also reflects the possible future development of multilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and the five countries of Central Asia. This is also natural because our peoples' history, traditions and culture require closer interaction in all areas.
We have discussed the transportation and logistical sectors in detail today and given relevant instructions to government members to intensify this interaction. Because the Middle Corridor connecting our countries has excellent prospects, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have already established a modern infrastructure that enables the transportation of oversized cargo volumes. However, we have also identified future cooperation directions to increase the Middle Corridor's capacity further.
The Joint Declaration also mentioned the importance of connecting the East Zangezur region of Azerbaijan with the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan. This will be a part of the Middle Corridor. I have informed Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich about our work in liberated territories.
I want to take this opportunity to once again express my gratitude to the President of Kazakhstan for the initiative to establish the Children’s Creativity Development Centre in the liberated city of Fuzuli. Today, a presentation of that center was held, and we saw again how sincere the attitude of Kazakhstan is to the problem of returning former internally displaced persons and how urgent this problem is for Kazakhstan. Thank you very much for this initiative. This is a manifestation of friendship, brotherhood and solidarity. I am sure that the Children’s Creativity Development Centre, named after Kurmangazy, the prominent son of the Kazakh people, will also be a center of Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan friendship.
I want to thank the President of Kazakhstan again for awarding me with the highest order of Kazakhstan – the “Altyn Kyran” Order, translated as the Golden Eagle. I view this as a sign of respect for the Azerbaijani people, a recognition of my efforts so far, and I will continue to make efforts for the development of brotherly relations between our countries and peoples.
Today, during our meeting with the President of Kazakhstan, I informed Mr. President in detail about the current state of the process of normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. I reaffirmed Azerbaijan's intention to create long-term and lasting peace in the South Caucasus region. At the same time, I expressed my gratitude for Kazakhstan’s continuous support of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity both during the occupation and after the Second Karabakh War within the framework of international institutions. We in Azerbaijan know and appreciate this very much. During our conversations and discussions today, we also touched upon the issue of increasing the trade turnover. In my opinion, our focus on priority directions of mutual activity within the field of transportation and logistics will allow us to carry out more export-import operations. I believe that there is tremendous potential there. I think the President of Kazakhstan announced the figure we aim for – a turnover worth 1 billion dollars. In my opinion, taking into account the intention of both sides to deepen cooperation, this is quite realistic.
Of course, we have also discussed other issues related to information and communication technologies and humanitarian cooperation. In other words, our agenda today is quite broad, and we see that the positions of our countries concur entirely in all directions. This once again shows that Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are strategic partners and allies not only in words but also in deeds.
I want to express my gratitude to the President of Kazakhstan for visiting our country and for the attitude we have seen from him and the brotherly Kazakh people. I wish Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich the best of luck in all his initiatives on my behalf and on behalf of the Azerbaijani people. During the conversation, I also expressed my position on the reforms implemented in Kazakhstan, the reforms aimed at economic development and the steps aimed at strengthening the independence and sovereignty of Kazakhstan. In Azerbaijan, we fully support these reforms, but most importantly, they are supported by the people of Kazakhstan. The people see that the President's words and deeds do not contradict each other. They see the results of Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich's activities for the further development of Kazakhstan. As your friends and brothers, we are pleased about this and want to wish the brotherly people of Kazakhstan success, prosperity and peace.
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Then a statement was made by President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Statement by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
- Dear Ilham Heydar oglu,
Dear ladies and gentlemen.
First, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the invitation to pay an official visit to the beautiful city of Baku. We held fruitful talks on a wide range of issues today. As the President of Azerbaijan correctly noted, we did not identify any problems or obstacles. On the contrary, we expressed a mutual desire to step up efforts to achieve concrete results, whether in the economic sphere or on the humanitarian track. I want to emphasize that, having victoriously restored territorial integrity under the United Nations Security Council Charter and resolutions, Azerbaijan has entered a new era in its development. And this, of course, has been possible thanks to the tremendous personal contributions of the national leader of Azerbaijan, President of our brotherly country Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev. Taking this opportunity, I would like to note once again that Azerbaijan has achieved tangible results in its development under your strong leadership. We are observing these trends developing in your country and are sincerely happy.
We also see Karabakh and East Zangezur dynamically reviving. Thanks to your efforts, these lands will turn into a prosperous region shortly – there is no doubt about that. Kazakhstan, for its part, is ready to contribute to this noble cause. Today, we presented our Kazakh gift, a gift of the Kazakh people, here. I mean that an art school named after Kurmangazy will be built in the city of Fuzuli by the end of next year. This facility's construction was entrusted to Kazakhstan's leading construction company - “BI.” The company promised today that it would meet the announced deadlines and, of course, ensure quality. There is no doubt about that because the company is very responsible.
It is also symbolic that my visit is taking place on the eve of an anniversary – the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between our countries. We will celebrate this date in just three days. I must say that, in principle, due to my official duties, I was involved in developing cooperation between our countries from the beginning. And we have come a long way. We started from scratch, and today we are justifiably talking about strategic partnership and alliance between our countries. A declaration has been signed on deepening and diversifying this cooperation. This is a natural step forward.
A reliable political dialogue has been established between us. Our states cooperate on international platforms, primarily in the United Nations, the OSCE and the Organization of Turkic States. Of course, I would also like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you, dear Ilham Heydar oglu, for your unwavering support for Kazakhstan’s initiative to convene a Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia. In mid-October of this year, a summit will be held in our capital, and we, of course, look forward to your participation in this critical forum. Your participation and work in this forum will have a very positive impact in terms of achieving the desired result.
I would also like to note that the volume of mutual trade increased three times last year, i.e., there is positive momentum, but in absolute terms, this result still does not look impressive enough. So, an agreement was reached today that the parties would make every effort to build up the absolute figures of mutual trade so that we could speak of reaching the billion-dollar mark shortly, perhaps in the coming years.
It is gratifying that the cultural and humanitarian agenda is being filled with joint efforts, which contributes to the even greater closeness between our peoples. Today I put forward an initiative to hold Ten Days of Azerbaijani Culture in our country. I do not doubt the popularity of this event because our people have been missing the Azerbaijani culture and the outstanding figures of your art, and this event – I hope it will take place – is destined to succeed. In addition, we have agreed that there will be exchanges of delegations of cultural figures between our countries. We are grateful that one of the streets in the city of Sumgayit bears the name of the outstanding representative of the Kazakh people, Akhmet Baitursynov. It is noteworthy that Akhmet Baitursynov was a delegate of the First All-Union Turkological Congress in 1926 in Baku. This fact shows that there have always been close ties between our countries and peoples.
You are probably aware that one of the streets in our capital, the city of Nur-Sultan, which was called Astana back then, used to be named after the outstanding statesman and great son of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev. However, the city is developing, the capital is growing, and today, given its location, that street does not look so impressive anymore. However, it still bears the name of Heydar Aliyev. Therefore, I have decided and given relevant instruction to the capital’s governor to name one of the prominent streets or one of the avenues of our capital after Heydar Aliyev, a person whom we respect very much and hold in high esteem in our country. So, we will give this name to a more suitable place. I believe that this would be pretty justified.
Today we spoke in great detail about the development of the transportation and logistical sphere of our relations and cooperation between our states. We could say that we talked in great detail and gave corresponding instructions to our governments. There is no doubt that specific results will be achieved in this direction. In any case, there is an absolute interest on the part of Kazakhstan in the development of this type of cooperation.
I want to highlight the agricultural sector. Here we complement each other. You know that Kazakhstan can supply grain, wheat and other types of agricultural produce. In turn, we must import agricultural produce from Azerbaijan, i.e., fruits and vegetables. In general, by and large, several Kazakh producers are ready to increase deliveries to Azerbaijan of 100 commodity items for a total amount of more than $300 million. Therefore, we need to ensure the logistics of this trade, which is the task for the governments of our countries we agreed on today.
Otherwise, I would like to note that I have an excellent assessment of the results of my visit. First, I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev and his government for the fruitful work towards deepening our cooperation.
As for Kazakhstan, as they say, there will be no obstacles from our side. We will work very productively. We are absolutely right in discussing the strategic nature of relations between our countries. The word “strategic” requires us to do a lot. We need to put a specific meaning and specific substance here, and we must work on this. I remain very optimistic about the future of our cooperation. Once again, thank you for your hospitality and the conditions necessary for our work.
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