Presidents of Azerbaijan, Turkiye and Turkmenistan held expanded meeting
14 December 2022, 13:45
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov have held an expanded meeting in the city of Turkmenbashi.
The President of Azerbaijan addressed the meeting.
Speech by President Ilham Aliyev
Distinguished President of Turkmenistan Serdar Gurbanguliyevich Berdimuhamedov,
Distinguished President of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
This is my second visit to brotherly Turkmenistan this year, and I am very happy to be here again. I would like to express my gratitude to President Serdar Berdimuhamedov for the high-level organization of the trilateral summit and hospitality extended.
We are pleased to witness Turkmenistan’s advancement on the stable and dynamic path of development and to observe its achievements.
Azerbaijan, Turkiye and Turkmenistan are closely bound to each other by ethnic, religious and cultural roots and shared moral values. We are rightfully proud of the rich historical and cultural heritage of our nations and their great contributions to human civilization.
The political relations of Azerbaijan with both Turkiye and Turkmenistan are at a high level. The Shusha Declaration signed with Turkiye last year elevated our relations to the level of strategic alliance. In 2017 the Declaration on Strategic Partnership was signed between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.
Our countries provide mutual support and cooperate with each other within the framework of international organizations, including the UN, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Organization of Turkic States, OSCE and other institutions.
Our relations built on historical bonds create opportunities for the development of cooperation between our countries in economy, trade, transport and logistics and other areas.
In January-October 2022, Azerbaijan’s trade turnover with Turkiye increased by 45 percent and reached 5 billion US dollars.
Nearly 20 billion US dollars have been invested from Azerbaijan to Turkiye’s economy, and some 14 billion US dollars have been invested by Turkiye into Azerbaijan’s economy.
This year, the trade turnover with Turkmenistan increased five times, marking record level to date.
Azerbaijan, Turkiye and Turkmenistan have attained substantial success in the transport and logistics area. Many projects have been implemented by our countries, which in turn create new opportunities for cooperation in the field of transport connectivity.
Investments in this sector in all three countries served the purpose of creating new and modern infrastructure.
Azerbaijan is an active player in the East-West and North-South transport corridors and has implemented all major projects related to railway, highway and air transport in its territory. As a result, Azerbaijan has become an important transit country.
In the first 10 months of 2022, the volume of total transit traffic passing through Azerbaijan has increased by more than 80 percent compared to the corresponding period of last year.
Today, we are actively engaged in the opening of the Zangazur corridor. 40 percent of the works on the railway line and 70 percent on the highway have been completed in the section of the Zangazur corridor on the territory of Azerbaijan. All works are expected to be completed in 2024, leading to the establishment of a new transport corridor.
The Baku International Sea Trade Port has an annual handling capacity of 15 million tons, with funding envisaged to increase its capacity to 25 million tons.
Last year, we laid the foundation of the Alat Free Economic Zone on the shores of the Caspian Sea, and the first residents have already settled there. We would like to invite companies from Turkiye and Turkmenistan to benefit from opportunities available in the Zone.
In 2017, together with my dear brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan, we inaugurated the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway. In addition, more than 100 million US dollars will be invested in this project, and its handling capacity will be increased from the current one million to five million tons.
Azerbaijan has the largest commercial fleet in the Caspian Sea, with over 50 cargo ships. The Baku Shipyard, commissioned in 2013, is currently operating at its full capacity. This facility is capable of building any type of vessel.
Azerbaijan has one of the largest civil air cargo fleets in our region, with 18 cargo planes. It is planned to add nine more aircrafts to our cargo fleet over the next 10 years.
Currently, there are 8 international airports operating in Azerbaijan. President of Turkiye, my dear brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan, attended the opening of Fuzuli and Zangilan airports built in the liberated territories. In 2024, the 9th international airport of our country is scheduled to be opened in liberated Lachin.
At the end of 2020, as a result of the victory in the 44-day Patriotic War, our lands were liberated from the 30-year occupation by Armenia. The Karabakh conflict was resolved, and this victory created favorable opportunities for new transport and communication projects in the region.
Currently, the world is facing new challenges and threats, and therefore, along with other spheres, expansion of cooperation between our countries in the areas of security, defense, and defense industry is of great importance.
I would like to reiterate the importance of the meeting in the trilateral format of Azerbaijan-Turkiye-Turkmenistan. I hope meetings of this kind will be held regularly and greatly contribute to the further development of relations between our brotherly countries.