Presidents of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan held expanded meeting
10 April 2023, 13:55
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has held an expanded meeting with President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Astana.
Welcoming President Ilham Aliyev, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said:
- Dear Ilham Heydar oglu.
We have for centuries been connected through unbreakable bonds of friendship and mutual respect. Historical roots, geographical proximity and many years of close relations have been the basis for the deepening of cooperation between our countries. We are interested in further developing mutually beneficial relations. This is our common goal.
Azerbaijan is not just an important and reliable partner for us, it is also a brotherly and close state. Relying on the unshakable bonds of centuries-old friendship and mutual support, we have built effective interstate cooperation, which is developing in the spirit of true strategic partnership and alliance today. An active and trusting political dialogue has been established between our countries. Coordinated work is being carried out at the government level. There is constructive interaction within the framework of multilateral platforms. We have a solid contractual and legal framework, as more than 90 documents have already been signed.
Last year, we signed a Declaration on Strengthening Strategic Relations and Deepening Allied Cooperation, as well as a comprehensive program for developing cooperation until 2026. A number of important documents will also be adopted today. Moreover, within the framework of your visit, we are consolidating the establishment of the Supreme Interstate Council, which will undoubtedly give a powerful impetus to bilateral relations.
I would like to note with satisfaction the significant progress in our trade and economic cooperation. As we have already noted today, the trade turnover has grown by 40 percent to reach half a billion dollars. I think this is a significant result. I am sure that as our economic potential is fully developed, we will be able to raise this figure to one billion dollars. To do this, we have serious reserves in such areas as energy, transport, logistics, IT, agriculture, industry and other sectors.
Cultural and humanitarian ties are also strengthening. The key link here is the presence of 130,000 of our citizens of Azerbaijani nationality. Some of them, albeit not too many, will be present at the opening of the street in honor of outstanding statesman Heydar Aliyev today. We have specifically invited them.
I want to emphasize the agreement on holding days of culture of the two countries. The Days of Culture of Kazakhstan will be held as early as this year. Today, together with the esteemed President of Azerbaijan, we will open a street named after outstanding statesman Heydar Aliyevich Aliyev. The timing of that coincides with the 100th anniversary of the great son of the Azerbaijani people.
There will be the premiere of the documentary film about Heydar Aliyev – “Outstanding Life”. This film was shot by the Television and Radio Corporation of Kazakhstan on our instruction, of course. Further evidence of the sincere friendship and mutual support of our countries is the gift of the Kazakh people to Azerbaijan – the Children's Art Center named after Kurmangazy in the city of Fuzuli. I was informed that the construction of this facility is progressing at a fairly rapid pace. I do hope that we will be able to see this facility start operating in the very near future. We are determined to further develop all-round humanitarian contacts in every possible way and enrich the treasury of common spiritual and cultural values.
Dear Ilham Heydar oglu, in our meeting in a limited format, we discussed in detail a number of topical issues on our agenda, identified new points for the growth of interaction between our states, exchanged views on strengthening our dialogue within the framework of international structures. All these will be duly reflected in the joint statement that we will sign today.
Once again, I express my confidence that your visit to Kazakhstan is of great importance. Of course, it will give a powerful impetus to the development of allied relations between our countries.
I would like to give you the floor.
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Addressing the meeting, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Thank you, dear Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich,
First of all, I would like to once again thank you for the invitation. I am very glad to be visiting the fraternal land of Kazakhstan again and to continue our dialogue. I have good memories of your visit to Azerbaijan in August last year. We noted with satisfaction at the first meeting today that the decisions we made are being implemented and I am sure that the decisions that we will make during my visit to Kazakhstan will also be implemented.
I would like to once again express my gratitude on behalf of myself and the entire people of Azerbaijan for honoring the memory of Heydar Aliyev, for having one of the central streets of the capital of Kazakhstan named after him, for honoring the memory of my father and the great leader of the Azerbaijani people.
I would also like to express my gratitude for your personal decision to build the Kurmangazy Children's Art Center in liberated Karabakh. Construction is actually going on very fast, and I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to the opening of this center. This will be a good symbol of friendship and brotherhood of our peoples, because we have a lot of work to do to restore the destroyed infrastructure, including social infrastructure, and such an initiative of fraternal Kazakhstan, of course, evokes warm feelings among all Azerbaijanis.
We are strengthening the positive background of our relations. Relations between peoples have a long history and have always been seen as relations between brothers. Today we are building our future on this solid foundation. The areas of cooperation that we have already discussed have great potential, primarily energy, transport and transit. It is no coincidence that our delegation includes heads of relevant bodies, and this is also the case with the delegation of Kazakhstan. There will be a great opportunity for them to discuss specific ways of resolving issues in order to remove all bureaucratic and administrative obstacles and make the Trans-Caspian corridor attractive from an economic point of view – not just from the point of view of geography and geopolitics. I think that there are ample opportunities for that.
I also consider it necessary to note that cooperation in the humanitarian sphere is of paramount importance. The organization of the Days of Culture of Kazakhstan in Azerbaijan and of Azerbaijan in Kazakhstan will bring our peoples even closer together, reveal the deep history and rich culture of our peoples even more. We believe that it is the humanitarian track that serves as the foundation on which our interstate relations are being built. Of course, there are many areas of mutual interest. We are actually reaching a qualitatively new level of interaction and alliance, and this is already reflected in the Declaration, which was signed earlier and will be signed today. So we are predetermining the successful joint future of our countries and peoples for many decades to come.
I also consider it necessary to note that Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are countries that fully rely on their own resources, do not depend on foreign assistance and are building their own destiny and their own future. This is also the most important factor in world politics today. I think the fact that we are demonstrating a principled approach to protecting the national interests of our countries also speaks of the nature of our peoples. Once again, thank you for the invitation.
I do hope that we will discuss all these issues in more detail in an expanded format and later. Thank you.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev: Thank you. I agree with your assessment of the prospects for cooperation, be it trade, agriculture, logistics and other areas.
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During the meeting, the sides discussed issues of cooperation in the field of media and communication, and emphasized the importance of reciprocal visits of delegations in this field. It was noted that a film dedicated to Great Leader Heydar Aliyev shot by Kazakhstan State Television would be shown on Kazakhstan State Television these days. The sides said that the film would also be shown on Azerbaijan Television. It was noted that the dear memory of Great Leader Heydar Aliyev is revered with deep respect in Kazakhstan.
President Ilham Aliyev expressed his gratitude for the respect for the memory of National Leader Heydar Aliyev.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev pointed to the great importance of the visit by the President of Azerbaijan, noted that the documents to be signed and the discussions held within the framework of the visit had created conditions for a quality shift in the relations between the two countries.
During the meeting, the co-chair of the intergovernmental commission from Kazakhstan made a report on the work done so far. The Minister of Economy and the Minister of Digital Development and Transport of Azerbaijan also spoke about the work done.
The heads of state gave a positive assessment to the establishment of the High-Level Interstate Council as a very positive step among the documents to be signed today. It was emphasized that this was an example of a quality improvement of the relations between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. It was also indicated that the documents signed during the visit of the President of Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan had laid the foundation for the development of relations between the two countries on the basis of alliance.
The heads of state issued instructions to relevant ministers.