Statement by President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda
- Your Excellency, Mr. President,
Today I am welcoming you to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. A year ago, within the framework of my visit to Azerbaijan, we started meaningful discussions and decided to strengthen our relations in terms of bilateral cooperation and the fields of economy and education. I am sure this visit will add a new positive dynamic to the cooperation relations between Azerbaijan and Lithuania.
President Aliyev and I will open the second Lithuanian-Azerbaijani business forum today. I am sure that this platform will provide ample opportunities in the economic sector. At the same time, agreements on cooperation between Lithuania and Azerbaijan in the fields of environment, youth and law enforcement were signed today. This will give an important impetus to the development of our bilateral relations.
Since 2006, Lithuania has participated in international development projects together with Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is a partner of Lithuania in the European Union’s Twinning program. Also, Azerbaijan is Lithuania’s leading partner in terms of the number of projects implemented within the Eastern Partnership program.
Lithuania supports the development of a partnership between the European Union and Azerbaijan. We must look for new opportunities to develop our strategic partnership within the framework of the Eastern Partnership program. We positively assess the energy cooperation between the European Union and Azerbaijan. This cooperation has positively impacted the European Union's energy market and helped the EU secure its winter energy supplies.
Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine has introduced a new dimension to our partnership. We must work together to prevent Russia from circumventing sanctions and support Ukraine until victory.
Lithuania stands for a peaceful, sustainable comprehensive resolution of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia through diplomatic means. Lithuania strongly supports the efforts of the European Union and our Transatlantic allies to make this happen.
Your Excellency, thank you for your visit and I firmly believe that the bonds of friendship between our nations will continue to unite us in the years ahead. Thank you.
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Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Mr. President,
Dear ladies and gentlemen.
Mr. President, first of all, I would like to thank you for the invitation and your hospitality. I am delighted to be visiting your beautiful country again.
Today, we discussed a wide range of important issues in a broad exchange of views and once again reaffirmed our strategic partnership. Last year, President Nausėda was on an official visit to Azerbaijan, and this year I am paying an official visit to Lithuania. We also met in Davos earlier this year. So, this in itself shows that a very active political dialogue is being conducted between us and this dialogue is complemented with concrete results. Of course, the agreements reached at the political level positively affect all other areas. We very much hope that things will move fast in the fields of economy and trade, as well as at the political level, in the coming years. Today’s business forum will be an important step in this direction.
I am sure that the joint activity of business organizations will lead to an increase in trade turnover. I should also note that there is great interest from both sides, and a Lithuanian-Azerbaijani business forum was held in Baku as part of the official visit of President Nauseda to Azerbaijan in May last year.
Today, we also had a broad exchange of views on regional issues. I informed the President of Lithuania about the Azerbaijan-Armenia peace talks. We do hope that peace negotiations will eventually bring long-term peace to the Caucasus, although the lands of Azerbaijan were under Armenian occupation for many years, nearly 30 years. As a result of this occupation, one million Azerbaijanis were displaced from their native lands, and approximately 20 percent of our territories were under occupation. In the occupied territories, the invaders destroyed almost the entire infrastructure and buildings, including historical sites. We believe that signing a peace treaty is inevitable and are trying to make constructive efforts to achieve this goal. Of course, this peace agreement should be based on international norms and principles.
European Union-Azerbaijan relations play an essential role in our bilateral cooperation with Lithuania, and we are grateful to Lithuania for its efforts to develop these relations. Two months after President Nauseda visited Azerbaijan, a Memorandum of Understanding on strategic partnership in the field of energy was signed between the European Commission and Azerbaijan in Baku, and this memorandum is being successfully implemented. Very serious steps are being taken regarding the transportation of Azerbaijani natural gas to European markets. The volume of transported, i.e., exported gas, is increasing yearly and will continue to increase.
We have also exchanged views on renewable energy development in Lithuania and Azerbaijan, and we confirmed that we are moving in this direction almost in parallel to each other. Lithuania and Azerbaijan are attaching great importance to this field, and I believe that bilateral cooperation in this field will be possible soon.
Of course, our countries have significant responsibilities for creating even more comfortable transport and communication opportunities on the Eurasian continent, which generally connects our countries and continents. We agreed that relevant institutions would seriously deal with this matter because this is necessitated by the new geopolitical realities emerging in the world.
The volume of transit cargo passing through the territory of Azerbaijan is increasing year after year and will continue to increase. Our modern infrastructure makes that possible. Transportation routes connecting the Caspian Sea and the South Caucasus with the Baltic Sea countries are also well known. Simply put, we will achieve successful cooperation in this field by implementing such connectivity projects through joint efforts.
Overall, the importance of the issues discussed today shows that Lithuania and Azerbaijan are successfully cooperating as strategic partners. I am sure that this cooperation will receive another strong impetus after this visit.
Thank you very much again for the invitation and the hospitality.