Azerbaijani and Turkish Presidents are making press statements
13 June 2023, 14:10
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan have made press statements.
The President of Azerbaijan made the statement first.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
- My dear brother, dear Mr. President.
Dear guests, ladies and gentlemen.
First of all, my dear brother, I sincerely welcome you to Azerbaijan. Welcome to Azerbaijan, to your homeland.
I want to congratulate you once again on your victory in the presidential election. I am delighted that two weeks after this victory, you are paying a state visit to Azerbaijan.
Your victory in the election is a manifestation of the high appreciation of the Turkish people for more than 20 years of your policy. Under your leadership, brotherly Türkiye has covered a long and glorious path and has become a global power house. Your activities both in the field and domestic policy are highly appreciated by the people of Türkiye. Your victory made the people of Azerbaijan very happy.
I am sure that new opportunities and horizons will open up for Turkish-Azerbaijani fraternal relations after this election. Today, we have summed up the work done together and, at the same time, had an exchange on a wide range of issues related to what needs to be done in the coming years. Both during the one-on-one meeting and in the negotiations with the participation of the delegations, we once again expressed our common intention. In other words, the fraternal relations between Türkiye and Azerbaijan are the foundation of all the successes achieved.
In two days, we will celebrate the second anniversary of the Shusha Declaration. The Shusha Declaration is a historic agreement. As a result of this agreement, Türkiye and Azerbaijan officially became allies. We had been acting as allies de facto for many years, but the Shusha Declaration made it an official document. The signing of this document in Shusha is, of course, quite symbolic because Shusha is the crown jewel of Karabakh, and the liberation of Shusha from occupation put an end to the Second Karabakh War. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you and brotherly Türkiye on behalf of the people of Azerbaijan for the fraternal, moral and political support you gave us during the Second Karabakh War.
Of course, the program of our future cooperation is among the issues we discussed today. Work is underway in all areas on the basis of specific programs. First of all, Türkiye and Azerbaijan will take a unified position in the field of foreign policy. Our joint activities related to foreign policy are of great importance for the region. The factor of Turkish-Azerbaijani unity is highly important in terms of development, stability and security of the region.
Today, we also talked about our future plans in the fields of defense and defense industry. It was noted with satisfaction that 16 joint military exercises would be held this year, six of which had already been held. I said after the Second Karabakh War that the Azerbaijani Army would be developing on the basis of the Turkish model, and we can clearly see that now. I want to express my special appreciation to you for this support.
In the present-day world, the power factor comes to the fore. Unfortunately, international law does not work. We saw this during the 30-years of occupation, the discussions and negotiations did not yield any results, it was our strength that led to the results. Therefore, the joint work to be carried out will further increase our strength both in the region and in the world.
We have noted with satisfaction that the turnover is growing rapidly. It has already approached 6 billion dollars and will increase even more in the future. Because the projects we will implement together will ensure this, especially in the field of energy. The export of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Türkiye is increasing, increasing by the year, and we have agreed that it will continue to increase. In parallel with this, the exports of Azerbaijani gas from the territory of Türkiye to European countries is increasing, and there is a great demand for it. Our work in the field of energy is not limited to natural gas. Today, we exchanged ideas on cooperation on renewable energy. Today, we extensively cooperate in the fields of gas, oil, oil products, petrochemicals, and electricity.
Of course, every time we meet, we also discuss transportation issues in great detail. In the current geopolitical environment, the importance of the Middle Corridor is growing. The volume of cargo transported from the territory of Azerbaijan, i.e. through the Caspian Sea, is increasing by the year and will continue to increase. Therefore, we are expanding transport and logistics capabilities in Azerbaijan. We are expanding the capacity of the Port of Baku to 25 million tons. Railway, shipyard and other transport infrastructure are being brought into line with the most modern requirements.
At the same time, we exchanged views on the speedy opening of the Zangezur corridor. We have discussed this issue. The opening of the Zangezur corridor is inevitable, the sooner the better. In any case, we will increase our efforts in this direction. The opening of this corridor will usher new opportunities for all countries and will have a positive impact on cooperation in the region.
One of the issues discussed is related to education. Negotiations for the establishment of a joint Turkish-Azerbaijani university are now in final stages. We very much hope that this issue will be resolved in the coming months and another contribution will be made to our fraternal relations.
In a nutshell, on all these and other issues I have mentioned – our agenda is quite broad – there is consensus, unity, and unity of position, and this is the way it should be. Turkish-Azerbaijani unity is important for our peoples, for the region, for the Turkic world. I am sure that in the coming years this unity will become stronger as more successes and victories await us.
Dear brother, thank you again for coming. Welcome to your homeland!
x x x
Then, the President of Türkiye made the statement.
Statement by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
- Dear Mr. President, my dear brother.
First of all, I would like to inform the respected representatives of the media again that this run-off presidential election had a turnout of 86 percent and was an exceptional election on a global scale. We were extremely pleased to win this election by the will of our nation and to be paying our first visit to Northern Cyprus and Baku on the same day. We are in our home and are making a statement to the press here now.
My brother Ilham summarized the meetings held by the ministers today very well. In addition, we have discussed in detail what we have done and what we are doing in a one-on-one meeting. President Ilham Aliyev summarized that and provided detailed information about the meeting between the delegations.
Türkiye and Azerbaijan are two brotherly countries. We have come to this day with the idea of “one nation in two states”. We will resolutely continue along this path, as we have done to this day. I want to mention one issue here. In particular, the participation of my brother Ilham and his wife in the swearing-in ceremony is a message to the world and Türkiye. This is why I am here with my wife in the same manner. These visits are the best expression of the development of our relations. Did we do all this only today? No! We have been doing that constantly – since I became Prime Minister, then since I became President. We live and we will continue to live as long as the Lord gives us life.
On behalf of myself and my delegation, I would like to thank my dear brother Ilham Aliyev and our Azerbaijani brothers for this hospitality. One of the steps we are currently taking and will take is the issues of the Türkiye-Azerbaijan University. Regarding this issue, the chairman of the Higher Education Department discussed this issue with his colleague today. My brother Ilham expressed the importance of the legal procedures. By implementing this issue as soon as possible, we will, Inshallah, succeed in establishing such a university between Türkiye and Azerbaijan. Thus, just as our Azerbaijani youth can easily come to Türkiye, Turkish youth will have the same chance to study at the university in Azerbaijan.
In addition to that, one of the most important issues, as is known, is the energy issue. In the field of energy, both TANAP and TAP have been in operation for years. Our ministers also discussed the details of these issues between themselves. The work we will do in the future was also discussed. Europe is very concerned about the energy sector, especially the gas it will receive through Türkiye. This is why they keep asking. We are making our contribution to that and will continue to do so.
Also, the steps to be taken in the field of defense industry are also of great importance. Along with the steps we will take in this area, there are tasks ahead in the field of education, as well as the defense industry part of this work. We will continue to perform these tasks in the same manner as we have done so far.
One of the most important issues is the steps our private sector is taking. Our companies successfully carry out joint activities in the fields of agriculture and animal husbandry. In addition, Turkish contractor companies in the field of transport are implementing successful infrastructure projects in Azerbaijan. This makes us particularly happy.
We are determined to continue successfully implementing the provisions of the Shusha Declaration, and we will not compromise on this issue.
The issue of the Zangezur corridor, which we have been sensitively working on the most, will, Inshallah, provide us with two important opportunities. With the opening of the road from here to Igdir and Nakhchivan, Türkiye’s connection with Nakhchivan will be stronger thanks to the steps to be taken both in relation to the highway and railway. The establishment of these relations will enable further strengthening of the relations between Türkiye and Azerbaijan. Because where there is a road, there is culture. If you have a road, you are cultured. If you have a road, you have reached culture. If there is no road, there is nothing. At the moment, the most important issue that Azerbaijan shows great sensitivity on, in terms of infrastructure, especially after the wars, is roads. I saw during my previous visit that all the tunnels and viaducts explicitly show how Azerbaijan developed after the Karabakh wars – the first or the second Karabakh war. We feel proud when we see that with our own eyes. I think of Baku 20 years ago and now I think of Karabakh. For 30 years, the Minsk group just delayed time, and the result is obvious. They delayed time too much and prevented any step from being taken. If you cut your own belly button, you will walk. Thankfully, my brother Ilham managed to do it. As a nation, you have done it, and now you have reached this level. So, what matters is that when you are determined, when you believe in yourself, you can achieve what you want. Azerbaijan has also achieved this result.
Of course, there are certain steps ahead of us now. Inshallah, as these steps are successfully taken, Azerbaijan will, of course, go further with its current population. You know my population plan and program. I was saying at least three. But in Azerbaijan it should be at least five. Am I right, brother?
President Ilham Aliyev: We are working on that.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: There should be at least five. The current population is 12 million.
President Ilham Aliyev: It has not yet reached 11 million, it is over 10 million, but, Inshallah, it will reach 11 million soon.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: It will, Inshallah. In other words, it is necessary to do that. When this is achieved, Azerbaijan will be even stronger. Because the population is the power of every country, it changes the paradigms of that country regarding the future. With this confidence, we will step towards the future with the Turkish-Azerbaijani brotherhood and the concept of “one nation in two states”. Inshallah, with the steps we will take in other areas, starting from the Preferential Trade Agreement between us and others, we will raise Türkiye-Azerbaijan brotherhood to a higher level. Thank you very much!