Ilham Aliyev attends 10th summit of the Organization of Turkic States in Astana

03 November 2023, 10:31
Ilham Aliyev attends 10th summit of the Organization of Turkic States in Astana

The 10th summit of the Organization of Turkic States has been held under the motto “Turk Time” in Astana.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the event.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev welcomed President Ilham Aliyev and other heads of state and government.

They posed together for a group photo.

Opening the event, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev greeted the summit participants. Congratulating President Ilham Aliyev and the people of Azerbaijan on the restoration of the territorial integrity of the country, President Kassym Jomart-Tokayev said: “I congratulate dear Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev and all the people of Azerbaijan on strengthening your statehood. Your country has restored its territorial integrity and entered a new stage in its development. This historic step was taken in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and resolutions of the UN Security Council.”

In his remarks at the summit, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev spoke about the successes Azerbaijan had achieved under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev in recent years. He said: “As you know, the friendly people of Azerbaijan occupy a worthy place in the Turkic world and enjoy great respect and authority. The people of Azerbaijan have achieved great successes in recent years under the leadership of my dear friend Ilham Heydar oglu.”

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also highlighted the ongoing comprehensive measures implemented in Azerbaijan`s liberated territories. “Historical justice has been restored. Important results have been achieved in the direction of turning Karabakh, an integral part of Azerbaijan, into a construction site. While in Shusha and Fuzuli cities in August, I personally witnessed the large-scale construction work, the creation of modern infrastructure, as well as the restoration of destroyed cultural heritage sites. I once again sincerely congratulate the people of Azerbaijan on the occasion of the great Victory – complete restoration of the country's territorial integrity,” the President of Uzbekistan emphasized.

The President of Azerbaijan addressed the summit.

Speech by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev

- Distinguished President Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich,

Distinguished Heads of State and Government,

Dear friends,

At the outset, I thank President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, for the hospitality and wish success to the brotherly Kazakhstan during its upcoming Chairmanship in the Organization of the Turkic States. I congratulate brotherly Uzbekistan on its successful Chairmanship in the Organization of the Turkic States throughout the year.

I am delighted to be in the city of Astana again. This is my third visit to Kazakhstan in the last two years. On my every visit, I witness the implementation of successful reforms and large-scale development works. I congratulate the leadership of Kazakhstan on all achievements.

Solidifying the relations with the Turkic states is among Azerbaijan’s top foreign policy priorities. Our ethnic and cultural roots, language and common past form the foundation of our ties. Over the past period since the Nakhchivan Summit of 2009, our cooperation across different domains has become institutionalized, and the Organization of Turkic States has come a successful way. Today, our organization enjoys huge political weight and prestige at the international level.

In the past two years, I have paid 20 visits to the Member and Observer states of the Organization of the Turkic States. The leaders of the brotherly countries have on multiple occasions visited Azerbaijan within the same period of time.

The First Cultural Forum of the Turkic World was held in October in the city of Shusha. Availing myself of this opportunity I express my gratitude to you for the support extended for the declaration of Shusha as the Cultural Capital of the Turkic World for the year 2023.

Azerbaijan has invested more than 20 billion US dollars in the economy of Turkic states. The main part of the investments is being made to Türkiye.

The process of establishing the joint investment funds is underway The Azerbaijan-Uzbekistan Investment Fund and Azerbaijan-Kyrgyzstan Development Fund have been established.

From January to September of 2023, Azerbaijan’s trade turnover with the Turkic states increased by 40 percent compared to the same period of 2022.

Transportation and logistics occupy an important place in the development of our relations. Azerbaijan has proved to be a reliable transit country between the markets of the Central Asian countries, Türkiye and Europe.

Azerbaijan is making its valuable contribution to the sustainable operation of the East-West transportation corridor.

Dear colleagues,

Regrettably, today, the norms of international law are being flagrantly violated across different parts of the world. Wars and bloody conflicts are inflamed. Under such circumstances, primarily, the countries’ defense capability becomes their main security guarantee. I believe that cooperation between the Member states in such spheres as security, defense and defense industry must be ramped up.

As you know, Armenia kept the territories of Azerbaijan under occupation for almost 30 years and created an illegal puppet regime there. As a result of ethnic cleansing carried out by Armenia, over a million Azerbaijanis were expelled from their ancestral lands. Armenia razed our cities and villages to the ground, destroyed and desecrated our cultural and religious monuments.

All these years, Azerbaijan made efforts to resolve this conflict by peaceful means. However, Armenia was aiming at consolidating the status quo based on occupation.

Armenian Prime Minister’s statement “Karabakh is Armenia, and full stop,” made in the then-occupied city of Khankandi in 2019, put an end to the negotiations. The Armenian leadership was threatening Azerbaijan with a “new war for new territories”.

Provocative actions and statements by the Armenian leadership in 2020, including military provocations, made the Second Karabakh War inevitable.

Azerbaijan using its inherent right to self-defense as enshrined in the article 51 of the UN Charter, defeated Armenia on the battlefield during the 44-day Patriotic War of 2020 and restored its territorial integrity and historical justice. We ourselves ensured the enforcement of the four UN Security Council resolutions demanding the withdrawal of Armenia’s armed forces from Azerbaijan’s occupied territories that had remained on paper for 27 years. The Second Karabakh War that lasted just 44 days ended with the signing of the capitulation act by Armenia on 10 November 2020.

Despite the policy of occupation and ethnic cleansing by Armenia against our country, it was Azerbaijan that declared its readiness to sign the peace treaty with Armenia and presented five basic principles.

Although in 2022 Armenia declared that it recognized Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, its real actions were totally illogical and controversial. The remnants of Armenia’s armed forces were left stationed on Azerbaijan’s sovereign territory. Armenian Prime Minister’s congratulatory message on the so-called “independence” of the puppet regime on 2 September this year and the so-called “presidential elections” held on 9 September in Karabakh were a disrespect for and a direct threat to our country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

An explosion of landmines deliberately planted by the Armenian illegal armed formations in the liberated territories on 19 September 2023 claimed the lives of six civilians and police personnel. In its aftermath, Azerbaijan launched local anti-terror measures to restore its constitutional order and neutralize illegal armed formations. As a result of the operation that ended in 23 hours, Azerbaijan fully restored its sovereignty and constitutional order. No damage was inflicted upon civilians and civilian infrastructure during the anti-terror measures. Azerbaijan fully complied with the international humanitarian law. These facts were corroborated by the UN team that visited the region twice.

3 years ago, immediately after the end of the Patriotic War, Azerbaijan started large-scale restoration and reconstruction works across the liberated territories. 7 billion US dollars of Azerbaijan’s budget funds have already been spent for these purposes. The allocation of at least 2.4 billion US dollars is envisaged for the following year.

We are implementing the Great Return Program. The formerly displaced persons, the rightful owners of these lands, have returned to the cities of Lachin and Fuzuli and three villages. Over 140 thousand people are due to return to Karabakh and East Zangezur by the end of 2026.

I thank again President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev for the school, the construction of which is completed in the city of Fuzuli. I remember with pleasure the school’s opening ceremony in August, which we both have attended. I am grateful to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for the Creativity Center, Kazakhstan’s gift to Azerbaijan which is under construction in the city of Fuzuli. All of that is a testimony to the friendship and brotherhood between the peoples of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

Dear friends,

We are part of the great Turkic world. I am confident that our friendship and brotherhood will be eternal. The global reputation of the Organization of the Turkic states will further increase.

Thank you.

x x x

Speaking at the summit, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Zhaparov noted that Azerbaijan had always taken important steps towards restoration of its sovereignty. He said: “I want to take this opportunity to state that Kyrgyzstan supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within the internationally recognized borders.”

In his remarks at the summit, President of the Republic of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasized that Azerbaijan's restoration of territorial integrity was a source of pride for all Turkic states and ushered ample opportunities for peace. “We are extremely proud and happy about this historic achievement. With this, we have come one step closer to sustainable peace in our region. It is our greatest desire to take advantage of the opening window of opportunity. It is important for Armenia to fulfill its commitments to Azerbaijan. The implementation of the communication line project that will connect the western region of Azerbaijan with Nakhchivan is also of tremendous importance. The opening of this line will make a significant contribution to the prosperity of all countries of the region, and also connect Türkiye with the land of our ancestors, Central Asia. For the successful completion of this process, we as the Turkic world must continue our support for Azerbaijan.”

The President of Türkiye also pointed out that consistent work was being done on the Protocol on amendments to the Nakhchivan Agreement. “The Protocol on amendments to the Nakhchivan Agreement was adopted by our Parliament on October 3, which is the Day of Cooperation of Turkic States. On November 1, we completed the process of approval of the Protocol. I invite all member countries to take the necessary steps to implement the Protocol as soon as possible.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also emphasized that measures had been taken towards strengthening cooperation in the field of energy between Turkic states. He noted: “Giant energy and transport infrastructure projects have always been the key and important area of cooperation between Turkic states. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum natural gas pipelines, the Trans-Anatolian pipeline are specific examples of that. The transportation of Caspian natural gas to Türkiye and Europe will contribute both to the prosperity of Turkic states and to the energy security of Europe. We should also emphasize the goal of developing the transport network between our countries. With this in mind, we are continuing our efforts to increase the role of the East-West-Middle Corridor passing through the Caspian.”

The Chairman of the People's Council of the National Assembly of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, while speaking about the projects being implemented by Turkic states, said: “Work is underway to create a transport corridor that will extend to the Caspian Sea along and cover Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and then expand to Azerbaijan and Türkiye. Currently, Turkmenistan exports natural gas to neighboring and fraternal countries of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. At the same time, we have the opportunity to export Turkmenistan's gas through the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, Türkiye and world markets in the future. In the near future, we will have the opportunity to transport electricity to Azerbaijan and Türkiye, which are fraternal countries.”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban highlighted the special role of this summit in further strengthening the cooperation between Turkic states. Viktor Orban, who once again brought Azerbaijan's successes to the attention of the meeting participants, said: “I wish President Ilham Aliyev continued success in his efforts to achieve stability in the region and the reconstruction of Karabakh. Mr. President, I congratulate you on your achievements.”

Secretary General of the Organization of Turkic States Kubanychbek Omuraliyev provided an insight into the completed works, noting that a number of important decisions were adopted in various areas during the past period. “There are plans to establish a regional representative office of the UN Settlement Program in Istanbul. At the same time, there is partnership between the UN Settlement Program and Azerbaijan. I would like to emphasize that the National Urban Forum was successfully held in Azerbaijan at the end of September,” Kubanychbek Omuraliyev said.

x x x

The event was followed by the signing of the Astana Act and Declaration of the Astana Summit.

Then, the awarding ceremony was held.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev presented the Supreme Order of Turkic World to President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev for his great contributions to the development of the Turkic peoples.