Joint press statements of Presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkish

19 February 2024, 17:55

Statement by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

- Dear Mr. President, my dear brother.

Ministers, representatives of the media.

I am greeting you with the sincerest feelings, respect and love.

I once again congratulate my dear brother Ilham Aliyev on his reelection as President of Azerbaijan for the fifth time with tremendous confidence of his people.

I am very pleased that my brother Ilham Aliyev is paying his first official visit abroad to Türkiye right after he was re-elected President.

As you may know, the presidential election held on February 7 has a historic significance due to the fact that it was held in all the sovereign lands of Azerbaijan for the first time. I do hope that the results of the election are beneficial for Türkiye -Azerbaijan relations and the brotherly people of Azerbaijan.

Unfortunately, on the eve of the election, Azerbaijan was subjected to some injustices. We strongly protested against the decisions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to prevent the Azerbaijani delegation from participating in this year's activities. We will continue to emphasize the importance of the Assembly being a dialogue platform that will strengthen parliamentary democracy, not conflict. We will continue our support for Azerbaijan and our efforts in this direction until the decision is cancelled.

Dear representatives of the media, during the meetings with my dear brother, we reviewed all directions of our bilateral relations, evaluated regional and international affairs.

We can see that our cooperation with Azerbaijan is progressing on the basis of the “One nation in two states” slogan proclaimed by National Leader Heydar Aliyev. Our total turnover reached the level of 7.5 billion dollars for the first time, last year. We are determined to increase our efforts to achieve our target of 15 billion dollars.

At a time of critical challenges, it is obvious that we need to develop the potential of our countries in the fields of transportation and energy. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is one of the most concrete examples of this. To get the most out of this railway, maintenance work must be completed quickly.

During my visit to the “Turkic Gate” of Nakhchivan last September, together with honorable Ilham Aliyev, we signed the protocol of intent regarding the Kars-Nakhchivan railway project with these thoughts in our mind.

Increasing the capacity of TANAP and delivering Caspian natural gas to Türkiye and Europe are among our top priorities in this regard. I would also like to remind you that with the Igdir-Nakhchivan natural gas pipeline project, for which we laid the foundation stone during my visit to Nakhchivan, we raised our energy cooperation to a new level.

Dear representatives of the media, we have also discussed the steps being taken for peace and stability in the South Caucasus. There is no doubt that the signing of lasting peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia will be a new source of hope for peace, calm and stability in our region and the world in general. We are moving shoulder to shoulder with Azerbaijan in this process. The end of the occupation in Karabakh has opened a historic window of opportunity for lasting peace in our region. It is very important that this window of opportunity remains open. I believe that Armenia should use its foresight and evaluate this process from a strategic perspective. We invite third parties to contribute constructively to this process, not poison it. I would also like to take this opportunity to state that we hope that the events that happened on the border of the two countries a few days ago do not happen again. I hope that the wounded solder of the Azerbaijani Army gets well soon.

In our meetings, we also discussed Israel's massacres in Gaza, which violate all human values and international law, as well as other conflicts of interest to our region.

We continue to work towards further establishing and strengthening our union within the Organization of Turkic States, which is our family. I would like to express my special satisfaction with the holding of the Extraordinary Summit of our organization in Shusha, the cultural capital of the Turkic world, in July.

In the coming period, we will continue to walk with our dear Azerbaijan as true brothers in the spirit we enshrined in the Shusha Declaration.

In the person of my dear brother, I would like to thank all the people of Azerbaijan for their solidarity with our nation during the earthquakes of February 6 last year. In addition to other assistance, Azerbaijan is building 1,000 houses and 799 businesses on 32 hectares of land in Kahramanmaras. Last week, during our visit to Kahramanmaras, we received information about the work carried out on the Azerbaijan Boulevard.

In conclusion, I would like to thank my dear Brother Ilham Aliyev again for the visit. May Allah make our affinity and brotherhood eternal.

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Statement by President Ilham Aliyev

- My dear brother, Mr. President,

Honorable ladies and gentlemen.

First of all, I would like to thank you, my dear brother, for the hospitality and invitation extended to me.

As you mentioned, my first official visit after the presidential election is to the brotherly country. And it is only natural, it is a tradition. We are loyal to all the traditions left to us by our forefathers. Today, the Turkish-Azerbaijani union has become an important factor not only for the region but also for Eurasia.

Every time I come to Türkiye, I witness the large-scale development process in our brotherly country. I am delighted about this and once again see that the brotherly country is achieving new heights thanks to the efforts of my dear Brother.

Türkiye has a say in the world today. Many issues in our region and indeed around the world depend on Türkiye’s position. Türkiye is a guarantor of tranquility, peace and cooperation in our region. Türkiye’s strong industrial potential, vibrant economy, as well as its military power pleases everyone who belongs to the Turkic world. Of course, Azerbaijan is as happy with your success as it is with its own. When the Second Karabakh War ended in November 2020, Azerbaijan liberated most of its occupied territory, and Türkiye was by our side for all 44 days. My dear Brother's steadfast and clear statements in the early hours of the war were a serious message to many, keeping them from interfering in the cause. Azerbaijan is not alone and Türkiye is with Azerbaijan. This political and moral support was enough for us, and we resolved our historical issue we could not resolve peacefully for 30 years in a matter of 44 days on the battlefield.

The people of Azerbaijan will never forget this fraternal support. Today, during our conversations, I said that even before that, Türkiye-Azerbaijan relations were brotherly. However, the support given to us after the Second Karabakh War raised these relations to an even higher level. Today, based on the Declaration of Alliance, we are together on all the matters and have the same goals. We add strength to strength, and of course, the unity of the Turkic world, the unity of peoples with common roots will strengthen each member of the Organization of Turkic States. Today, a broad discussion was held regarding this issue. The informal Summit of the Organization of Turkic States will be held in Shusha in July this year, as noted by the honorable President. At the same time, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, who has an observer status, will also participate in the meeting at my invitation. This will give another strong impetus to our common cause, the cause of the unity of Turkic peoples.

The honorable President has said that there are quite a few projects we have implemented together. Transport and energy projects are already playing an important part beyond our borders. The topics of energy and transport security are at the forefront of the global agenda today. Of course, we are very pleased that our turnover is growing rapidly and reaching a record level of 7.5 billion dollars. Five or six years ago, we could not even dream that our turnover could increase to such an extent, but this is a reality now. In the past, we set common goals and now we are moving towards them.

Last year, 9 billion cubic meters of natural gas was exported from Azerbaijan to Türkiye. Based on the agreements reached, we plan to increase the volume of gas, including natural gas going from Türkiye to Europe, which is an important issue of energy security for many countries of the continent.

We are witnessing the same in transportation sector. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway should be put into full operation in the middle of this year to increase the volume of cargo from 1 million tons to 5 million tons.

One of the important directions of our cooperation is the military field. Our armies are a single fist. Every year at least 10 military exercises are held both in Türkiye and Azerbaijan, and thus our military strength is further growing. The Second Karabakh War and the anti-terrorist operation we conducted exactly five months ago demonstrated once again that the Turkish Army model is fully integrated into the Azerbaijan one. The anti-terrorist operation in Karabakh has fully ensured the sovereignty of our country. There is no place for divisive and separatist forces on the territory of Azerbaijan and there never will be.

Today, of course, new opportunities have emerged in the field of defense industry. Extensive discussions have been held on this subject. We have concrete plans for joint production. When these plans are realized, the public will be informed.

An important agreement on education has been signed today. This is a forward-looking initiative. Our young generation, both in Türkiye and Azerbaijan, should be educated in the spirit of brotherhood, alliance and shared values. They should be loyal to our national and moral values, should be immune from foreign influence, should be knowledgeable, educated and patriotic. Today, the establishment of Türkiye-Azerbaijan University is not just an educational issue. This is another symbol of our unity. I am sure that this university will become one of the leading universities not only in Azerbaijan, but also in the region in the near future.

Once again, my dear brother, thank you for your hospitality, and I want to take this opportunity to invite you to Azerbaijan again. Thank you.