Ilham Aliyev and President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev are making press statements

11 March 2024, 14:32
Ilham Aliyev and President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev are making press statements

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev have made press statements.

Statement by President Ilham Aliyev

- Dear Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich!

Dear guests, ladies and gentlemen!

We are honored to welcome our esteemed guest, the President of Kazakhstan, on a state visit. Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich, welcome!

Today we have had extensive discussions on what has already been done to strengthen our cooperation, and also discussed in detail our future plans. We attach great importance to the state visit of the President of Kazakhstan - our brotherly country, strategic partner and ally. The dynamics of our relations can be very easily traced in the chronology of our reciprocal visits. Over the past year and a half, I have visited Kazakhstan four times, and the President of Kazakhstan is now visiting our country for the third time during the same time span. Today, we have also agreed as part of the exchange of views on future visits before the end of this year. The very fact of such dynamic interaction speaks for itself. We not only discuss important issues of bilateral cooperation, but also touch upon regional issues, matters related to the security system in our region.

I would like to once again express my gratitude to Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich for his initiative to build the Kurmangazy Children's Creativity Center in Fuzuli, which has been liberated from occupation. It is the personal decision by the President, and although very little time has passed since this decision was made, we will inaugurate this center together tomorrow. Along with the fact that children of former IDPs will study there, it will also be the center of our friendship and brotherhood. This is Kazakhstan’s brotherly help to Azerbaijan. It is a gift from Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan and its support for the restoration of liberated territories.

We are also grateful to Kazakhstan for its continued support of Azerbaijan in restoring its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Today we discussed in detail the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. I informed my colleague about the current stage of the negotiations and prospects for reaching a peace agreement. Azerbaijan is interested in this, and, in fact, it was Azerbaijan that initiated the start of the process of negotiations on a peace agreement.

Along with this, we also discussed other issues of interaction, including our joint activities in international bodies, first of all, the UN and the Organization of Turkic States. We are aligned in the view that it is necessary to further strengthen interaction within the framework of the Organization of Turkic States, as it is an organization that unites close, friendly and brotherly countries and has an enormous potential – most importantly, the potential for growth.

As for the bilateral agenda, various aspects of our engagement have been discussed in detail within the framework of the first meeting of the Supreme Interstate Council. The sphere of trade and economic interaction has tremendous potential for growth. Matters related to the transit and transport sector were discussed in detail, and we took part in the symbolic welcoming of the container train, which made its way from the People's Republic of China through Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan. This is a symbol that the Trans-Caspian transport corridor is already a reality, which itself will largely determine the level of regional cooperation, because it is impossible to become a transit country without good relations with your neighbors. In this case, both Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have demonstrated their commitment to regional cooperation and solidifying relations with neighbors.

Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich and I stated today that we are also neighbors. Only the Caspian Sea separates us. But it is not an obstacle today. On the contrary, the Caspian Sea is a bridge not only between our countries, but also between many other states, because the Trans-Caspian transport route is now unlocking its full potential. We also listened to detailed reports from members of the government across multiple sectors.

The results of interaction, joint activities and, most importantly, our future plans are really impressive.

The situation related to cooperation in the oil and gas sector was also addressed extensively and new specific projects were outlined. We discussed preparations for the COP29 climate conference, and we offered our Kazakh brothers the cooperation in preparing and holding this most significant international conference. We also discussed issues related to humanitarian cooperation. Each direction is a massive layer. When we listened to reports from members of the government, we were convinced how much has already been done – Days of Culture, various events and honoring prominent representatives of our peoples.

The implementation of transport and energy cooperation projects and prospects for cooperation in the field of “green” energy. We are following a parallel track. And today, within the framework of discussions, we stated that the current geopolitical situation, which I would say essentially puts the Trans-Caspian transport route at the forefront of the global transportation and logistics spectrum, has a solid foundation. Because both Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan made major investments in this sphere in previous years.

Although we have abundant natural resources, we have strived and achieved full compliance of our transportation infrastructure with international standards. Both Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have implemented large-scale transportation projects, be it railroads, airports, highways or seaports. All this is in demand as never before. Once again, this convinces us all that everything must be done in time and we need to look beyond the foreseeable prospect, which is visible to the naked eye. And only then can we succeed. Therefore, if we started investing in transportation infrastructure today, it would probably take us 10 years to build up the potential we have today.

But today, on this foundation, we are planning to expand our transport and transit capabilities, be it ports or railroads, and create synergies and a unified transport complex, which will also be underpinned by projects related to digitalization. Here, too, we are following a parallel course. Both Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan attach significant attention to this sphere. I congratulated my colleague on Kazakhstan's impressive achievements in socioeconomic development, sustainable growth of the economy, and the continuous growth of Kazakhstan's authority in international affairs.

This is very important for us. It makes us proud of our brotherly people, because Kazakhstan stands as a nation that rightfully commands a distinguished reputation on the global stage, owing to its astute policies, sound strategies, and purposeful actions aimed at state advancement, alongside its constructive engagement within the international community. We are sincerely happy about this. Every time you visit Kazakhstan, you see transformation. I have told Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich that the creation of a modern and beautiful metropolis of Astana is a rare example in world history. And every time I go there – as I said, I have been there four times in a year and a half – I see development. All this reflects the reforms that President Tokayev is implementing for the benefit of his people, his state and to the delight of his friends. We are sincerely striving to fill our relations with even more content. A state visit is the highest level of demonstration of relations. And we aimed to fill it with tangible content in preparation for the visit.

An Intergovernmental Commission meeting was held the day before in Astana, documents were prepared. While the part of these documents were signed in the presence of delegations, others are being signed in the working order. The agenda is actually very extensive, and most importantly, it is aimed at a concrete result.

I would like to express my gratitude to the President of Kazakhstan again for accepting my invitation and visiting Azerbaijan. As I have already said, we have agreed on new meetings in the near future and before the end of the year in order to constantly maintain this dialogue and provide a further impetus to all members of the team so that everything we have decided and signed would be implemented.

Once again, welcome!

x x x

Statement by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

- Dear Ilham Heydarovich, thank you, for your hospitality.

We literally felt the warmth of our hosts from the very first minutes on the blessed Azerbaijani land. This state visit is extremely important for further development of cooperation between our states. As you can see, I am accompanied by a very large delegation. This shows that we have carefully prepared for all aspects of this important event – our state visit to brotherly Azerbaijan.

I would like to begin by giving an assessment to my visit. Indeed, the visit has been a great success. Today we witnessed the signing of relevant documents and agreements. But the most important thing is that, as we agreed, the efforts of the governments and other relevant agencies will target full implementation of all the agreements reached during the meeting.

Taking the opportunity, I already did this before the first meeting of the Supreme Interstate Council, but I would like to congratulate you again, dear Ilham Heydar oglu, on your convincing victory in the presidential election. It shows the full support of the Azerbaijani people for your strategic course. I have no doubt that your future leadership of this very important country will be marked by tremendous successes in all spheres, be it political or economic.

Azerbaijan has achieved a historic victory under your authoritative leadership. This is the restoration of state sovereignty. The people of Kazakhstan were very happy about that. We held talks on this subject and at the time, I sent my message of greetings to you. I think that this is a natural outcome of all your efforts, which have been focused on the restoration of state sovereignty and, ultimately, to the restoration of historical truth for many years.

Another success I would like to mention is the holding of the Global Climate Summit. The fact that such an important event will be held in Baku speaks volumes. First of all, it is a recognition of the successes of social and economic development of your country, as well as successes in the international arena. Indeed, Azerbaijan's authority is steadily growing, be it in the economy or international politics. And, of course, Kazakhstan supports the holding of COP29 at the appropriate level and will make efforts to ensure that this ultimate goal is achieved. In any case, I plan to personally participate in this event at your invitation.

Indeed, high-level contacts have become more frequent lately, and this is a very positive development. This year is no exception either. We are looking forward to your visit to Kazakhstan at least twice to participate in events of high international level. I myself plan to come to Azerbaijan once again to take part in the informal summit of the leaders of Turkic states. I think these contacts are very useful for strengthening strategic partnership and even alliance between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. When we talk about strategic partnership, it is not just a beautiful phrase or diplomatic courtesy. In fact, the very essence of our cooperation speaks of the strategic nature of our interaction.

Such important issues were discussed at the first meeting of the Supreme Interstate Council today that it is appropriate to speak about the strategic nature of these issues as they are implemented and our plans are realized.

As for the transport and logistics, we have talked about the fact that in addition to resources, the struggle for access to transport and logistical opportunities is intensifying all over the world. This is a strategic sphere. It is gratifying that both Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan closely cooperate here as natural partners. And today's ceremony of this railroad route from the port of Xi'an through the territory of Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan speaks volumes. This is indeed a milestone, and it took place during my state visit. I am happy about it.

We talked about making joint efforts in the field of digitalization, creation of artificial intelligence, construction of fiber-optic communication across the Caspian Sea. These are unique projects. I think that success is not far off.

I would like to emphasize the cultural and humanitarian component of our strategic partnership. It is very important from the point of view of bringing our peoples even closer together. We are grateful to the Azerbaijani side for the warm welcome and the necessary conditions created for excellent holding of Kazakhstan Culture Days. We are looking forward to welcoming the representatives of Azerbaijani culture to our country. The success of this event unquestionable because interest in Azerbaijani culture is always preserved. We should say openly that the people of Kazakhstan have missed your culture and will welcome the masters of Azerbaijani culture with great expectations and enthusiasm.

I would also like to make special mention of our interaction in very important international organizations. These are the United Nations, the Organization of Turkic States, the OSCE, CICA, SPECA, and the CIS. I think this is a very wide range of international cooperation, and this international engagement will continue. It is also very important in the context of our strategic partnership.

Once again, I would like to thank Ilham Heydarovich Aliyev, honorable President of Azerbaijan, for the hospitality shown to us. We feel very comfortable in your land. We arrived in the beautiful city of Baku at your invitation with great interest and expectations and now, naturally, upon our return to Kazakhstan, we will immediately proceed to make appropriate decisions and necessary efforts for the realization of all the agreements reached.

Thank you.