President Aliyev: Azerbaijan-France political relations are at high level (PHOTO)

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 12

By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:

The documents signed between Azerbaijan and France today determine the future cooperation between the two countries in many areas, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at a joint press conference with French counterpart Francois Hollande in Baku on May 12.

He stressed that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to this visit. He expressed confidence that it will play a positive role in the development of friendly relations between Azerbaijan and France and this friendship will continue.

President Aliyev stressed that of course, a joint statement has a special place among these documents.

"The reason is that this document describes the basic features of our future political ties," the president said.

"Our political relations are at a high level. The French president's official visit to Azerbaijan once again confirms this. I have repeatedly been in France and regularly conducted the consultations. Of course, negotiations, consultations on many international issues further strengthen our political relations."

The head of Azerbaijani state stressed that together with France, Azerbaijan participated in the UN Security Council over the past two years.

"We have established a very successful cooperation in the most competent global structure. That's to say, our positions often coincide on international issues," President Ilham Aliyev said.

"Of course, as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, France makes efforts on resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. And naturally, today, we had an extensive exchange of views on this issue. We hope that this conflict will be resolved soon with the help of the mediators and peace will be achieved in the region," he added.

"As is known, Azerbaijani territories have been under occupation for many years. The Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts have been under the Armenian occupation for over 20 years. All the authoritative international organizations have expressed their positions on this issue. Additionally, the UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions calling for unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories," President Aliyev stressed.

The president went on to add that the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, OSCE and other international organizations keep this issue in the spotlight.

These organizations have adopted corresponding decisions and resolutions regarding this conflict, but this issue hasn't been resolved so far unfortunately, and the occupation continues, he noted.

Azerbaijani president stated that OSCE's fact-finding missions have been sent to the occupied territories twice, and upon return they reported that everything has been destroyed, Armenians razed Azerbaijan's historical and religious monuments.

"This conflict should be brought to an end soon. It should be resolved on the basis of the international norms and principles and within Azerbaijan's territorial integrity."

"We respect the principle of self-determination of peoples. But this right must not violate the internationally recognized state borders. The Armenian people have already used their right of self-determination once by creating an independent Armenian state. And Azerbaijan will never allow the creation of a second Armenian state on its lands," the president said.

President Aliyev underscored that each country of the region can benefit from the resolution of this conflict.

"I hope that France and other co-chairs will continue making efforts on this issue and we will be able to bring our citizens back soon."

Ilham Aliyev also pointed out that Azerbaijan and France successfully cooperate in the economic sphere.

"The trade turnover between our countries reaches $2 billion. Over 50 French companies operate in Azerbaijan," he said.

Speaking of the documents signed at the forum, President Aliyev said that they cost nearly $2-2.5 billion.

"There are great prospects and opportunities in the spheres of transport, telecommunications, information technologies, tourism, construction and other fields. The opening of the French lyceum on May 11 was a great event itself. This shows that both countries pay great attention to the education issues," the president noted.

"The French lyceum in Baku will continue its operation in the new, beautiful building by the year end," Ilham Aliyev said.

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