Azerbaijani president meets with Chinese counterpart (PHOTO)

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 21

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President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met with Chairman of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping.

A guard of honor was arranged for President Aliyev.

Chairman of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping met the Azerbaijani president, and the two leaders posed for official photographs.

During his speech, Chairman of the People's Republic of China warmly welcomed President Ilham Aliyev to the summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia in China.

"I remember that we last we met with you at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Sochi. First of all, I want to congratulate you on your re-election as president of Azerbaijan. As a good friend and reliable partner, the Chinese side sincerely rejoices in the achievements of Azerbaijan in the development of economy and society in recent years," he said.

"I am confident that under the leadership of President Aliyev, Azerbaijani people will continuously achieve new success in the great cause of national revival and prosperity," Jinping stressed.

"The Chinese and Azerbaijani peoples were linked by the Great Silk Road two thousand years ago. We have a very long traditional friendship. The Azerbaijanis have always said that there is no friendship without equality. For 22 years, our countries have been constantly promoting friendship and cooperation in the spirit of equality, mutual benefit and respect. At the present time, we have a very solid base of political relations, a high level of mutual trust and there is great fruition of practical cooperation," the Chinese leader said.

Xi Jinping then spoke of Azerbaijan's national leader Heydar Aliyev, noting that the people of China have deep respect for him.

"A book about the esteemed President Heydar Aliyev and a digest called "China through the eyes of Azerbaijanis" have already been published in both countries and generated wide and positive publicity," Xi Jinping noted.

"China attaches great importance to the development of relations with Azerbaijan," he stressed. "We appreciate and thank you for your strong support on such key and important issues as Xinjiang and Tibet. We will continue, as always, supporting the choice by the Azerbaijani people of the path of development in accordance with national features. We support your efforts to protect the sovereignty, independence and economic development. We are ready, as before, to further promote the continuous development of friendship and cooperation between China and Azerbaijan together with Azerbaijani partners."

President Ilham Aliyev in his turn thanked the Chairman of the People's Republic of China.

"Dear Mr. Chairman, thank you for your kind words about our country, your evaluation of the relations between our peoples and between our countries," Ilham Aliyev said while addressing the meeting.

"I am grateful for the hospitality extended to me and members of my delegation. I am very glad to visit your beautiful country again and to see firsthand the rapid development of the People's Republic of China on the path of creation and progress."

Ilham Aliyev recalled that he had the opportunity to visit Shanghai nine years ago, and the city left a huge impression on him.

"But today Shanghai astonishes everyone who visits it with the scale of its development, greatness, grandeur and transformation the Chinese people have achieved in recent years," Ilham Aliyev said.

"I am also very grateful to you for the warm memories of my father, the great son of Azerbaijan and the founder of the modern Azerbaijani state, Heydar Aliyev. The publication of a book about his life and work in Chinese is a sign of great respect for him. We in Azerbaijan appreciate it very much and are very grateful to you," he noted.

Azerbaijani president noted that the country is committed to a policy of cooperation with the People's Republic of China in all areas.

"We want to develop and deepen this cooperation and are willing to take specific steps in this direction. You mentioned our mutual support in international institutions. I want to emphasize again that Azerbaijan has always supported and will continue to support your country in the United Nations," Ilham Aliyev said.

"The sides discussed issues relating to the expansion of relations between Azerbaijan and China in the fields of energy, infrastructure, transport, technology, investment, humanitarian and other spheres, the increase of trade and mutual support in international organizations," the president noted.

During the meeting, the presidents also exchanged views on international affairs, including the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, and other issues of mutual interest.

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