Baku, Azerbaijan, March 15
The terror attacks on Turkey will have no effect, said Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, while making the statement for the media, following the fifth meeting of the Turkey-Azerbaijan High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council in Ankara, March 15.
"First of all, on behalf of Azerbaijan and its people, I would like to express condolences to the brotherly Turkish people over the brutal terrorist attack committed in Ankara two days ago," said Azerbaijani president.
He expressed condolences over the loss of lives, wished patience to the relatives of those killed and recovery to the injured.
"We strongly condemn this dreadful terrorist attack and reiterate that today, we stand by the people of Turkey," Azerbaijan's president said. "Our unity is eternal and unshakeable."
"We always stand by each other both in good and hard times. We, in Azerbaijan, are fully confident that the terrorist attacks on Turkey and its people, will have no effect. It can't shake Turkey, can't affect the will of Turkish people and can't derail Turkey from the right path."
President Aliyev noted that Turkey and Azerbaijan have been showing unity and solidarity for 25 years already.
"When Azerbaijan restored its state independence 25 years ago, Turkey was the first state to recognize our independence. We will never forget that," said the president. "In fact, it was a recommendation to other countries as well and following this, the process of recognizing Azerbaijan as an independent state intensified."
"We have successfully cooperated in all spheres over these years and today, Turkey and Azerbaijan are the closest countries to each other on a global scale," he added.
President Aliyev pointed out that the Azerbaijani-Turkish relations are based on the unity, fraternity of the two countries' peoples.
He said that the two countries build their friendship and fraternity on this basis and successfully cooperate in all areas.
"The documents signed here today, and the negotiations that we had, once again show our unity," he said, adding that the two countries always support each other at the international level.
"We are very glad that Turkey has turned into a center of power on a global scale," said President Aliyev.
Azerbaijan's president noted that as a result of tireless activities of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has reached high peak in recent years.
"Turkey's role in the world is increasing, its position is strengthening. The trust and sympathy to Turkey by the international community makes us happy," he said, adding that it is no coincidence that Turkey hosted the G-20 meeting in November of 2015.
"What makes us happy is that Turkey invited Azerbaijan to this prestigious event. Turkey could invite one country and that was Azerbaijan," said Ilham Aliyev.
The Azerbaijani president thanked the President Erdogan and the Turkish people for the fraternity.
"The stronger Turkey is, the stronger we will be. Our strength lies in our unity. We are together in all international issues and stand by each other," Aliyev said.
Turkey has always supported the just solution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the international rule of law and make this support today as well, said President Aliyev.
He said Azerbaijan's territorial integrity has been violated and it should be restored, adding that the decisions and resolutions adopted by international organizations should be fulfilled.
"We have faced double standards in this issue and support from such a major state as Turkey is very significant for us," said the president.
Azerbaijan's president noted that the two countries are bound by the military cooperation.
"Our servicemen have recently held joint military exercises. It has turned into a good tradition," said President Aliyev.
"Our military and technical cooperation is expanding. We are purchasing various military equipment and weaponry from Turkey," said Ilham Aliyev, adding that naturally, Turkey's success in this sphere also strengthens Azerbaijan's defense potential.
Further, President Aliyev noted that the two countries are bound by energy projects.
"Turkey and Azerbaijan gave start to the TANAP project in 2012. If we wouldn't commence this project at that time, it wouldn't be possible to implement the Southern Gas Corridor project," said President Aliyev, emphasizing the two countries' leading role in the implementation of this project.
"We will try to timely implement this major transnational project, which requires large funds, and I am sure that after two years we will be marking the opening of the TANAP project," said the president.
He also recalled that TANAP's foundation was jointly laid by Azerbaijan and Turkey in the Turkish city of Kars.
"The project that we are jointly implementing in the transportation sphere connects the continents," said President Aliyev. "Today, this has been discussed broadly and there are already new opportunities in the transportation sector. Those opportunities are being examined."
"We would very much welcome to see more cargos from Turkey passing through Azerbaijan and going in various directions," he said, adding that practical steps are taken to achieve this.
The Azerbaijani president further said that Turkey has a special role in deepening the intercultural dialogue.
"As Mr. President noted, the next month Baku will host the UN Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum," said President Aliyev, recalling that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an initiator of the Forum.
He said the world appreciates the contributions that Turkey and Azerbaijan make to the world culture.
"We are fighting against Islamophobia through joint efforts. Today, Islamophobia has turned into a state policy in some countries. Unfortunately, a number of media outlets are purposefully carrying out a campaign against Islam, against the Islamic culture, and against our traditions," said the president.
"The attempts to tarnish, to discredit Islam and to equate Islam with terror are before our eyes," added President Aliyev. "This is unbearable. This can cause intercivilizational problems in the world and is already causing them. We see today the refugee crisis. And today again the main burden falls on Turkey."
He added that Turkey has already been for months hosting millions of refugees gratuitously and is spending large funds.
"We, as a country that has also suffered a humanitarian crisis, know how difficult this issue is," he emphasized.
President Aliyev recalled that Azerbaijan was facing a humanitarian catastrophe in the early 1990s as a result of the Armenian occupation.
"And today when these refugees are heading to Europe to find salvation and to save their lives, see what is waiting for them there," he added. "Their dignity is humiliated, they are insulted, put into cages, and extreme lies are spread about them. And where are those universal values, democracy, human rights and mercy? We don't see that."
"Therefore, Turkey and Azerbaijan are among those countries that raise their voices. We can't stay indifferent to the poor fate of those people," added President Aliyev. "I once again express gratitude on behalf of the people of Azerbaijan to the Turkish leadership that they have undertaken the heavy burden."
The president also said Turkey has once again demonstrated to the entire world how to overcome a refugee crisis with honor.
"In short, our ties cover almost all the areas. I would like to once again note that - I believe and I am sure everyone in Turkey and Azerbaijan will agree with this opinion - today there are no other countries in the world which could be as bound to each other as Turkey and Azerbaijan are," said the president.
"This unity is our national wealth. We are protecting and will protect this unity. And I am sure that in the years to come we will achieve even greater victories," he added.
"I would like to once again express my gratitude for the hospitality shown to me and the delegation, and I wish happiness, peace, tranquility and new victories to the fraternal Turkish people," President Aliyev said.