Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 23
Neighborhood of course can be a problem or an advantage, it depends on your policy and on relations with the neighbors, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said.
He made the remarks addressing the 'Strategic Outlook: Eurasia' panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Jan.23.
"I think that for every country, the relations with the neighbors should be a priority, especially in our region," he said.
"In Azerbaijan we do not have internal risks and threats, therefore we must also guarantee the security on our borders," said the president. "And the best way is to establish very pragmatic and very sincere relations with the neighbors, based on your national interests, and the national interests of your neighbors."
"I think that in Azerbaijan we managed to establish such a partnership with all our neighbors, except Armenia, which continues to occupy almost 20 percent of our territory," he said.
The president went on to say that Azerbaijan has very good relations with its neighbors across the Caspian, with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Turkey, Iran, and Russia.
"With every country in our neighborhood we have a very special format of cooperation," Ilham Aliyev said.
President Aliyev went on to say that Azerbaijan's independence is young, only 26 years, but in his opinion, the country managed to establish itself as a truly independent state, which can afford to conduct independent foreign policy, which is based on Azerbaijan's national interests and is not against the interests of the neighboring countries.
"For a country that is smaller than most of its neighbors, it is important to find proper balance, and get advantage of the neighborhood, because big neighbors means big markets, and for us the best market is the market of our neighbors," he said.
"Therefore mutual interests, balance of interests, of course, non-interference into the internal affairs of each other, and very pragmatic practical approach on cooperation in the neighborhood, I think is one of the reasons of success of our country, one of the reasons for internal stability and good prospects for the future," President Aliyev said.