It is high time to settle Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict under territorial integrity: Turkish President
It is high time for a final settlement of regional conflicts in South Caucasus, including the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict within the framework of territorial integrity, the Turkish President said, when speaking at the IX Summit of Heads of Turkic-speaking countries in the Azerbaijani city of Nakhchivan, AzerTaj state news agency reported.
"It is high time for a final settlement of regional conflicts in South Caucasus, including the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict within the framework of territorial integrity of states. We attach great importance to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. We believe in the importance of the early liberation of the occupied lands of Azerbaijan. We believe that the time has come for this. We are confident the Karabakh problem will be resolved through dialogue, negotiation and diplomacy, and, thus, will bring peace to the entire Caucasus. Of course, this can be achieved only by ending the occupation," said the President of Turkey.
Turkish President, Abdullah Gul thanked President Ilham Aliyev for the high level -organization of the IX Summit of Heads of Turkic-speaking states in Nakhchivan. He noted that Nakhchivan, whose name means "world view", is the native and valuable for both Azerbaijan and Turkey.
"Nakhchivan is of great importance for Turkey. The border between Azerbaijan and Turkey in the Nakhchivan region is physically small, but in the political sense, it is of great importance. The political significance of 10.12-kilometer boundary is extremely high. Our border is a very symbolic passage, which is geographically connects Turkey with the Turkic republics. On the other hand, due to the fact that Nakhchivan is separated from the other lands of Azerbaijan, we have close relations, besides good neighborliness and brotherhood. Therefore, on my own behalf and on behalf of the Turkish delegation accompanying me, I wish to express once again sincere gratitude to the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, Ilham Aliyev for hosting this summit in Nakhchivan ," said Gul.
He noted the importance of the summit of the Turkic-speaking countries in the context of the challenges with which they face in the modern world.
"The fact that the summit of the Turkic-speaking countries launched in 1992 continues to be held today, labor and political will of all of us played the decisive role. Since 1992, our world has faced and is faced with a number of global trials in the field of politics, economy and security. These problems affected the Eurasian geography. When the Caucasus and Central Asia face various threats, primarily related to security, summits, as an important platform of solidarity and consultation, allow us to discuss both relations between brotherly countries, and global challenges," said Gul.
President Gul highly apperciated the Nakhchivan declaration signed after the summit, calling it a historic step.
"The deepening of relations between our brotherly countries in all fields, especially, political, commercial, economic, cultural and social spheres, aimed at future projections, assumptions and discussion, of course, occupies a very important place on the agenda of the summit. We are making great efforts to implement the decisions reflected in the summit declaration.
Although we still have a long way, we should not miss that which we accumulated and acquired. I am confident that over time we have overcome great distance, have made progress. By the Nakhchivan declaration that we will sign today, we are really doing a very valuable historic step in establishing the summits of heads of the Turkic-speaking states. Essentially we are now implementing a dream, and this all the people who consider themselves Turks will be very happy, "he said.
Gul mentioned the right of the Turkic-speaking countries to cooperation based on mutual respect and equality.
"In this regard, I would like also to say that the Turks are living in a huge geographical area, millions of people feel the Turks. This is a great pleasure that today among the great nations, there are certain our independent states. After overcoming a long way, these independent states are making progress and proud of it. Cooperation based on mutual respect and equality is our right. Anyone who feels Turk, feels this emotion," said Gul.
Gul supported the initiative by the Azerbaijani President to establish the TURKSOY Fund.
"Last week Baku successfully held the first meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic-speaking countries, established in accordance with the contract signed in October last year in Istanbul. Its secretariat will be located in Baku. I believe that this organization together with TURKSOY will lay very strong basis for cooperation in our countries. We also support the idea of the respected President Ilham Aliyev on TURKSOY, "said the Turkish President.
In turn, he has initiated to hold activities in the form of the Olympic Games among the Turkic states.
"Social scale of cooperation between our brotherly countries is as significant as its political, economic and cultural scales. In order to strengthen the ties between our peoples, we can implement some measures aimed at large numbers of people. I propose to discuss the organization of sports events like the Olympics, which will present the traditional Turkic sports. Sport is a huge sphere of activity, which brings together young people, the younger generation. There are Turkic sports, as well. We can engage in activities organized in the form of the Olympic Games," said Gul.
"Each of us has the task the XXI century to be the century of peace and prosperity, but not war," said the President of Turkey.
He noted that his country attaches great importance to economic interaction between the Turkic states, stressed the importance of sharing experiences, mutual investment. From this perspective, Abdullah Gul underlined the importance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which will connect Asia with Europe.
"Our goal is to ensure that our unity is to contribute to world peace," said the head of the Turkish state. He noted that his country is seeking for an early peace in the Caucasus region.
"We believe that if Turkey's views on peace, security and stability in our region and in the Eurasian geography prevail, the chronic problems will be solved in a short period of time," said Gul.
President Gul said that Turkey's foreign policy is based on the principles of good neighborliness and mutual respect.
"Inspiration pursued by Turkey's foreign policy is a reliance on traditional concepts and values of Turkism. Because the basic principles that inspire our foreign policy - friendly, good-neighborliness, mutual respect - is the foundation of common values, formed by the Turkic world. I believe that if we are able to adopt these principles at a high level, we will achieve a solution of bilateral issues among the Turkic republics, and positive progress in regional cooperation. Our countries have had great presidents who have made enormous efforts to do so. I honor their memory. I honor the memory of the Turkish President Turgut Ozal, who has made important contributions to the beginning of these cases in 1992, I honor the memory of esteemed Heydar Aliyev, who has provided special support for the unity of the Turkic-speaking countries, I honor the memory of the distinguished Turkmenbashi and the other late heads of the Turkic republics, anyone who has invested labor, has made an investment in these matters. I am very grateful to those who are alive, we feel for him boundless sense of gratitude," he said.
"Once again I thank our dear friend, the distinguished President Ilham Aliyev for the fact that he has given us this opportunity, and wish this good work to benefit all Turkic world, all the Turks of the world," Abdullah Gul said, in concluding his statement.