President: Agreement on establishment of Supreme Council for Strategic Cooperation will ensure future development of Turkish-Azerbaijani relations
The historic agreement signed today will ensure the future development of Turkish-Azerbaijani relations, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said, giving a speech after signing an agreement on the establishment of the Supreme Council for Strategic Cooperation in Istanbul on Sept. 15, TRT1 television reported.
"The fraternal and friendly relations have been existing between our peoples for centuries. These relations are developing day by day and have ascended to a new level. We are building our relationship upon this strong basis. After Azerbaijan regained its independence, the Turkish-Azerbaijani relations only strengthened and developed, and today they have reached the level of allies. We remember that Turkey was the first country recognizing our independence and Turkey has always been with us since the first day of our independence. Today we successfully cooperate in various spheres," said Aliyev.
President Aliyev said the agreement on the establishment of the Supreme Council for Strategic Cooperation will strengthen and deepen cooperation between the two countries. "Our relations are built upon this strong basis and I am sure that future generations will carry forward this friendship and brotherhood. Today's event assumes special importance. The agreement signed today is indeed a result of previous work and determines the strategic cooperation between countries," said Aliyev.
The President said the agreement covers all spheres. "This agreement creates an opportunity to expand relations between our peoples. On this historic day, I firstly want to express gratitude to my friend, Prime Minister Erdogan. This document was created as a result of his initiatives and efforts. I also thank all those who participated in creating the document. This is not only an international document, but also the result of good intentions between our nations," said Aliyev.
Aliyev noted that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has always been the main topic of discussions between Ankara and Baku. "And today, an extensive exchange of views was conducted on this topic. Turkey has always supported the fair position of Azerbaijan, has made efforts in various forms for the restoration of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity. The talks must yield a result and the result is that the internationally recognized territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored. Nagorno-Karabakh is a historical land of Azerbaijan. Our people have lived and created there. Today, Azerbaijanis have been expelled from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding territories. No Azerbaijani has left in these areas. All of them have incurred ethnic cleansing. All our historical and religious monuments have been destroyed. This is a great injustice and a step violating international legal norms. Of course, this issue will always be on the agenda in the relations of Azerbaijan and Turkey," said Aliyev.
Aliyev said strengthening of Turkey as a result of Erdogan's efforts means strengthening of Azerbaijan. "Today's Turkey is not that which was ten years ago. Turkey is a great and strong country, there is consent between the people and government. We are brothers, this brotherhood exists in our blood and shifts from generation to generation. It will be forever. Therefore, strengthening of Turkey is a positive factor in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Turkish government pursues an active policy in resolving the conflict. I am sure this will yield positive results and Azerbaijan's territorial integrity will be restored," said Aliyev.
Aliyev also noted that consultations are conducted to lift the visa regime between Azerbaijan and Turkey. "I am confident that this will give positive results. I expressed my attitude on this issue. This issue in Azerbaijan must pass internal procedures, the relevant agencies and ministries of Azerbaijan must address this issue between themselves. Upon completion, these issues will be included in the bilateral agenda. I am sure this question will find a positive solution," said President Aliyev.