FM: Joint declaration by presidents of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan outlines directions of development of bilateral ties
Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Sept. 29 /Trend, D.Azizov/
The Joint Declaration of the Presidents of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, which was signed as a result of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's official visit to Tashkent on Sept. 27-28, outlines the key directions of development of long-term relationships, a press release of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said.
The document emphasizes the fundamental role of the Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan dated May 27, 1996 and the Declaration on further strengthening strategic partnership between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan on March 23, 2004 in expanding and strengthening relations between the two countries.
The Presidents of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan expressed consent of the parties to actively develop political dialogue at various levels on the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest, the press release says.
Inter-parliamentary relations were assessed as an important part of bilateral cooperation, as well as was noted the importance of enhancing cooperation between the parliaments of two countries and making regular reciprocal visits of MPs.
The parties expressed their determination to further deepen bilateral relations in economic, trade, transport, communications, tourism, scientific, educational and cultural fields, as well as health, environment and others, stressing the need to improve the relevant legal framework.
The Heads of States reaffirmed their readiness to further develop close cooperation and coordinate efforts on the issues of mutual interest and mutual support of positions within the UN and its institutions, the OSCE and other international organizations of universal and regional character, including the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
The document noted that the parties attach great importance to enhancing the role of the UN and its institutions in the issues of international and regional security, sustainable development, considering it a universal tool in ensuring equitable international relations, strengthening security and stability in the world.
"In this context, both countries, based on the existing legal framework, will ensure further effective implementation of the Program of Cooperation between the Foreign Ministries of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan for 2010-2012," the document says.
Islam Karimov and Ilham Aliyev mentioned the importance of strengthening international and bilateral cooperation to combat terrorism, separatism, extremism, transnational organized crime, illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors, human trafficking, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and money laundering.
Confirming their position on the inadmissibility of changing the internationally recognized borders by force, the Presidents expressed support for the efforts of each other, directed against the actions that jeopardize the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States.
The Joint Declaration noted the need to promptly resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in accordance with the generally recognized principles and norms of international law, primarily on the basis of ensuring the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as relevant UN Security Council resolutions and OSCE decisions.
Referring to the efforts of the OSCE to peacefully resolve Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group, the sides noted the importance of taking more effective and decisive steps in this regard.
The document stressed that Azerbaijan has welcomed Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty signed in 2006 and ratified in 2009 by all member states, and supports the speedy establishment of a mechanism of guarantees for the effective execution of this Treaty.
The Presidents reaffirmed the importance of establishing peace and stability in Afghanistan, noting the significance of initiatives to establish effective mechanisms aimed at enhancing the negotiation process on Afghanistan with participation of region countries and international organizations.
"In this context the sides noted the urgency of the resumption of talks on the Afghan problem in the updated format of "6 +3" under UN auspices, which could become one of the most effective mechanisms to resolve the long-years conflict," according to the Joint Declaration.
In the context of discussion of new security challenges and threats, including environmental concerns, the parties emphasized the need to address water and energy issues in Central Asia and the Caucasus on the basis of universally recognized norms of international law and the interests of all states in the region.
The document mentions that the parties will continue to strengthen cooperation in environmental protection, prevention of emergency situations of natural and anthropogenic character and elimination of their consequences. The determination was confirmed to support international efforts aimed at preventing the adverse effects of climate change and combat them.
Presidents of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan have recognized that the establishment of lasting and sustainable trade and economic relations meets the mutual economic interests of the two countries. At the same time, it was stressed that the parties will continue to develop and strengthen economic cooperation, implement the agreement between the governments of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan on further measures to develop trade-economic and scientific-technical cooperation dated Sept. 11, 2008.
The Joint Declaration states that additional measures will be taken to bring the level of trade-economic, scientific and technological, as well as bilateral cooperation in various fields into conformity with the potential and capabilities of both economies. Favorable economic, financial and legal conditions will be created for the development of direct ties between economic entities of the parties, to strengthen contacts between entrepreneurs of both countries, increase access of goods and services to international markets.
Noting that mutual investments are one of the factors of economic cooperation, the two leaders agreed to support, protect and promote investments in energy, trade, industry, engineering, agriculture, transport, communications, and also in other areas of mutual interest.
The parties expressed their readiness to actively develop and deepen cooperation in the field of transit and transportation links, create and maintain favorable conditions for transport operations through air and sea ports, rail and road network, located in the territories of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
The document notes that the parties will promote effective cooperation in implementing transport and communication projects, including improving the infrastructure and tariff system in the revival of the Silk Road.
The Presidents stressed the importance of implementing the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project, as well as the development of logistics centers in Baku-Alat, Navoi and Angren.
Great importance is attached to the activities of joint inter-governmental cooperation commission as a coordinating mechanism for the development of bilateral economic relations, a mutual interest in intensifying its work.
Presidents Karimov and Aliyev highlighted the importance of cooperation in the humanitarian sphere, in strengthening bilateral relations, reaffirming the importance of full cooperation in the spheres of culture, science, education, information, sports and tourism.
The parties agreed to actively promote the participation of art figures of their countries in international cultural events held in Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, facilitate the intensification of contacts through the expansion of youth exchanges and tourism. The intention was expressed to promote the study of the Uzbek and Azerbaijani languages, distribution of literature, as well as the development of contacts between cultural and scientific figures, promote the cultural centers of the two countries.
Presidents noted that the Uzbek-Azerbaijan relations are at a high level and fully comply with the spirit of friendship and strategic partnership corresponding with the fundamental interests of the peoples of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
"Fruitful talks conducted and documents signed during the visit will further strengthen the traditionally friendly relations between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan," the Joint Declaration stated.
The final part of the document signed by the heads of two states says that Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev expressed his sincere gratitude for the warm hospitality extended by the Uzbek side, and invited Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov to visit Azerbaijan at a time convenient for him.