President Aliyev: Good opportunities exist to develop Azerbaijan-Palestine relations (PHOTO)

President Aliyev: Good opportunities exist to develop Azerbaijan-Palestine relations (PHOTO)

Presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the State of Palestine Ilham Aliyev and Mahmoud Abbas delivered press statements on June 28 after an extended meeting, Azerbaijani president's official website reported.

President Aliyev sincerely welcomed President Abbas in Azerbaijan. He said President Abbas's visit is historical. "The Palestinian president arrived in Azerbaijan with an official visit for the first time. I would like to thank you for accepting my invitation and visiting Azerbaijan. Your visit is of great significance," President Aliyev said.

"The Azerbaijan-Palestine relations are developing," Aliyev underscored. "The relations between our two peoples have a long history. Our peoples treated each other with great affection for centuries. Very good opportunities exist at the present stage of our relations to develop the bilateral relations. We want our relations have developed in all areas and that this development manifested itself in all directions. Our political relations are at a very high level. Your visit to Azerbaijan is obvious evidence to this. The Palestinian Embassy has begun to operate in Azerbaijan a few months ago. It is a very important event. I believe new opportunities will be defined for the development of our bilateral relations thanks to the embassy's operation."

"We seek a good cooperation in the economic sphere, and I am confident that these issues will also be discussed during the visit," President Aliyev said. "I believe concrete proposals for deepening economic cooperation and investment organization will be put forward during the visit. There are also good opportunities for cooperation in the humanitarian area. Of course, we can think about new forms of traditional ties in the cultural sphere. In short, I think that all aspects of bilateral relations will be mulled during your visit and we will achieve good results."

Aliyev stressed that the two sides also exchanged views on regional issues and processes occurring in the world.

"We together with you had a broad exchange of views on the current phase of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. I would like to reiterate that Azerbaijan supports the State of Palestine in all international organizations. Azerbaijan is close to Palestine in all discussions at the Organization of Islamic Conference, the United Nations and this will continue. We believe an independent, sovereign State of Palestine, whose capital should be East Jerusalem, will be soon created. This is our position that we defend and we will further defend it at all international organizations. This, on the one hand, is our fraternal duty. On the other hand, such a position is established on the basis of the international law. The support to the State of Palestine on a global scale, growth of this support indicates that your diplomacy, your political initiative and your personal activities won the sympathy worldwide," he said.

The sides also exchanged views on developments ongoing in the region. "I have informed you about the last stage of negotiations to settle the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Azerbaijan's territorial integrity recognized by the international community has been violated for many years. We have more than one million refugees and IDPs. Twenty percent of our lands are under the occupation. Azerbaijanis were subjected to the ethnic cleansing policy in their native land. All the buildings were destroyed in the occupied territories. The Armenians have destroyed schools, hospitals, museums, historical and religious sites," Aliyev said.

President Aliyev underscored that the international community supports Azerbaijan's position.

"The UN Security Council adopted four resolutions on this issue, which stipulate that the Armenian occupation forces must unconditionally withdraw from the occupied lands. Unfortunately, the Armenian side still ignores these resolutions. Other international organizations have the similar position. The Organization of the Islamic Conference, European Parliament, Council of Europe and OSCE adopted similar decisions and resolutions. Thus, the legal framework to resolve the issue is strong enough. I am sure that Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity. We want to resolve this issue quickly and peacefully," he said.

"Once again I welcome you, Mr. President, in Azerbaijan. I would like to reiterate that we attach a great importance to this visit. This visit will remain as the first visit in the history of our countries. But, of course, the visits will continue in future - at the level of ministers, and business structures that must interact better. I am confident that we will continue our meetings in future," President Aliyev said.

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