Saakashvili: Azerbaijan and Georgia united by strategic partnership and friendship (UPDATE)
Details were added (first version posted at 13:24)
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 7 / Trend M.Aliyev /
Azerbaijan and Georgia are united by strategic partnership and friendly relations that have continued down the centuries, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said on Wednesday in Baku, addressing MPs of the Azerbaijani Parliament.
"The two countries have similar historical problems. We have always been close to each other. Azerbaijan declared its independence for the first time in Tbilisi," Saakashvili said. The President of Georgia is on an official visit to Azerbaijan.
He said Azerbaijan is developing at a tremendous pace and has become a major player in the international arena. "As a true friend and strategic partner of Azerbaijan, Georgia can only rejoice and be proud of your successes," Saakashvili said.
The strategic partnership between the two countries is vital. Our alliance is not directed against anyone, Saakashvili said.
"Our friendship has evolved over centuries through tears and smiles, hope and confusion. Azerbaijan and Georgia are ancient nations, but very young independent states. They faced and are facing common challenges. And the most important, they faced and are facing them together. This is a lesson not only of ancient times, but the recent past," said the President of Georgia.
He said Azerbaijan and Georgia are bound not only by political alliance, based on common threats.
"The most ruthless repressions could not break and kill our desire for freedom," Saakashvili said, quoting words of Mammad Emin Rasulzade "Bir kere yukselen bayrag bir daha enmez" (Saakashvili said this in Azerbaijani and it means "The flag once raised will never fall").
Georgia and Azerbaijan have created states that cannot be destroyed, the President of Georgia said.
"We are in 2012 and all should understand that this year all attempts to revive the Soviet Union are doomed to failure. People will not give up their freedom, independence and choice of their own path. Russia will come to that point and understand that it is better to have strong neighbours than unstable vassals and better to have partners than enemies. I do not want to see Russia weak. In fact, I dream of the proud Russian Federation, confident in its abilities, rather than feeding people by myths," Saakashvili said.
If today a union of Azerbaijan and Georgia is stronger than ever it is largely due to the merit of Ilham Aliyev and the identity of the views of the two state leaders.
"We would like to raise our alliance to a higher level in the future. Yesterday we discussed the very specific and exciting projects that are equally beneficial to our people," the Georgian President said.