Ilham Aliyev awarded for special merits in TurkPA development (PHOTO) (UPDATE)

Ilham Aliyev awarded for special merits in TurkPA development (PHOTO) (UPDATE)

Details added (first version posted on 11:18)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 22

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President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received Chairman of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) Ismail Kahraman, Speaker of the Parliament of Kazakhstan Nurlan Nigmatulin and Chairman of the Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament) of the Kyrgyz Republic Chynybay Tursunbekov, who are visiting the country to attend the official opening ceremony of headquarters of the International Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic-Speaking Countries (TurkPA) December 22.

Welcoming the Turkic-speaking countries' parliament speakers, President Aliyev hailed the importance of their visit to Baku, and said the visit will strengthen solidarity and give a new impetus to relations between the countries.

President Aliyev praised mutual activities of the parliaments of Turkic-speaking countries, saying the heads of state also contribute to cooperation between these countries.

The president noted the importance of this cooperation both to the region and to the world. The head of state said Azerbaijan attaches great importance to this cooperation.

Nigmatulin conveyed greetings of President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his wishes for peace and tranquility to the people of Azerbaijan. On behalf of his counterparts, he congratulated President Aliyev on the country's successfully holding the referendum.

Nigmatulin emphasized that the results of referendum once again demonstrated to the world community the Azerbaijani people's support for the policy carried out by President Aliyev and the strengthening of the country's independence.

Speaker of the Kazakh Parliament noted that President Aliyev as the leader of modern Azerbaijan also contributes to the development of relations between the Turkic-speaking states.

Saying TurkPA delegations visit the Alley of Honors to pay tribute to national leader Heydar Aliyev each time they travel to Azerbaijan, Nigmatulin spoke about personal friendly relations that were between Heydar Aliyev and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

He noted that the Kazakh president always remembers the national leader, saying, "Azerbaijan strengthened its statehood and independence thanks to the wise policy of Heydar Aliyev."

The speaker of the Kazakh Parliament thanked President Ilham Aliyev for the construction of headquarters of the International Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-Speaking Countries.

"Our nations are of a common Turkic origin, and therefore, the construction of the building has a symbolic meaning," he said.

Describing Baku as a shining example of the developing Azerbaijan, Nigmatulin noted that they are impressed by the development of Azerbaijan and its capital Baku.

He underlined that TurkPA countries share a common position within international organizations, saying this policy will continue, and expressed his confidence that fruitful initiatives will be put forward by recommendations of President Aliyev at the new headquarters.

Nigmatulin hailed President Aliyev’s role in and contributions to the development of TurkPA and on behalf of his counterparts thanked him for supporting the activities of the organization.

He emphasized that the organization instituted the medal "For special merits in the development of TurkPA", and that by unanimous decision the first medal was conferred upon President Aliyev for his contributions to strengthening solidarity and unity of the Turkic-speaking countries.

The speaker of the Parliament of Kazakhstan presented the medal to President Aliyev.

The president thanked Nigmatulin for kind words and also expressed gratitude for the greetings of President Nazarbayev and asked the speaker to communicate his greetings to the Kazakh leader.

President Aliyev hailed TurkPA’s recognizing his activity and said it was symbolic that the presentation of the medal coincided with the opening of the headquarters of the International Secretariat of Turkic-Speaking Countries and the 25th anniversary of independence of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The president said cooperation with the Turkic-speaking countries was one of the priorities of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy.

President Aliyev noted that Turkic-speaking countries cooperate and strive to strengthen their mutual activity both in bilateral and multilateral formats and within the UN, OIC and other international organizations. If any Turkic-speaking country is not represented in any international organization, the other one supports its stance and demonstrates solidarity with it.

President Aliyev mentioned that these nations have common history and roots. The head of state said Azerbaijan will continue to contribute to bringing Turkic-speaking countries closer and encourage them to support each other.

The president asked the speakers to extend his best wishes to the presidents of Turkey, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

During the meeting, Chairman of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) Ismail Kahraman said friendly and fraternal relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey successfully develop in all areas, and hailed inter-parliamentary cooperation.

He emphasized the role of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic-Speaking Countries in expanding cooperation between the countries.

Chairman of the Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament) of the Kyrgyz Republic Chynybay Tursunbekov said relations between the countries successfully develop in various fields, adding that inter-parliamentary cooperation contributes to the development of these relations.

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