Foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey sign Istanbul Declaration

Foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey sign Istanbul Declaration

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 29

Trend:

The foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey have signed the Istanbul Declaration following the results of the trilateral meeting, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in a statement Oct. 29.

Istanbul Statement of the Seventh Trilateral Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Turkey:

At the invitation of H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, with participation of H.E. Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan and H.E. Mr. David Zalkaliani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, the seventh meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the three countries was held in Istanbul, Turkey on 29 October 2018.

The Ministers,

- Emphasized their commitment to the Trabzon Declaration, the Batumi Joint Communique, the Ganja, Kars, Tbilisi and Baku Statements adopted in the previous Trilateral Meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, as an important platform for both political dialogue and implementation of specific trilateral projects;

- Expressed congratulations on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the first parliamentary democratic republic in the Muslim world, as well as the 100th anniversary of the first Democratic Republic of Georgia;

- Expressed deep satisfaction with growing cooperation in bilateral and trilateral format among their countries and reaffirmed their strong commitment to further strengthen their cooperation based on strategic partnership, good neighbourliness, mutual respect and trust;

- Reaffirmed their mutual respect and strong support for the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of states, and agreed that activities of their physical and legal persons be in full compliance with these principles;

- In this regard, stressed that the existing conflicts in South Caucasus region undermine peace, security, stability and economic development, thus status quo is neither sustainable nor acceptable and require peaceful settlement without delay;

- Underlined the importance of achieving a lasting peaceful settlement of the conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan and conflict in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia on the basis of universally recognized principles and norms of international law, particularly, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of states, as well as in accordance with relevant resolutions, declarations and decisions of the UN, the OSCE and the CoE; underscored the necessity of safe and dignified return of all refugees and internally displaced persons to the places of their origin;

- Emphasized the importance of continued contributions to the international peace, security and stability and agreed to explore ways of expanding trilateral cooperation to this end;

- Underscored the importance of trilateral cooperation in the defense realm, highlighting defense industry cooperation, trilateral trainings, exercises and high level meetings and expressed their desire to increase such cooperation in the future and in this respect welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation signed on 31th of March 2018 in Giresun by the Ministers of Defense of the three countries;

- Reiterated their firm commitment to strengthen their cooperation on the basis of relevant international instruments in the fight against terrorism, violent extremism and separatism in all their forms and manifestations, transnational organized crime, illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and their precursors, illicit trade in arms, human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, money laundering, cybercrime, crimes against cultural and historical heritage and other transnational security threats;

- Azerbaijan and Georgia once again condemned the action of the perpetrators of foiled coup attempt of 15th of July 2016 in Turkey, and both countries reiterated their strong cooperation with Turkey and also reaffirmed their resolute support to Turkey’s democratically elected President and Government;

- Agreed to positively evaluate the candidature of three countries in the international and regional organisations and in this vein, reiterated their support to the candidature of Baku for hosting World EXPO 2025 in the Republic of Azerbaijan;

- Underlined their firm determination to explore new ways of expanding trilateral cooperation particularly in the areas that would ensure prosperity for the people of the three countries through economic growth and sustainable development;

- Reaffirmed the significance of Turkey-Azerbaijan-Georgia Business Forum as a platform to create new opportunities for the business people of the three countries and underlined the importance of promoting wide participation to the upcoming session of the mentioned Forum to be held in Azerbaijan;

- Agreed to explore cooperation possibilities in ship construction, city public transport systems, machinery and auxiliary equipment, chemicals, medicine and medical devices sectors;

- Underscored the importance of strengthening the joint efforts for development of international fiber-optic backbone between Europe and Asia;

- Stated the importance of conducting trilateral research, development and innovation and know-how projects in the field of science and technology among their relevant structures;

- Expressed readiness and willingness to cooperate in the field of innovation, to enhance and bridge the startup ecosystems and R&D commercialization in the countries;

- Expressed willingness regarding cooperation with research institutes specialized in digital transformation in order to identify standards and develop R&D infrastructures for digital technologies, and collaborate on the development of human resources competencies, and in addition agreed to cooperate within the framework of digital Silk Road initiative;

- Expressed their readiness to exchange experience and knowledge among their metrology and standardization authorities regarding legal aspects and practices in these fields, as well as activities of market surveillance and conformity assessment;

- Decided to further bilateral cooperation among their intellectual property authorities to strengthen existing intellectual property systems by establishing an active mechanism to have regular exchanges of information and best practices and to jointly undertake cooperative activities;

- Underlined the importance of joint cooperation between Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) Support Organizations in the field of SMEs for sharing knowledge and experience and increasing the cooperation of SMEs;

- Underlined the strategic partnership in the field of energy, reconfirmed their full support for Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and other important components of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), together with other energy projects aiming at transporting hydrocarbons from the Caspian region to Europe while highlighting the role of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia in assuring successful completion and functioning of those projects;

- Reiterated the willingness to continue energy dialogue and importance of diversification of energy sources and routes within the perspective of energy supply security through the development of new international energy projects with the involvement of the three countries;

- Welcomed the recent inauguration of the Star refinery in Izmir;

- Highlighting that the utilization of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway which was inaugurated on 30 October 2017 will contribute greatly to the economic development of the three countries and facilitate competitive transportation between Asia and Europe, agreed to provide all necessary support to increase the volume of passengers and cargo over the Trans-Caspian East-West Corridor through the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway;

- Further highlighted the fact that, following the inauguration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, continuous and uninterrupted transportation will become possible between Beijing and London once the east and west axes of Marmaray project in Istanbul is completed and that as such the three countries will assume an even greater role in that respect;

- Reaffirmed their commitment for strengthening of links on the Turkey-Georgia-Azerbaijan transportation route in order to invigorate the ancient Silk Road, reinforcing the position of the three countries on the east-west transport corridors;

- Underscored the necessity to improve further multimodal transport services in the Caspian region with effective integration of sustainable modes of transport such as rail and sea in order to achieve sustainable development goals concerning improved traffic safety, enhanced performance for the environment, energy efficiency and safer transport activities;

- Took note of the significance of promoting combined transport services among the three countries through the implementation of bilateral agreements which would facilitate cargo flow on Caspian Sea via Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway and agreed to examine the possibility for establishment of a trilateral committee on Combined Transport where transport and customs experts from the three countries are available to address issues encountered at border crossings;

- Expressed satisfaction with the existing good cooperation between the Customs Administrations of the respective countries, agreed on to continue harmonizing customs procedures and providing smooth trade flow in all types of goods on Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway in order to increase the capacity;

- Took note of the contribution to the economic development of the three countries that will be provided by the transportation of cargo originating from Asian countries through the ports of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey;

-Welcomed the proposal of the Ministry of Health of Turkey to offer training courses regarding public-private based health projects, oncology treatment methods, organization of emergency health services;

- Decided to share best practices in health services and to explore cooperation possibilities in the health tourism;

- Encouraged cooperation in the press and information field among relevant organizations of the three countries;

- Endorsed the idea of establishing trilateral sister city mechanism among their countries;

- Underscored the importance of cooperation in the humanitarian sphere, including culture, education, science, health care, youth exchange, tourism and sports, which will further expand people-to-people contacts between their countries and expressed their readiness to initiate and promote joint projects and events in these spheres;

- Stressed the importance of students in cross-cultural relations and declared their commitment to encourage student mobility and alumni activities among the three countries;

- Reiterated the importance of strengthening communication and exchange of information and experience in the fields of environmental protection, forestry, land use, sustainable use of water resources and waste water treatment and expressed their readiness to initiate training and workshops in these areas;

- Stressed the importance to further follow up the Action Plan on trilateral sectoral cooperation for 2017-2019;

Agreed to hold their next trilateral meeting in Georgia.

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