Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 15
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met with First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan-Elbasy, Honorary President of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Welcoming Nursultan Nazarbayev, President Ilham Aliyev said: "Dear Nursultan Abishevich! I am very glad to see you again. Welcome to Azerbaijan! It is a great honor to receive you, the first President of Kazakhstan, on Azerbaijani soil, which is very familiar and dear to you. Just recently I recalled your official visit to our country and the meetings as part of my visits to Kazakhstan, as well as our meetings at international venues. You are known in Azerbaijan as a great friend of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani people.
You have always expressed support for us at many platforms of international cooperation. Azerbaijan greatly appreciates your enormous contribution to the strengthening of our relations. Together with Heydar Aliyev, you stood at the origins of the formation of our relations. For me, the experience of communicating with you when I just started to fulfill the duties of president was also very valuable – you always supported me.
And there is such a close and, I would say, family-like relationship between us. Your contribution to the strengthening of solidarity among Turkic-speaking countries is also great. We are very pleased that today's anniversary Summit of the Turkic Council is being held in Baku. You stood at the origins of many initiatives and steps aimed at strengthening the unity of the Turkic world. Welcome again and thank you for accepting the invitation to attend.
The first President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev said: "Thank you, Ilham Heydarovich! Indeed, it seems that this is my ninth visit to Baku in the years of independence. I was here before too. In Soviet times, we had a separate relationship with Heydar Aliyev, and he handed this relationship over to us, so I continue what we started. And every time I see how beautiful Baku has become. I know this quite well. I was building our capital from scratch. You had to rebuild the old city, which is much more difficult. Today, the appearance of Baku is beautiful and the air is clean. Modern buildings have appeared. This indicates the development of the country, of the state. At the end of the day, the powerful and fraternal Azerbaijan makes me very pleased, to be honest. If Heydar Aliyev could see it now, he would be very delighted, of course.
Our relations continue. This is the first time I’m visiting Baku not as president, but as the leader of the nation, father of the nation, as we call it, while still having certain powers the Constitutional Law and the Constitution have defined for me. Supporting the president whom I chose as the successor and nominated, who has been elected, we continue to do what we need to do – to strengthen independence, to develop economy and, through this, to improve the well-being of the people.
You have had a lot of difficult questions, Ilham Heydarovich, connected with Karabakh, relations with Armenia. In general, Azerbaijan’s location is interesting to everyone. However, I must note – I am not going to give an assessment but from my experience, both political and age – everything is going well in Azerbaijan. The main thing is that people support your course. And when a president and people are together, there is no goal that can't be achieved. Therefore, I congratulate you.
As for our relations, they must be continued. Now there are more opportunities, our trade across the Caspian Sea is still low, although growth was good last year – 58 percent. But the volumes are small. Therefore, our governments need to work more – how to trade, what to trade and what to supply. Logistics was not good. Now we can reach out to Turkey and Europe through you, through the Caucasus, through the Kars-Akhalkalaki road. Ferry crossings have grown large. We have developed our infrastructure to China, to the Pacific Ocean. So we have all the opportunities to develop relations in trade and politics.
The Turkic summit starts tomorrow. I proposed it in Nakhchivan 10 years ago. And thank you for inviting me to become its honorary chairman. I accept it with pleasure, because I want to continue to help strengthen the relations between our states, develop Turkic-speaking states. We now need to change the word “Turkic-speaking” to something else, to Turkic states. We need to give it a thought.
I am grateful for the invitation. The people of Kazakhstan closely follow, love, respect and appreciate Azerbaijan. We are observing the good development of your state. Good luck to you.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much, Nursultan Abishevich, for the kind words about our country. I would like to say, in turn, that we took the example of urban planning from your initiatives to build the beautiful city of Nur-Sultan, which rightfully bears your name because you built it from scratch. And visiting Nur-Sultan often, I have seen rapid transformation. One visits it after a year or two and feels as though it were a different new city. Especially last time, when I visited the EXPO, I was impressed by the scale of construction, the level of architectural skill and thoughtfulness.
I know that you have contributed to every building, perhaps even to every tree that is built or grown in Nur-Sultan. Without your instructions, of course, this urban ensemble would not look as impressive as it looks now and would not be so convenient for those who live there. Therefore, I think that Nur-Sultan is an example of modern urban planning for many countries, as it combines modernism, traditions and comfort.
And of course, the success of Kazakhstan, which today plays an important part in international affairs, is actively developing, are associated with your name. The Kazakh people, our brothers, are lucky that you stood at the origins of your independence. Thus, Kazakhstan avoided the many shocks we have gone through, along with other former republics of the USSR where destructive forces came to power in the first years of independence. Therefore, we very much appreciate your contribution to the development of Kazakhstan and your attitude to our country. I know that within the framework of international organizations of which Azerbaijan is not a member, you have always defended and supported us. Every resident of Azerbaijan knows this, and they treat you with great respect and love. I am very glad to see you and I am glad that you continue your active work for the good of your country.