President Ilham Aliyev meets Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani (PHOTO)

President Ilham Aliyev meets Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani (PHOTO)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct. 26


President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met with President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

The head of state greeted the President of Afghanistan.

The presidents posed for photographs.

A meeting between President Ilham Aliyev and President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani then was held.

President Ilham Aliyev said:

- Mr. President, welcome again! We had a very important meeting of Summit participants yesterday. Thank you for being with us these days. Afghanistan’s participation at the Summit at the highest level reflects the importance you attach to this organization. We also view this as an indicator of friendship and partnership with respect to Azerbaijan. We are friendly and fraternal countries. We have repeatedly met in Baku during international events. We last had a very good meeting in March of this year. A document was signed. I am pleased with the development of ties between our countries. Most importantly, we are trying to implement all the agreements. I believe that we have made very good progress in bilateral relations and in strengthening our political contacts. You are aware of the efforts Azerbaijan is making to support peacekeeping development in your country. As you know, we have increased the number of our troops in Afghanistan. Security, stability and progress in your country are of great importance to us, because we, as a friendly and fraternal country, wish to see the implementation of all your reforms and plans. I have already told you that after you came to this important post, our ties have turned into a very effective partnership. Our regular meetings and discussions, the decisions made, as well as their implementation, demonstrate our mutual political will. As noted in one of our previous meetings, we wanted to connect our railways and transportation facilities, and did it. In accordance with the Lapis-Lazuli project, we are already receiving goods in Azerbaijan. Therefore, we will continue to work on these issues. Since that time, we have been very actively cooperating with our friends and neighbors in Central Asia. Thus, the volume of goods transported from Central Asia through Azerbaijan is on the increase. There is currently physical communication involving Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Europe. We have a new link, I believe that this is a historic achievement. Today we will also discuss some other issues of mutual concern. Welcome again, and thank you for being with us.

President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said:

- I am pleased to meet you! Congratulations! I believe that Azerbaijan’s assuming of chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement brings you and the brotherly Azerbaijani people a step closer to the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Given Afghanistan’s principled position on Azerbaijan, if something is required from us, you can tell us about it without hesitation. We are part of the Commission on Human Rights, and if there is a special need for coordination, I can instruct our Ambassador to establish close interaction with your Ambassador. I believe that with your strategy for hosting such international events you are convincing more and more people of their benefit every day. As for our bilateral ties, we are very happy with their level. I always say that it began with your speech in Chicago. At that time, it was a dream, but now it has come true. The Lapis-Lazuli corridor is of great importance for us. We want to discuss the possibility of using Baku as a port. Reforms or the presence of a reliable railway corridor today is very important for us. We also want to expand this corridor. We have prepared a serious program to expand this corridor, and we are very interested in Baku serving as a central hub again. The first exhibition of Afghan products was held in Baku, and we want to work more closely with the Ministry of Trade so that a market analysis is carried out and our team can work on it. One of such potential areas is the sector of construction materials.

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