President Ilham Aliyev receives Malaysian PM Mahathir bin Mohamad (PHOTO)

President Ilham Aliyev receives Malaysian PM Mahathir bin Mohamad (PHOTO)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct. 26


President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir bin Mohamad.

The head of state greeted the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Malaysia posed together for photographs.

Then a meeting was held between President Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said:

- Prime Minister, once again welcome to Azerbaijan. I am very pleased to see you again. Thank you for participating in the Summit. This indicates that Malaysia attaches great importance to this important international event, as your country is represented at the highest level. Yesterday we took over the chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement. As I said in my speech at the Summit, Azerbaijan will be committed to the Bandung principles, which are fully consistent with the priorities and policies of the country, including those of foreign policy. Sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and non-interference in each other’s affairs are the main lines of our foreign policy agenda. I think that it is thanks to this factor, as well as Azerbaijan’s commitment to an independent foreign policy based on national interests, that we received unanimous support in the Non-Aligned Movement. We consider it a great honor to be elected as the chairing country by a unanimous decision. This indicates that the policy our country is pursuing enjoys the support of the absolute majority of members of the international community. This shows that in the short period of our membership in the organization, we have managed to demonstrate our position. As the chairing country, we will uphold the legitimate rights of participating states. We will try to play a role acceptable to countries in easing the tensions between participating states. Currently, there is a need for strengthening the unity, mutual political support in the Non-Aligned Movement. We will definitely deal with the issue of economic cooperation because we must help each other, expand trade and purchase products from participating states that we are currently buying in other countries.

As you know, we came up with the initiative to conduct the Youth Summit. The population of many participating countries is growing, including youth. Their employment, integration into society and commitment to traditional values are the most important issues. We in Azerbaijan attach great importance to the attachment of our youth to the Motherland, to patriotism, education in the national spirit, so that it is free from any external influence, so that the younger generation defends national interests in the same way as we do. As the chairing country, we have a fairly broad agenda for the next three years. We look forward to your personal support and advice. We know you as one of the prominent politicians on a global scale. We know you as the author of the "Malaysian miracle". I know that many countries have studied your experience of transformations, that you have always defended justice. In your speech yesterday, you once again expressed a position, an outlook and an open approach to important issues on the global agenda. Of course, we want to strengthen friendly and political ties between our states. We already cooperate quite very well in the energy sector. Petronas is investing in Azerbaijan, and we want to expand this cooperation, increase the number of tourists from both countries. We want more cultural events to be held. In short, we want to make efforts to bring our countries closer together. Welcome to Azerbaijan again.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad said:

- Thank you for the hospitality extended to me and my delegation. After my first visit, I always wanted to come back here, but I left my post as Prime Minister. Since then, I have reduced my travel to other countries, but after returning to power, I have to make more visits than usual. When I learned that the submit of the Non-Aligned Movement would be held here, I was looking forward to visiting Azerbaijan. We have good connections. Of course, our relations are not very close, because we in Malaysia do not know much about Azerbaijan. We know Baku but are not particularly informed about Azerbaijan. I think that historically there is a lot of interesting things about Azerbaijan, and this will attract many countries here. In particular, we can visit these places on the way from pilgrimage.

Of course, we are neutral in all matters. We want to be friends with everyone. We are not interested in the internal system and ideology of different states because Malaysia is a trading country. Its development depends on trade, so we should always be friends with the markets. We see every country as a market for our products. Today we trade with almost 190 countries. With almost all countries we have established certain relations related to business. We even have a number of contacts in order to stay in Azerbaijan. Some of them, of course, are in the oil sector. We do hope that under your leadership, the Non-Aligned Movement will revive the ideology that has begun, because at that time it was a big movement. During the Cold War, a third force was needed between the two competitors, and it was mainly created by President of Indonesia Sukarno. The Non-Aligned Movement has become the largest international organization after the UN. We must ensure that this movement carries on because we can do a lot together. We are confident that thanks to trade and commerce we will be able to develop our countries.

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