President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan stands for security, co-op in region

President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan stands for security, co-op in region

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18

Trend:

An official reception was hosted Dec. 17 on behalf of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in honor of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, Trend reports.

The Azerbaijani and Ukrainian presidents made speeches at the event.

Speech of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev

- Dear Mr. President,

Dear Yelena Vladimirovna,

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Mr. President, I once again welcome you and your delegation to Azerbaijan and say "Welcome!" This is your first official visit to Azerbaijan. I am glad that it has been successful. This is once again confirmed by our discussions and the documents signed.

Our countries and peoples have friendly relations. It is significant that a representative office of Ukraine was one of 16 foreign diplomatic missions operating in Baku back in 1918-1920, during the period of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.

We reviewed our bilateral ties today. There are ample opportunities for the development of cooperation between our countries in the political, economic, energy, transport, cultural and other fields. I am sure that the agreements reached during your visit and the documents signed will contribute to the further expansion of relations.

The development of economic ties has been widely discussed. In 2018, Ukraine was in 10th place in terms of foreign trade with our country. In January-September 2019, trade with Ukraine increased by 20 percent compared to the corresponding period of 2018. Since 2018, the Azerbaijan Trade House has been operating in Kyiv and the opening of the Central Complex “Ukrainian Products” took place in Baku with your participation today. We attended the opening of a business forum of Azerbaijani and Ukrainian business circles today. The level of representation at the forum and the discussions held there confirm a high interest in the development of trade and economic ties.

Our countries maintain successful cooperation in the energy sector. A representative office of SOCAR operates in Ukraine. There are 62 SOCAR gas stations and four oil bases of SOCAR Energy Ukraine in Ukraine.

Successful experience has also been gained in the sphere of cultural and humanitarian cooperation between Azerbaijan and Ukraine. Since 2001, the Ukrainian Education and Culture Center has been operating at Baku Slavic University, and there are Azerbaijani culture centers in a number of educational institutions of Ukraine. The memory of the great son of Ukraine, poet Taras Shevchenko, has been immortalized in Azerbaijan. Statues of him have been erected in Baku and Zagatala. One of the parks in our capital is named after famous poet and playwright Lesia Ukrainka, and there is a bust of her in this park. The 650th birthday anniversary of the prominent Azerbaijani poet and thinker, Imadaddin Nasimi, is celebrated in 2019. It is significant that the official opening of the monument to great poet Nasimi took place in Kyiv in May this year. One of the main transport interchanges in Baku is called the Ukrainian Roundabout. All these are indicators of a strong friendship between our peoples.

The regions of our countries also cooperate with each other. The establishment of cooperation between the cities of Guba and Truskavets, Ganja and Odessa can be seen as another step in this direction.

Azerbaijan stands for security and cooperation in the region. However, the region’s most painful problem, the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, remains unresolved. As a result of Armenia’s military aggression, 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory has been occupied – Nagorno-Karabakh, which is our historical land, and seven adjacent districts. A policy of ethnic cleansing has been implemented in these territories and more than a million of our compatriots have become refugees and internally displaced.

The four resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council in connection with the conflict require complete and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Similar resolutions have also been adopted by the Non-Aligned Movement, the OSCE, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the European Parliament and other international organizations. The document on partnership priorities between the European Union and Azerbaijan initialed in July 2018 also expresses support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty of Azerbaijan and the inviolability of its borders.

Dear Mr. President, dear Yelena Vladimirovna, welcome to Azerbaijan again.

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