Weekly political digest (28.09- 03.10.2009)
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev arrived in Romania with an official visit on Sept. 28. The guard of honor stood in honor of the Azerbaijani president at the Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport decorated with national flags of Azerbaijan and Romania.
Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva were met by senior state and government officials. Mrs. Aliyeva was presented with a bouquet of flowers
On Sept. 28, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met with the Prime Minister of Romania Emil Bok. The meeting focused on economic, as well as energy co-operation between Azerbaijan and Romania. The sides mentioned that there is great potential for the development of relations between the two countries in this regard. During the meeting, was mentioned the importance of development of Azerbaijani-Romanian economic co-operation from the point of view of Azerbaijan's economic relations with the European Union. The sides expressed confidence that the economic relations will further develop.
On Sept. 28, Presidents of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Romania Traian Basescu held a face-to-face meeting at the Romanian leader's residence - Cotroceni Palace. During the meeting, was mentioned successful development of co-operation between Romania and Azerbaijan in political, economic and other spheres. The sides also highlighted the importance of strengthening of relations within the European Union. The presidents said that the high-level visits give a boost to the development of relations. The meeting also noted great prospects for energy co-operation. During the meeting, the presidents also exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international issues.
After the talks completed between Azerbaijan and Romania on Sept. 28, the ceremony of signing documents took place, with the participation of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his Romanian counterpart Traian Besesku. The Joint Declaration on the establishment of strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and Romania was signed by the Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Traian Besesku. The agreement on joint combating trans-border organized criminality and international terrorism between the governments of Azerbaijan and Romania was signed by the Azerbaijani Interior Minister Ramil Usubov and State Secretary of Foreign Ministry of Romania Bogdan Mazur.
The agreement on cooperation in removing emergencies between Azerbaijan and Romania was signed by Minister of Emergency Situations of Azerbaijan Kamaladdin Heydarov and State Secretary of Foreign Ministry of Romania Bogdan Mazur. Memorandum on cooperation between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of Romania was signed by Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Minister of Information Society of Romania Gabriel Sandu. Memorandum of cooperation between the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan and Ministry of Environment of Romania was signed by Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and State Secretary of the Ministry of Environment Dan Kirlan.
On Sept. 28, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who is on an official visit to Romania, visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Carol Park, Bucharest. A guard of honor was lined up there for the Azerbaijani Leader. National anthems of Azerbaijan and Romania were played.
The Head of State laid a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and paid tribute to memories of the Romanian soldiers, who lost their lives during World War II. President Ilham Aliyev signed the guest book.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev was given Monday an official welcome in Bucharest at the Romanian leader's residence - Cotroceni Palace. A guard of honor was lined up at the square in front of the palace decorated with the national flags of Azerbaijan and Romania.
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva were warmly welcomed by Romanian leader Traian Basescu and his spouse Maria Basescu. The two Presidents inspected a ceremonial guard of honor as a military orchestra played the national anthems of Azerbaijan and Romania.
Romanian officials were introduced to President Ilham Aliyev, while members of the Azerbaijani delegation to Romanian leader Traian Basescu. The presidents then posed for photographs.
Presidents Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Traian Basescu of Romania held a joint press conference at the Cotroceni Palace after the ceremony of signing documents on Sept. 29. Joint Declaration on strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and Romania will open new prospects for cooperation, Aliyev said at the news conference. President Ilham Aliyev said bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Romania are "successfully" developing, adding 'documents signed today create good base for future development of ties.' During the Azerbaijani President's official visit to Romania, the sides signed five agreements. These are a joint declaration on strategic partnership between the countries; an agreement on joint fight against transboundary organized crime and international terrorism; an agreement on cooperation in removal of consequences of the emergency situations; a memorandum of cooperation between the Azerbaijan Communications and Information Technologies Ministry and the Romanian Information Society Ministry in information technology and a memorandum on cooperation between the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry and the Romanian Environment Ministry in environmental protection. "Azerbaijan has rich oil and gas resources and Azerbaijan has successfully delivered its resources to the markets of the world and Europe. If contracts based on international practice are signed with the transit countries in the near future, the Azerbaijani gas may be supplied to the European Union's market beginning from 2010," the Azerbaijani president said. Ilham Aliyev expressed his gratitude to his Romanian counterpart in Bucharest's position in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of international principles and territorial integrity. "The position of providing for adherence to international principles for the settlement of frozen conflicts, including the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, respect for the territorial integrity of countries is of great importance, and I thank you for it," the president said. According to Aliyev, all the problems in the world, including the conflicts can be resolved only on the basis of international law. "I am convinced that if all parties to respect international law, the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could soon find a just settlement of all occupied lands of Azerbaijan may soon be freed from the occupation forces," the Azerbaijani president said. The Romanian leader thanked the Azerbaijani colleague for receiving his invitation. Traian Basescu said 'this visit is a sum of joint work done within last four years. He said bilateral relations cover much more areas, praising energy cooperation. Touching upon Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the President said his country supports resolution of the conflict within norms and principles of international law, and territorial integrity of the countries. The Romanian leader said his country has signed a Joint Declaration on strategic partnership with only two countries, which are the United States and Azerbaijan and this document covers cooperation in political, economic and other fields. The Joint Declaration meets national interest of both countries, Basescu added.
An official reception was given in honor of Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva on behalf of Romanian President Traian Basescu and his spouse Maria Basescu. The Presidents made speeches during the event
On Sept. 29, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev met with the Chairman of the Senate of Romania Mircea Geoana. Mircea Geoana noted that his country attaches great importance to bilateral relations with Azerbaijan and that these relations are of strategic character. Highlighting the importance of Azerbaijani leader's visit to Romania, Chairman of the Senate said that Azerbaijan is an important country in all directions and is a friendly country for Romania. Mentioning the permanent role of Nationwide Leader Heydar Aliyev in the development of Azerbaijan, Mircea Geoana expressed confidence that the relations between Romania and Azerbaijan will further strengthen. President Ilham Aliyev said that the bilateral relations between the two countries are developing successfully. Noting the expansion of political and economic relations and good prospects of economic cooperation and touching upon the importance of signed Declaration on establishment of strategic partnership between Romania and Azerbaijan, the Head of State stressed that the paper covers a broad spectrum and reflects the spirit of bilateral relations. The Head of State said that from the point of view of bilateral relations, there are large-scale projects in perspective, emphasizing Romania's support in Azerbaijan's integration into Europe. Upon completion of the meeting, the Chairman of the Senate Mircea Geoana handed to the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev a commemorative medal dedicated to the 1040th anniversary of the Senate of Romania.
On Sept. 29 in Bucharest, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev met with the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania Roberta Anastase. Roberta Anastase said that the bilateral relations between the countries are developing, which are supported by the parliamentary relations. Countries also successfully cooperate within the international organizations. Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies noted the importance of Azerbaijan President's visit to Romania. She appreciated the activities of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Romania, mentioning the need to enhance ties between the two countries in the cultural sphere. President Ilham Aliyev said that relations between the countries are successfully developing in all spheres. Noting the importance of inter-parliamentary relations, the Head of State said that the cooperation in this regard is thriving. According to President, there is a strong legal framework for the development of bilateral relations. Joint Declaration on establishment of strategic partnership between Romania and Azerbaijan, which was signed yesterday, covers bilateral relations in various spheres, and this document will stimulate the development of relations. As an indicator of the intensity of development of relations, President Ilham Aliyev noted the activities of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Romania. The Head of State especially highlighted Romania's position in the fair solution of Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Azerbaijani President also touched upon cooperation between countries in the economic sphere, including energy, noting Romania's support in European integration.
Head of State signed the memory book of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania.
During his official visit to Romania, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Sept 29 visited the monument of National Leader Heydar Aliyev in the Tei Park in Bucharest, AzerTAj state news agency reported. Head of State and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva was welcomed by the mayor of the second sector of Bucharest Nicholai Ontsyan. Mehriban Aliyeva was presented a bouquet of flowers. Gathered in the park, local residents, students, activists of the Azerbaijani diaspora, Azerbaijani students studying at the universities of Romania, met President Ilham Aliyev and Mehriban Aliyeva with applause. President and First Lady laid flowers at the monument of National Leader Heydar Aliyev. Ilham Aliyev and Mehriban Aliyeva walked through the park, talked with local residents and representatives of the Azerbaijani diaspora, as well as took a photo with the children.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's official visit to Romania completed on September 29. There were guards of honor in the Bucharest's Henri Coandă International Airport. Romanian high-ranking officials accompanied Azerbaijani President. Azerbaijani President returned to Baku. Presidential administration head Ramiz Mehdiyev and head of executive power of Baku Hajibala Abutalibov met Azerbaijani President in the international airport named after Heydar Aliyev.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation headed by EU Special Representative for South Caucasus Peter Semneby on Sept.30, the state AzerTag news agency reported. During the meeting Aliyev and the delegation discussed various areas of the Azerbaijan-EU cooperation, including cooperation in the energy sector, as well as regional issues.
On Oct. 1, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received a delegation headed by Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic Martin Bartak, AzerTAj state news agency reported. President of Azerbaijan noted the successful development of bilateral relations in various directions, and as a good indicator of this, mentioned the visits of various delegations from the Czech Republic. Remembering his visit to the Czech Republic this year, the Head of State noted the importance of the intensive dialogue between the two countries. The President expressed confidence that the current visit of Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic to Azerbaijan will further strengthen relations. Appreciating the close cooperation between the two countries, Martin Bartak said that the Czech Republic sees Azerbaijan as a stable country. He said his country attaches great importance to relations with Azerbaijan. Bartak expressed hope that the cooperation between the two countries will expand, including in the military sphere.
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has today arrived in Azerbaijan for an official visit. A guard of honor was lined up for the Kazakh President at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport decorated with national flags of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.The Kazakhstan leader was welcomed by Azerbaijani officials, including First Deputy Prime Minister Yagub Eyyubov. Nursultan Nazarbayev and Yagub Eyyubov had a brief talk at the airport. Nazarbayev visited memorial of the Azerbaijani National Leader, Heydar Aliyev in the Cemetery of Honors in Baku.
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has visited the Alley of Martyrs to commemorate Azerbaijani heroes who gave their lives for the country`s independence and territorial integrity.
A ceremonial guard of honor was lined up for the Kazakh President here. Nursultan Nazarbayev laid a wreath at the Eternal Flame monument. A military orchestra played the national anthems of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. The Kazakh President was informed about the history of the Alley of Martyrs. President Nursultan Nazarbayev enjoyed a panoramic view of the Azerbaijani capital.
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have strong historical ties, the countries implement successful interaction, develop bilateral relations, there are concrete ongoing projects and good prospects for the future, said President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan at the meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. President Nursultan Nazarbayev's official visit to Azerbaijan began on October 2. "I am confident that the visit will be successful and its results will positively affect the further development of our relations. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have historical relations," said Ilham Aliyev. According to the President, between countries there are concrete projects that are being implemented, as well as good prospects for the future. "I believe that the decisions to be made during the visit of his Kazakh counterpart will be of great importance to further deepening of relations, strengthening of regional cooperation and "successful" realization of future projects. I am very glad that you are accompanied by a large delegation, and from our side the delegation is also big. I am sure that during your visit, members of the delegations also work in order to, in each direction, identify specific steps of implementing decisions made," said Ilham Aliyev.
According to Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan came with a solid delegation of heads of ministries and departments in order to firstly share experiences of anti-crisis measures and resolve unsettled issues. "As we have discussed with you in detail all areas of cooperation that are necessary, the inter-governmental commissions also worked, and now I was reported that no unsettled issues have left. We must say that the Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan relations are at a high level. Dynamics of our meeting with you testify it. In any place, wherever it was, you always came, I am also ready to do so. This tradition was founded by your father, my friend and my elder brother Heydar Aliyev," said Kazakh President. "We did not have any misunderstanding, unsolved question, and political problem. We are glad for your successes and that Azerbaijan is undoubtedly a leader of the region,"he added.
Nursultan Nazarbayev said that he was not in Baku four years and now it is a completely different, modern and beautiful city. "I, as a man building a new capital, know what it is, what it means. Heroic work has been done. During the Soviet period, I was a frequent visitor here, I remember what the old city was. Of course, the old city has all the old sores: home-pimped, dirt and blackness. And the fact that now center is such a joy is pleasant, and I congratulate you. Nevertheless, the capital is a mirror of the country, it is judged by everything, and regions are learning how to behave," said Kazakh President.
On Oct. 2,Azerbaijani and Kazakh Presidents, Ilham Aliyev and Nursultan Nazarbayev, had a tete-a-tete meeting in Baku. During the meeting, the presidents expressed satisfaction with the development of bilateral cooperation in various fields. The parties noted the importance of mutual visits at high level and expressed their hope that the Kazakh President's current visit to Azerbaijan will further enhance the relations. The heads of state exchanged views on bilateral cooperation, as well as regional and international issues.
Dynamics of meetings at high level are the guarantee that there are indeed fraternal relations between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in Baku on Oct. 2.
"Solid Kazakhstan delegation, consisting of many ministers, heads of the relevant companies held fruitful talks. Today, a joint meeting of the inter-governmental commission achieved progress on all issued of the agenda and signed documents," he said. President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev's official visit to Azerbaijan began on Oct. 2. During the visit, the countries signed eight inter-governmental agreements. On Oct. 2, Kazakhstan KazMunaiGas National Company and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) signed an agreement on joint development of feasibility study on Trans-Caspian project, a Memorandum of intention on cooperation on Baku-Black Sea oil pipeline and the Memorandum on joint use of oil and gas infrastructure of SOCAR during development of Kazakhstan's hydrocarbon fields. The parties also signed an agreement on cooperation in agriculture, intergovernmental agreements on cooperation in the veterinary field, on settlement of debts raised from trade and economic relations in 1992-1993 and after the transition to the calculations on correspondent accounts and on visa-free movement of citizens. The cities of Sumgayit (Azerbaijan) and Aktau (Kazakhstan) signed a joint declaration on establishing twin cities relations. "As a result, we agreed that we will strengthen energy cooperation. Documents were signed on the use of Azerbaijani oil and gas infrastructure, transport communications between our two countries, joint work on refining and exchange of experiences in training staffs, research, and further production and transportation. This is a large part of our cooperation," said Kazakh President.
According to Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan agreed upon cooperation in agriculture - in veterinary medicine and joint deliveries. "Kazakhstan is interested in the supply of food grains. We are interested in the supply of early vegetables and fruits in the Caspian regions of our country," said Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Head of Kazakhstan expressed his country's interest in the military-political cooperation, training of seamen at the schools of Azerbaijan and the cultural and humanitarian ties.
"More than 100,000 Azerbaijanis, our Kazakh citizens, continue to live with us, work, are happy with their lives, and it is a bridge for cooperation between our countries," he said. President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that with regards to world politics, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have always demonstrated the same positions. "We support strengthening the position of the United Nations, following international law, we are cooperating in combating terrorism, extremism, are always talking about the inviolability of existing borders, the sovereignty of States. On this basis we can say that we are not only partners, but allies on all fronts," he said. Kazakh President expressed his confidence that there are enormous prospects for relations between the two countries.
"Achieved $670 million turnover, which dropped due to the crisis, is not a great value. We have an opportunity to correct it. I am confident that this visit will raise our cooperation to a higher level," said Nursultan Nazarbayev.
On Oct. 2, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev arrived in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan to participate at the Summit (9th) of the Heads of Turkish-speaking States. President of Azerbaijan was welcomed by the Chairman of Supreme Majlis of the Autonomous Republic Vasif Talibov.
Presidents Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, Abdullah Gul of Turkey, Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and Kurmanbek Bakiyev of Kyrgyzstan visited Friday in Nakhchivan the monument to national leader Heydar Aliyev. Wreathes were laid at the monument to the national leader on behalf of the Heads of State. Then they visited the Heydar Aliyev Museum-Complex. The visitors became familiar with photos and books on life and activities of the nationwide leader of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev. Turkish, Kazakh and Kyrgyz presidents signed the Museum`s guest book. Then the Presidents have familiarized themselves the "Ajami" gardens. First, the Heads of State visited a bust of Heydar Aliyev.
Then they viewed exhibits of a museum located in the park. They were informed that the museum was established in 2002. The exhibits show that Nakhchivan has an old history. Then the Presidents visited Momine Khatun Mausoleum. They were told that the Mausoleum built by prominent architect Ajami Nakhchivani was one of Azerbaijan`s old monuments. Mausoleum was constructed in 1186 in honor of Momine Khatun who was wife of Muhammad Jahan Pahlavan. The Presidents were also informed of the state care for restoration and protection of the Mausoleum. The Heads of State posed for photographs in front of the Mausoleum. A concert program in honor of participants of the 9th summit of Turkic speaking countries was held on Friday in Nakhchivan. Presidents Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, Abdullah Gul of Turkey, Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and Kurmanbek Bakiyev of Kyrgyzstan watched the concert.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met Friday Kyrgyz counterpart Kurmanbek Bakiyev who is here to attend the 9th summit of Turkish-speaking countries Heads of State, AzerTaj State News Agency reported. President Ilham Aliyev said the summit would contribute to strengthening relations among two peoples and countries even more. Touching upon bilateral relations, the Azerbaijani President said they are developing dynamically, adding there is good potential to expand bilateral economic cooperation. He also underlined the importance of the Kyrgyz President`s current visit in terms of boosting bilateral relationship. Kurmanbek Bakiyev, in turn, underscored the importance of the summit, saying it contributes to enhancing ties among Turkish-speaking countries. The Kyrgyz leader said he always honors the memory of national leader Heydar Aliyev. He also pointed out his current trip will serve expanding bilateral ties.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has Friday hosted an official dinner in honor of Kazakhstan`s President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Heads of State made speeches at the event.
The 9th Summit of Heads of Turkic-speaking states started in Nakhichevan (Azerbaijan), AzerTAj state news agency reported. The first summit of leaders of the Turkish-speaking countries was held in 1992 in Ankara, the next meeting of the presidents took place in 1994 in Istanbul, in 1995 in Bishkek, in 1996 in Tashkent, in 1998 in Astana, in 2000 in Baku, in 2001 in Istanbul and in 2006 in Antalya. President Ilham Aliyev met at the conference hall of Duzdag Hotel, where the summit takes place, with Turkey's President Abdullah Gul, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiyev and Vice Prime Minister of Turkmenistan Khidir Saparliyev. Opening the summit, President Ilham Aliyev welcomed the leaders of Turkic states and delegations.
Head of State noted that over the past 17 years after the first summit in 1992, bilateral and multilateral relations and mutual cooperation have strengthened. He said that during past summits was held a good exchange of views on regional and international issues, noted the great progress in strengthening the ties and also accelerated the economic and social development. At the summit, the heads of state will make speeches, sign documents.
The President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev proposed setting up a TURKSOY fund. He made this statement speaking at the 9th summit of the Turkic-speaking countries` Heads of State in Nakhchivan. "We need to boost TURKSOY`s activities in future. We propose setting up a TURKSOY fund that would deal with restoring historic monuments across all Turkic states and lands", said Ilham Aliyev. Opening the summit, President Ilham Aliyev welcomed all the guests, expressing confidence that the Nakhchivan summit will further strengthen the unity of the Turkic-speaking countries.
"Today`s summit is a very remarkable event. I believe it will produce beautiful results, we will have an effective work and decisions we'll adopt will strengthen our unity", said the President.
Azerbaijani President noted the high level of relations between the summit participant states, noting their proximity in historical and cultural aspects. "I am sure that in future our unity will become even stronger. We have all opportunities to do this. Our countries enjoy high-level relations on a bilateral format, and we also have a strong political dialogue. We cooperate within international organizations. Our countries support one another in the United Nations, Organization of the Islamic Conference, OSCE and other organizations", he said. President Ilham Aliyev expressed his desire to develop trade relations between the Turkic-speaking countries. "We want very much that our economic relations develop at a more rapid pace. We have good opportunities for this. Our economies supplement one another. They are not in competition, and this is very important. New economic projects will, surely, bring us closer to one another... We need to increase trade among our countries as we cannot be satisfied with the current level of our trade relations. We want to implement joint investment projects...", said the President. Ilham Aliyev also mentioned the need for the development of humanitarian ties between the Turkic-speaking countries, highlighting the role of the organization TURKSOY in this process. "We have good prospects for humanitarian cooperation as well. However, we need to boost it as our cultures are closely tied up together. In this respect I would like to praise the work of TURKSOY", he said. President Ilham Aliyev expressed satisfaction that the large projects initiated by the summit's participants are efficient. "It is with great pleasure that we say that initiatives by our countries, large-scale projects underway yield fruits. Cooperation that we`ve built in the energy sector is a vivid evidence of our friendship, and, at the same time, is a successful result of regional cooperation. Azerbaijan and Turkey, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan - we all enjoy successful cooperation in the oil and gas sector... Once a myth, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline has already been operational for three years, bringing benefit to the whole region. Construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline is another triumph of us. Today Azerbaijan exports its oil and gas resources to European and world markets through very important routes", he noted. Ilham Aliyev said that signing of agreements between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan create conditions for a diversified supply of oil and gas resources of Kazakhstan to world markets via Azerbaijan. "Yesterday Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan signed very significant agreements, creating beautiful conditions for transportation of Kazakhstan`s oil and gas resources to the world markets through diversification via Azerbaijan. This is what we are all interested in. We all want our economies to be diversified, and it represents huge significance both for oil and gas producing countries, transit countries, and consumer countries," said the President.
Speaking about cooperation in the field of transport, Ilham Aliyev noted the benefits of such projects as the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars and the new Silk Road for the Turkic-speaking countries.
"We are also working on concrete projects in the field of transport - we are continuing our cooperation in the Caspian Sea, and, at the same time, construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project is successfully underway. Its completion will open a new, very important route between Europe and Asia. We, in some way, are restoring the Silk Road. Of course, these projects require huge investments and big political will. And we have both investment opportunities and also political will. In short, these projects will bring us closer to one another and give our countries additional financial resources, creating wonderful opportunities for ensuring peace, stability and security in the region. And this is what we want to achieve", he said. The President reminded of the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, noting that despite the seizure of its lands Azerbaijan continues to evolve. "Azerbaijan has been rapidly developing in all spheres of live despite the fact that our territorial integrity had been violated. Twenty percent of our lands is under occupation. As the result of the occupation and a policy of ethnic cleansing over than one million Azerbaijanis were expelled from their homelands. Despite this problem, Azerbaijan`s economy has been successfully developed. Between 2004-2008 our economy saw a 2.6-fold increase. And this, surely, helps us in coping with economic and social tasks faced by the country", said Ilham Aliyev.
President Ilham Aliyev highly appreciated the past meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking countries in Baku, saying that it has further strengthened their unity.
"Dear friends, recently Baku hosted a remarkable event which strengthened our unity even more - a first meeting of the Parliamentary assembly of Turkish-speaking countries. Our legislative authorities will be in a closer contact with one another... And we support this idea", he said.
President of Azerbaijan once again expressed his desire to strengthen the unity of the Turkic peoples, stressing the benefits they receive from it. "We want very much that the unity among Turkish-speaking countries be stronger. This is our history, our culture, our roots... We are all well aware that sometimes it is not easy to defend your own position on the international scale. If we stay together, demonstrate shared views on certain issues and systematically work to strengthen our unity, our international positions will be strengthened. After all, the Turkish-speaking countries possess all opportunities - natural resources, oil and gas fields, favorable geographical location, powerful economies, talented people and dynamic infrastructure. Putting all these opportunities together and concentrating on them will turn Turkish-speaking countries into a great power on the global scale... I`m very pleased that over the last few years our unity has been strengthened. Our presence here in Nakhchivan, an ancient Azerbaijani land, our talks, the summit and documents we will sign at its end will cement our unity even more. This is our wish, and I believe we will achieve it", said Ilham Aliyev.
Concluding his speech, the President of Azerbaijan once again thanked the guests for accepting his invitation and wished success to the summit. It was followed by the speeches of the guests of summit. Then, President Ilham Aliyev made closing remarks at the summit.
He expressed confidence that the summit will determine the direction of future activities of the participating countries. "Today we'll sign two significant documents. We will set up a Cooperation Council of Turkish-speaking countries and adopt the Nakhchivan declaration. These documents will be a basis for our further activities", said the President of Azerbaijan.He once again thanked the guests for having accepted his invitation and arrival in Nakhchivan. The President noted the special place that this city has in the history of Azerbaijan. "Strategic importance, history, culture, historic monuments of Nakhchivan are our wealth, huge property. It should be noted that foundations for Azerbaijan`s independence were laid here in Nakhchivan. Heydar Aliyev`s work here - as early as in the Soviet era - was of crucial importance for the independence of Azerbaijan... Nakhchivan is where Azerbaijan`s tricolor flag was raised for the first time following a long break. In following years Heydar Aliyev made a tremendous contribution to building independent Azerbaijan. And today Azerbaijan lives as an independent country, increasing its power and coping with all tasks it faces", said Ilham Aliyev. President of Azerbaijan stressed the importance of the work carried out in the framework of the summit for participant states. "Today cooperation among our countries has beautiful prospects. Our fruitful work will bring us closer to one another, strengthen our position on the international scale and open up good opportunities for coping with all the tasks faced by our countries. Today we`ve discussed these issues both in the bilateral format and together. And we`ve made certain that we have big potential and strong political will", he said. President of Azerbaijan supported the initiative of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev to hold the next summit in August next year in Kyrgyzstan. "We appreciate this proposal and support it with satisfaction. It is very important that we hold summits regularly. I believe every meeting will contribute to opening new opportunities", said Ilham Aliyev.
The countries of the Turkish world occupy an important place in international politics, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, Khydyr Saparliyev said, when speaking at the IX Summit of Heads of the Turkish-speaking countries in the Azerbaijani city of Nakhchivan, AzerTaj state news agency reported. Saparliyev conveyed the greetings of the Turkmen President on the occasion of the IX Summit of Heads of the Turkish-speaking countries. He noted that the meeting would take an important place in the modern history of the Turkish peoples.
Stressing that the Turkish-speaking peoples are closely connected with several factors, Khydyr Saparliyev noted that the countries of the Turkish world today occupy an important place in international politics, cooperate in the field of economy and culture. Saparliyev noted the importance of the Summit to develop cooperation among the Turkish-speaking states. "High-level meeting of Heads of State and the meeting of intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation, and hundreds of documents signed are too important to establish mutually beneficial cooperation and to strengthen the already existing brotherly and friendly relations.
The current meeting of the heads of state of the Turkish-speaking countries, taking place in a warm and friendly atmosphere, will also contribute to the further development of close relations among the Turkish-speaking peoples," he said. Saparliyev expressed confidence in further maintaining close relations among the Turkish-speaking countries. "We have the same roots, one destiny. We are pleased to note that we today are keeping the traditions formed by centuries of friendship and brotherhood. We will always continue to maintain brotherly relations," he stressed.
Khydyr Saparliyev expressed gratitude to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev for the high-level organization of the IX Summit of Heads of the Turkish-speaking countries.
"We are confident that this meeting will create opportunities for deepening cooperation among the Turkish peoples, expanding ties in the humanitarian and cultural fields," he said.
It is high time for a final settlement of regional conflicts in South Caucasus, including the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict within the framework of territorial integrity, the Turkish President said, when speaking at the IX Summit of Heads of Turkic-speaking countries in the Azerbaijani city of Nakhchivan. "It is high time for a final settlement of regional conflicts in South Caucasus, including the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict within the framework of territorial integrity of states. We attach great importance to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. We believe in the importance of the early liberation of the occupied lands of Azerbaijan. We believe that the time has come for this. We are confident the Karabakh problem will be resolved through dialogue, negotiation and diplomacy, and, thus, will bring peace to the entire Caucasus. Of course, this can be achieved only by ending the occupation," said the President of Turkey. Turkish President, Abdullah Gul thanked President Ilham Aliyev for the high level -organization of the IX Summit of Heads of Turkic-speaking states in Nakhchivan. He noted that Nakhchivan, whose name means "world view", is the native and valuable for both Azerbaijan and Turkey. "Nakhchivan is of great importance for Turkey. The border between Azerbaijan and Turkey in the Nakhchivan region is physically small, but in the political sense, it is of great importance. The political significance of 10.12-kilometer boundary is extremely high. Our border is a very symbolic passage, which is geographically connects Turkey with the Turkic republics. On the other hand, due to the fact that Nakhchivan is separated from the other lands of Azerbaijan, we have close relations, besides good neighborliness and brotherhood. Therefore, on my own behalf and on behalf of the Turkish delegation accompanying me, I wish to express once again sincere gratitude to the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, Ilham Aliyev for hosting this summit in Nakhchivan ," said Gul. He noted the importance of the summit of the Turkic-speaking countries in the context of the challenges with which they face in the modern world. "The fact that the summit of the Turkic-speaking countries launched in 1992 continues to be held today, labor and political will of all of us played the decisive role. Since 1992, our world has faced and is faced with a number of global trials in the field of politics, economy and security. These problems affected the Eurasian geography. When the Caucasus and Central Asia face various threats, primarily related to security, summits, as an important platform of solidarity and consultation, allow us to discuss both relations between brotherly countries, and global challenges," said Gul. President Gul highly apperciated the Nakhchivan declaration signed after the summit, calling it a historic step.
"The deepening of relations between our brotherly countries in all fields, especially, political, commercial, economic, cultural and social spheres, aimed at future projections, assumptions and discussion, of course, occupies a very important place on the agenda of the summit. We are making great efforts to implement the decisions reflected in the summit declaration.
Although we still have a long way, we should not miss that which we accumulated and acquired. I am confident that over time we have overcome great distance, have made progress. By the Nakhchivan declaration that we will sign today, we are really doing a very valuable historic step in establishing the summits of heads of the Turkic-speaking states. Essentially we are now implementing a dream, and this all the people who consider themselves Turks will be very happy, "he said.
Gul mentioned the right of the Turkic-speaking countries to cooperation based on mutual respect and equality. "In this regard, I would like also to say that the Turks are living in a huge geographical area, millions of people feel the Turks. This is a great pleasure that today among the great nations, there are certain our independent states. After overcoming a long way, these independent states are making progress and proud of it. Cooperation based on mutual respect and equality is our right. Anyone who feels Turk, feels this emotion," said Gul. Gul supported the initiative by the Azerbaijani President to establish the TURKSOY Fund. "Last week Baku successfully held the first meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic-speaking countries, established in accordance with the contract signed in October last year in Istanbul. Its secretariat will be located in Baku. I believe that this organization together with TURKSOY will lay very strong basis for cooperation in our countries. We also support the idea of the respected President Ilham Aliyev on TURKSOY, "said the Turkish President.
In turn, he has initiated to hold activities in the form of the Olympic Games among the Turkic states.
"Social scale of cooperation between our brotherly countries is as significant as its political, economic and cultural scales. In order to strengthen the ties between our peoples, we can implement some measures aimed at large numbers of people. I propose to discuss the organization of sports events like the Olympics, which will present the traditional Turkic sports. Sport is a huge sphere of activity, which brings together young people, the younger generation. There are Turkic sports, as well. We can engage in activities organized in the form of the Olympic Games," said Gul.
"Each of us has the task the XXI century to be the century of peace and prosperity, but not war," said the President of Turkey. He noted that his country attaches great importance to economic interaction between the Turkic states, stressed the importance of sharing experiences, mutual investment. From this perspective, Abdullah Gul underlined the importance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which will connect Asia with Europe. "Our goal is to ensure that our unity is to contribute to world peace," said the head of the Turkish state. He noted that his country is seeking for an early peace in the Caucasus region. "We believe that if Turkey's views on peace, security and stability in our region and in the Eurasian geography prevail, the chronic problems will be solved in a short period of time," said Gul.
President Gul said that Turkey's foreign policy is based on the principles of good neighborliness and mutual respect. "Inspiration pursued by Turkey's foreign policy is a reliance on traditional concepts and values of Turkism. Because the basic principles that inspire our foreign policy - friendly, good-neighborliness, mutual respect - is the foundation of common values, formed by the Turkic world. I believe that if we are able to adopt these principles at a high level, we will achieve a solution of bilateral issues among the Turkic republics, and positive progress in regional cooperation. Our countries have had great presidents who have made enormous efforts to do so. I honor their memory. I honor the memory of the Turkish President Turgut Ozal, who has made important contributions to the beginning of these cases in 1992, I honor the memory of esteemed Heydar Aliyev, who has provided special support for the unity of the Turkic-speaking countries, I honor the memory of the distinguished Turkmenbashi and the other late heads of the Turkic republics, anyone who has invested labor, has made an investment in these matters. I am very grateful to those who are alive, we feel for him boundless sense of gratitude," he said. "Once again I thank our dear friend, the distinguished President Ilham Aliyev for the fact that he has given us this opportunity, and wish this good work to benefit all Turkic world, all the Turks of the world," Abdullah Gul said, in concluding his statement.
The Turkish world must play a greater role in international politics, believes, Kyrgyz President, Kurmanbek Bakiyev. The Kyrgyz President made this statement on Saturday, when speaking at the IX Summit of Heads of Turkish-speaking countries in the Azerbaijani city of Nakhchivan. "The Turkish world should play a greater role in international politics. Currently Kyrgyzstan and the Turkish states have no unsolvable problems, as during the years of independence, political, trade-economic, scientific-technical and cultural-humanitarian relations among our countries reached the level of strategic partnership. Using common values and experiences for the benefit of full cooperation, we can make a contribution to ensuring stability in our countries. It is noteworthy that the inter-parliamentary ties among our countries have continued the trend towards further deepening and improvement, characterized by friendship, openness and understanding, as evidenced by the holding of the first plenary meeting of heads of the parliaments of the member countries of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkish-speaking countries in Baku on Sept. 28-29 this year," said Kurmanbek Bakiyev. According to Bakiyev, Kyrgyzstan's relations with the Turkish states, based on common history, culture and language, are candid and confidential in nature and actively developing in all spheres, in a spirit of brotherhood, equality and mutual interest. He noted the need to strengthen cooperation among the summit's participants. "This summit is the ninth in a row, and we already have considerable experience of cooperation within our community. The time has shown that our partnership is gaining momentum, primarily due to the reconciliation of interests of each country with common goals, meeting the requirements of our long-term cooperation. The closeness of the positions of the Turkish states contributes to high-level bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Today's discussions have demonstrated the need to further strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation regarding globalization and rapidly changing priorities," said the President of Kyrgyzstan.
According to President Bakiyev, signing the Agreement to establish the Council of the Turkish-speaking countries is a unique chance to unite the efforts of the Turkish-speaking countries.
"I am confident that the establishment of this body will strengthen the solidarity, which in turn will give impetus to the development of comprehensive relations," he said. Concerning topics of the economy, the Kyrgyz President has invited to intensify efforts to create giant joint projects of the Turkish-speaking countries in various spheres. "Speaking about economic cooperation, I want to emphasize that the overall development of this sphere of interaction is ongoing. But despite this, it is necessary not to weaken attention to this area and to undertake further concerted measures to expand trade and economic ties. In this regard, taking into account the existing capacity of all parties, the Kyrgyz Republic suggests activating efforts to establish large-scale joint economic projects in energy, transport, communications and tourism. Implementation of projects on the above areas will be able to substantially increase bilateral trade, expand the structure of export-import relations and generate investment opportunities in our countries," Bakiyev said. President Bakiyev noted the role of the TURKSOY organizations in embracing cultural values of Turkish-speaking peoples.
"We must not forget that the mentality of our people, our present and future largely depends on understanding of the historical nature and a profound knowledge of the spiritual values that our people have made in the world's cultural heritage. In this regard, I would like to acknowledge the work done by the Organization for the Joint Development of Turkish Culture and Art (TURKSOY), which is in September this year in the cities of Ankara and Baku, provided the performance of the Koroglu , performed by the Abdylas Maldybaev Kyrgyz National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet on the works of classic of the Azerbaijani Music, Uzeyir Hajibayli," he said.
The Kyrgyz President noted the importance of interaction among the Turkish-speaking countries in the fight against cross-border threats such as terrorism, religious extremism and drug trafficking. "In this regard, I wish to inform you that in September 2009 Bishkek held the regular 12th meeting of the Conference of the special services of the Turkish states, which addressed issues of adjusting practical interaction among the intelligence agencies to prevent, detect and dismantle clandestine terrorist groups operating in the territory of the participant countries. I am confident that the outcome will contribute to maintaining peace, stability and security in the region," Bakiyev said. In conclusion, the President of Kyrgyzstan expressed confidence that the future cooperation among the Turkish-speaking countries will grow and that the summit will yield fruits.
Kazakh President, Nursultan Nazarbayev has supported the initiative by the Azerbaijani President on establishment of the TURKSOY Fund and proposed to establish the Turkish-speaking academy within its framework. Nazarbayev made this statement on Saturday, speaking at the IX Summit of Heads of Turkish-speaking countries in the Azerbaijani city of Nakhchivan. "As our dear brother Ilham Aliyev noted, I also fully support this - we need to create a fund under the TURKSOY organization. Within a given fund, it would also be advisable to establish the Turkish-speaking academy, which will investigate and study the language and culture of the Turkish-speaking peoples. This is our common task. If the Turkish-speaking states help, we believe that the Academy could be placed on the sacred land of the Turkish-speaking world - in Turkestan. It could be established in Astana. At present the Khoja Ahmed Yasevi University is doing much in this direction," said Nazarbayev. Kazakhstan's President described the holding of the IX Summit of Heads of Turkish-speaking countries in Nakhchivan as its main feature. Noting that a unique person - Heydar Aliyev and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk dreamed of the unity of Turkish peoples, he stressed that Kazakhstan is also in favor of the embodiment of that idea. Therefore, in accordance with the influence of time, political relations among the Turkish states must enter a new phase. President Nazarbayev noted the need for deep study of the history and culture of Turkish peoples. "Culture of the Turkish Peoples is like a great ocean, which has not yet been studied. We believe that the history of peoples of the Turkish-speaking states should now be studied more thoroughly. Our ancestors have ruled on the broad plains of the Mediterranean Sea to the Altai, they left us a great value. We believe that they have left us a tent, bow, arrows and the similar very important cultural values. We believe that it is high time to popularize them for the entire world community," he said. President Nazarbayev expressed confidence that the Turkish States must work closely with the OSCE, OIC and other international organizations, serving as a bridge between Central Asia and Europe. "We believe that we must seize the initiative under the TURKSOYand participate more actively in regional affairs. We need to play the role of a very important bridge between Central Asia and Europe. We should also work closely with the OSCE, the Organization for Economic Development, the Organization of Islamic Conference and many other organizations, including the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, and speak with one voice. Starting next year, we will share the chairmanship at the organization to fraternal the Republic of Turkey. In this context, we are generally willing to provide support on all the raised issues. We believe that we need to further strengthen our partnership in the Asian and European structures," said the Kazakh President. President Nazarbayev said that the cooperation of Turkish-speaking countries is not directed against third countries. "It is expected that during the presidency of the OSCE in 2010 and the Organization of Islamic Conference in 2011, Kazakhstan will put forward a number of new initiatives. In particular, it should be emphasized that our unity, based on close relations with the Turkish states, will not be directed against the third countries," he said. Nazarbayev highlighted the need for global disarmament, noting the important role of his country in this process. "We need to wage a common struggle against threats, and today it is clear that there are threats to global stability. At the international level, there have been some problems in the field of global disarmament, nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. By greatly contributing to the disarmament of the former Soviet Union, Kazakhstan has the right to demand more active intervention in this field," said the Kazakh President. The Kazakh President turned his attention to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, promising support for its peaceful settlement. "Since that time, stability has been broken in the Caucasus. We share the suffering of the brotherly people of Azerbaijan. We believe that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan should be settled exclusively by peaceful means. We will continue to provide support in this matter," he said. Concluding the speech, the President of Kazakhstan has expressed confidence that the agreements reached at the summit will become a very important event in the participating countries and an important outcome for the Turkish peoples.
The negotiation process on settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh has seen a positive dynamics and it has already entered its last stage, said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Saturday, speaking at the 9th summit of the Turkic-speaking countries` Heads of State in Nakhchivan. "Currently, we are conducting bilateral negotiations on settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. However, unfortunately, we`ve not yet achieved any result. The negotiation process has seen a positive dynamics, and, I can say, it has already entered its last stage", said Ilham Aliyev. According to his words, for nearly 20 years Karabakh region, which is the historical land of Azerbaijan is under Armenian occupation. Four resolutions of the UN Security Council demanding an unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijan`s lands still remain unfulfilled. "Similar resolutions were adopted by other international organizations as well. But, unfortunately, Armenia still continues to refuse international norms", said the President of Azerbaijan. According to Ilham Aliyev's words, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be settled only in accordance with the principle of Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity. "This is Azerbaijan`s principal and unchangeable position, which is based on international principles... The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a great problem not only for Azerbaijan but also for the whole region, it is a big barrier to regional development", he said.
The Nakhchivan declaration, as well as the agreement on establishment of Cooperation Council of Turkish-speaking countries were signed as a result of the work of Turkish-speaking states' summit on October 3. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev reviewed results of the summit and said that the next summit will be held in Bishkek in August 2010. Addressing the summit, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and Turkmen deputy Prime-Minister Khydyr Saparliyev stressed great progress in strengthening bilateral and multilateral relations between Turkish-speaking countries, discussed regional and international issues and voiced proposals to more strengthen relations.
Participants of the summit visited Duzdag Physiotherapy Center in Nakhchivan after the summit of presidents of Turkic-speaking countries on October 3, AzerTaj state information agency reported.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev told the guests that Duzdag Mountain is famous in Azerbaijan with not only pure salt but healing properties. Construction of Duzdag Physiotherapy Center was launched in Nakhchivan in 2006. Azerbaijani President stressed that similar centers are being established in all Azerbaijani regions. Official reception in honor of the guests of IX summit of Turkic-speaking countries' presidents was held on behalf of the Azerbaijani President on October 3.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev participated in the reception.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's visit to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic completed on October 3. There was guard of honor in honor of Azerbaijani President in Nakhchivan's airport. Chairman of the Supreme Majlis of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Vasif Talibov accompanied the President. Azerbaijani President arrived in Baku on October 3.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev congratulated his Korean Counterpart Lee Myung-bak on the national holiday - the State Day. "Currently, friendly relations and partnership unite our countries and I am sure that the consistent efforts will be made to successfully continue our joint work and comprehensive cooperation," Aliyev said. On the same day President Aliyev congratulated Federal Chancellor of Germany Horst Kohler on the national holiday - the Day of German Unity. "Presently, the Azerbaijan-Germany relations are developing day by day. It is characterized by the expanding bilateral relations and cooperation within European organizations," the president added. Aliyev expressed confidence in continuing efforts to deepen political, economic and humanitarian cooperation.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has sent a letter of condolence to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono over the loss of live caused by a powerful earthquake which struck the island of Sumatra. On behalf of the Azerbaijani people and on his own behalf, the Azerbaijani President has offered sincere condolences to families and relatives of the victims and all the people of Indonesia and wished recovery to the injured.
The Azerbaijani Parliamentary Legislation and Legal Policy Committee recommended considering the amendments and changes to the law on "Prosecutor's Office". On Oct. 5, at the meeting, the committee discussed a bill on amendments and changes to the law on "Prosecutor's Office" upon President Ilham Aliyev's legislative initiative. The bill includes an item removing limitation on appointment of the prosecutor general, military prosecutor, prosecutor and military prosecutor of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR), which was described in the Article 16 of the law on the "Prosector's Office". At present, under the current law, the same person cannot be appointed Prosecutor General of Azerbaijan Republic, Military Prosecutor of Azerbaijan Republic, and Prosecutor of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic more than twice. The new bill applies this limitation to district and specialized prosecutors. The current Prosecutor General of Azerbaijan, Zakir Garalov occupies this position since April 25, 2000 and his office term will expire on April 25 in 2010. The Military Prosecutor, Khanlar Aliyev has been appointed this position since Feb. 10, 2005.
The head of the office of Azerbaijan's Parliament does not exclude discussions over the bill on the status of ex-president during the autumn session. "Work on this project continues. If the project is completed by the end of the year, it will be submitted to the Parliament for discussion during the autumn session. Even if the bill passes, this status can be applied to not all of the three former presidents of Azerbaijan. Now a criminal case has been filed with regards to one of them and he is in research. Unless this issue is resolved, the status for them is impossible," Safa Mirzayev, chief of the office of the Parliament, told reporters on September 28. The additions and changes to the Constitution of Azerbaijan through a referendum held on March 18 also envisage granting the status of ex-president. For this purpose, it is necessary to prepare and adopt a new bill in the Parliament.
Some time ago, head of the opposition Great Establishment Party, MP Fazil Mustafa, prepared and submitted to the office of the Parliament a bill on the status of ex-president. According to Mirzayev, if the accusations against former president Ayaz Mutallibov are not removed, according to the Azerbaijani legislation, the status of ex-president for him will be impossible.
The Azerbaijani parliamentary committee will discuss amendments and additions to the Electoral Code, which was proposed by the union uniting several Azerbaijani opposition parties. Under the internal charter of the Parliament, the bill was submitted for discussion in the Committee on Law Policy and State Building. However, I believe there is no need to make amendments and additions to the existing Electoral," head of the parliamentary administration, Sefa Mirzayev, told Trend on Sept.28. The parties entering the Civil Movement for Karabakh and the Republic submitted to the parliamentary apparatus proposals on making 200 amendments and additions to the Electoral Code on the eve of municipal elections. Azerbaijan will hold municipal elections in December 2009. Azerbaijan has held municipal elections before, in 1999 and 2004. Azerbaijani Parliament adopted a law on the unification of municipalities. Under this law, the number of municipalities decreased from 2,757 to 1,766. According to Mirzayev, there is no need to make any amendments to the legislation for the participation of the opposition in the municipal elections as a bloc. "The Azerbaijani Electoral Code is adequately allows to hold free, democratic and transparent elections," Mirzayev added. The Civil Movement for Karabakh and the Republic was established on the eve of the referendum held on March 18. The Popular Front of Azerbaijan, the Citizen and Development Party, the Liberal Party, the Democratic Party and the Musavat and Umid parties, as well as a number of public organizations, are represented in the group.
A member of the Azerbaijani Parliament will raise the issue of signing a "road map" between Azerbaijan and Turkey. "There is a need to sign a "road map" between Turkey and Azerbaijan. This paper should be signed before the paper which is expected to be signed between Turkey and Armenia. This paper should be a legal framework to prevent the Turkish authorities from taking step beyond the framework," Parliamentarian and Deputy Chairman of the pro-government Ana Vatan Party, Zahid Oruj told Trend on Sept. 28. Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Turkey and Armenia will sign a deal to establish diplomatic ties on Oct. 10, Erdogan said in his exclusive interview with Trend . Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the deal would be signed by the countries' foreign ministers, but it must be approved by the countries' parliaments before taking effect. The parliamentarian said the "road map" might be Turkey's moral responsibility. "We are brothers and all political slogans have great importance. But we need the legal "road map". I will raise this issue at the Azerbaijani Parliament," Oruj said.
Interparliamentary relations between Azerbaijan and Poland are very positive. I was in Azerbaijan twice. In addition, the chairman of the Azerbaijani Parliament also visited Poland. The chairman of the Polish Senate Bogdan Boruzevich told journalists Monday. "I think that between our countries there is a great level of understanding. We understand each other. Although Azerbaijan is located far enough from Poland, "- he added, noting that the Caucasus region and Azerbaijan are in the zone of interests of the European Union. "Eastern Partnership" very important to us. This allows us to strengthen the relationship at all possible levels. Also, this is a good opportunity to introduce and reinforce positive changes for the countries invited to the partnership. These ties include not only Poland but also all the EU countries. In addition to the development of economic ties, we also want to encourage local governments in carrying out democratic reforms, "- said the chairman of the Polish Senate.
According to him, "Eastern Partnership" can not be successful in the lack of willingness to cooperate in the partner countries. The principles of free market economy work better than an authoritarian, but in a democratic environment. Authoritarian system always tries to suppress the free market.
"Speaking about Azerbaijan and, in general, the Caucasus, one can not talk about frozen conflicts. "Eastern Partnership will help develop a good spirit of cooperation in the region", - concluded Bogdan Boruzevich.
A decision to sign 'road map' with Turkey was suggested at a meeting of Azerbaijani Milli Majlis (Parliament) on September 30. "It is necessary for Azerbaijan to sign 'road map' with official Ankara before signing of the protocol on establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia scheduled for October 10. Turkey must take obligations on issues that can harm Azerbaijani interests," MP, deputy chairman of Azerbaijani pro-governmental party 'Ana Veten', Zahid Oruj, said at a meeting on September 30. Final variant of the protocol will be signed between Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian on October 10-11, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told media earlier. Turkey and Armenia achieved the agreement to launch 'internal political consultations' concerning signing of 'Protocol on establishment of diplomatic relations' and 'Protocol on development of bilateral relations' during the talks under Switzerland's mediation, Turkish foreign ministry said in August. "Political consultations will complete during six weeks. Afterwards, two protocols will be signed. Then they will be submitted for approval of both countries' parliaments," Turkish foreign ministry said. There are no diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia. The border between them has been closed since 1993. Oruj said that opening of Turkish-Armenian border can seriously impact the processes in the region. The first deputy speaker Ziyafet Askerov voiced his anxiety concerning this issue. "We believe that Turkey will not take any actions contradicting Azerbaijani interests," he said.
Opposition's appeals for boycott during every elections and raising the question concerning necessity for changes in the election code turned into unsuccessful tendency, the Azerbaijani government said.
"Opposition's appeals for boycott during every elections and raising the question concerning necessity for changes in the election code turned into unsuccessful tendency. Knowing that it is unreal to make amendments and changes to the Electoral Code, the opposition once again addressed with these statements, " head of the social-political department of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, Ali Hasanov, told Trend on September 30. Several parties of 'Movement for Karabakh and Republic' submitted the Parliament proposals to make up to 200 additions and changes in the election code on the eve of the municipal elections. Opposition wants election commission to be formed on a parity basis. Azerbaijani municipal elections are scheduled for December 2009. Number of municipalities was reduced from 2,760 to 1,720 in Azerbaijan. Hasanov said that the election code has already turned into the generated law. Several elections have been already held upon this law. "Institutions of elections become more professional in Azerbaijan. Their activity causes more trust. Unfortunately, making additions and changes in the election code became a form of opposition's self-expression. But I do not think that it is a proper form of expression. It is possible to find better methods to be in the center of attention," Hasanov said. Preparation for the elections is held normally. Institutions of elections seriously prepare for this process, head of the department in the presidential administration.
"I think that current municipal elections will be held at higher level than previous ones. More interest will be paid to current municipal elections," Hasanov said. Answering the question whether opposition's weakness will impact negatively on competition, he said that society expects no problems on this regards.
Azerbaijani pro-governmental party established electoral staffs in all urban and regional organizations due to the municipal elections. "Presently, lists of candidates for membership in municipalities drawn up in local organizations are resent to the central electoral staff," chairman of 'Azerbaijan Democratic World' party, Mammad Alizadeh, told Trend on October 1. Azerbaijani municipal elections are scheduled for December 2009. Municipal elections were held twice in 1999 and 2004. Number of municipalities was reduced from 2,760 to 1,720 in Azerbaijan. Alizadeh said that the party will nominate candidates for all municipalities. "We go to these elections independently. We will not cooperate with any party. We believe that we achieve serous success," chairman of the party said. He said that the party has great electoral experience. The party thinks unnecessary to participate in elections together with any political organization. "Our party is one of Azerbaijani most perfect ones in organizing. Thus, I believe that we will not face any problems by participating in elections independently," Alizadeh said.
The opposition Umid Party supports maintaining the unity without imposing any conditions. "We're not going to leave the ranks of the movement, and also accept the conditions put forward by the Musavat Party," Anvar Aghazadeh, the chairman of the Supreme Assembly of Umid Party, which is part of the "Movement for Karabakh and Republic, told Trend . Musavat Party, represented in the Movement for Karabakh and Republic, has put condition before the Umid Party that the latter must withdraw its representatives from the election commissions. Chairman of Umid Party, MP Igbal Aghazadeh, in his turn, noted that he would fulfill the condition if the MPs from Musavat Party give up their mandates. Due to the fact that both parties did not fulfill the conditions a crisis has appeared in the ranks of the movement. According to Aghazadeh, the misunderstanding arose between Umid and Musavat parties will lead to collapse of the Movement for Karabakh and Republic, where these parties are represented.
"Today, most of people who represent our party in the commissions are selfless people, they did not sign the false reports. Of course, expecting the same heroism from all members would be wrong. We're not stupid to abandon those of our associates, who over the years suffered persecution, deprivation. Therefore, we consider this offer disingenuous and illogical. And if the movement collapses for this reason, then the responsibility will fall on Musavat party," said the chairman of the Supreme Assembly of Umid Party. "Umid Party can be calm - the Movement for Karabakh and Republic will not collapse," Arif Hajili, head of the central executive office of the Musavat Party, told Trend on Oct. 1. Some parties may withdraw from the movement or they may be driven out, said Hajili. "But in any case, the movement will remain as it is, and will continue to function," he said.
The OSCE plans to carry out joint projects with the Azerbaijani Central Election Commission (CEC).
"I am pleased with the high level of cooperation with the Azerbaijani CEC and we plan to carry out hold joint projects," Head of the OSCE Office in Baku, Ambassador Ali Bilge Cankorel, said at the meeting with CEC Chairman, Mazahir Panahov, on Oct.1. On Oct.1, Head of the OSCE Office in Baku, Ambassador Ali Bilge Cankorel met with CEC Chairman, Mazahir Panahov.
The OSCE Office in Baku intends to carry out joint activities with the CEC to educate observers, members of commissions, representatives of executive authorities and other electoral stakeholders, Cankorel said. The CEC cooperates closely with reputable international institutions and the OSCE in this series takes an important position, Panahov said. So far, the CEC and the OSCE Office in Baku organized various joint projects relating to the Azerbaijani elections, which have played a significant role in educating people about their voting rights.
The Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking countries (TurkPA) will play an important role in shaping, strengthening and developing the unity of all the Turkic states, as well as in solving common problems, said the speaker of the Azerbaijani parliament. "Today we speak different languages. However, I believe that the time will come, and w will speak the same language, and we do not need interpreters," the Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament, Oqtay Asadov said at the TyurkPA the first summit, held in Baku on Sept. 28. The Parliament of Azerbaijan hosted the first summit of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking countries. In the last year's Istanbul meeting of Parliament Speakers of Turkic-speaking countries, an agreement was reached to establish the Parliamentary Assembly, which includes Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan refused to participate in the meeting. General Secretariat of the organization will operate in Baku under the decision of the members of the Assembly.
The Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development has supported the Ukrainian initiative to supplement the GUAM and Baltic countries inter-parliamentary cooperation. This was decided at the 10th meeting of the CFM of the GUAM-Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova, which was held in the UN General Assembly session in New York, the GUAM Executive Secretariat reported. In this regard, it was decided to continue work on organizing a meeting of GUAM and the Baltic States at the Council of National Coordinators. The CFM also discussed the GUAM's cooperation with other countries and international organizations. The CFM expressed satisfaction with the level of the GUAM cooperation with U.S. and Japan and agreed on the need to strengthen the cooperation between the GUAM and Poland and the Czech Republic in specific projects. The CFM welcomed Azerbaijan's initiative on the assumption of obligations of the coordinator-country for the Working Group on Information Technology for 2009-2010, and took appropriate action. GUAM Foreign Ministers Council approved "GUAM-US Framework Program "Improvement of the methodology and technologies of border control at the GUAM transport corridor in accordance with international standards and practices: Checking of vehicles", as well as made a decision on the extension of the Georgian presidency term in the GUAM by the end of 2009 and the 2010 budget of GUAM. The CFM decided to hold its next meeting under the CFM-OSCE meeting in Athens in December, 2009.
Three commissions will operate under the TurkPA General Secretariat. "The first commission will deal with language, culture and education, the second commission will operate in the direction of harmonization of national legislation and fostering international links and the third commission will be economic," TurkPA Secretary General, Ramil Hasanov, told journalists on Sept.29. On Sept. 28, Baku hosted a plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkish-speaking countries with the participation of parliamentary delegations of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. Ramil Hasanov, chairman of the youth organization of the "New Azerbaijan Party" was elected TurkPA General Secretary at the meeting on Sept. 29. According to Hasanov, the TurkPA General Secretariat will center on developing the inter-parliamentary relations of the Turkish-speaking countries and exchanging experience, discussing joint proposals and resolving common problems. "The TurkPA General Secretariat will also work to attract other Turkish-speaking countries to the PA. The TurkPA General Secretariat will launch its activity in 2010. But the organizational work has already begun," the Secretary General said.
The Baku Declaration of the Turkic-speaking States Parliamentary Assembly has been adopted in Baku on September 29. Cooperation within the organization is important means in deepening inter-relations of countries in political, economic, cultural and other spheres, further rapprochement of peoples of the countries participating in the Turkic-speaking States Parliamentary Assembly, the document said.
"Activity of the Turkic-speaking States Parliamentary Assembly is based on use of opportunities presented by common history, language and culture of the states-parties for the further development of our brotherly peoples. The Turkic-speaking States Parliamentary Assembly will give new impetus to the mutually beneficial and equal cooperation of countries of the region. The Turkic-speaking States Parliamentary Assembly intends to promote further development of political dialogue between states with a qualitatively new level of the inter-parliamentary cooperation - parliamentary diplomacy. It will create favorable political environment to develop and implement various initiatives aiming to turn our region into a zone of security and prosperity, " the declaration said. The plenary meeting of the Turkic-speaking States Parliamentary Assembly including delegations of the Milli Majlis, the Kazakh Parliament, Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey is being held in Baku on September 29.
Heads of the parliaments of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan believe the Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkish-speaking countries (TurkPA) will become an authoritative international organization. The Parliamentary Assembly will work to bring together countries, Speaker of the Kazakh Parliament, Oral Muhammedjanov, said at the TurkPA plenary session in Baku on Sept. 29. "The first meeting of the TurkPA is a historic event. The assembly will strengthen inter-parliamentary cooperation between the countries and contribute to a political rapprochement of the countries" the speaker said. The TurkPA will become the authoritative international organizations such as PACE and the OIC, Muhammedjanov said. It is important to expand the ranks of TurkPA, said Speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament, Aytibay Tagayev, "Culture and language unites the Turkish-speaking countries", the speaker added. The Turkish-speaking countries have a great potential for cooperation, Tagayev said.
On Sept. 28, Baku hosted the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkish-speaking countries with the participation of parliamentary delegations of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.
The most important issue in EU relations with South Caucasus countries to discuss the adoption of the mandate of agreements on association with each of the countries in the region, said EU Special Representative for South Caucasus Peter Semneby. "Signing such agreements will take a long time, but as a result, our relationship will become much stronger and more comprehensively developed," Semneby told reporters on Sept. 29 upon arrival in Baku. He said that the association agreement will reflect trade issues, including creation of free trade zones, as well as freedom of movement, and in general will bring the EU's relations with South Caucasus countries to a new level. "I hope that the agreement will be signed with each of the countries in the region," said the EU special representative, without specifying the exact date. The EU proposal for the South Caucasus lies in the different items of the Eastern Partnership which notes the development of the EU's relations with each country in the region, as well as the strategic importance of the South Caucasus, he said. During his one-day visit to Baku, Semneby will meet with Azerbaijani officials, independent experts and analysts.
Prospects of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Slovenia will be discussed at the highest level in Baku in November. The talks will be held within Slovenian President Danilo Turk's official visit to Baku on November 9-10, Slovenian honorary consul to Azerbaijan Borut Megushar told Trend on September 30. "Organizing of the visit has already launched. Work over bilateral documents planned to be signed during the visit is held, consul said. Totally, drafts of six documents on bilateral cooperation have been submitted to the Azerbaijani side. But it still unknown which of them will be signed during the visit. The documents cover economic spheres of cooperation." The issues of bilateral cooperation in political, economic and humanitarian spheres will be discussed by the Presidents of both countries. "Special attention will be paid to energy cooperation during the visit," Megushar said. Business delegation including representatives of 56 Slovenian companies will accompany the President during his visit. Business-forum including businessmen of both countries is planned to be organized within Slovenian President's visit to Baku. Turnover between Azerbaijan and Slovenia hits $26.1 million for January-may 2009.
The current processes in the region created a brilliant opportunity for Nagorno-Karabakh conflict adjustment, one of the most influential U.S lawmakers, Republican Senator, Richard Lugar, said.
"Turkey Armenia normalization consultations brought out the importance of cooperation in the region," Lugar said, speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington. Lugar pointed out that every country of the South Caucasus region is important for U.S and Washington would like to see these countries in peace. Senator especially pointed out Azerbaijan's importance in terms of energy and Geo-strategic factors. He said that Azerbaijan is still remaining as important ally in the U.S policy towards region.
EU Special Representative for South Caucasus Peter Semneby hopes that by the end of the year concrete results will be achieved in the process of peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "The European Union supports the work being conducted by the three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group and praises the increased efforts of the sides to try to get their positions closer to an agreement," mentioned in the press release as a result of Semneby's visit to Azerbaijan. As part of his regular consultations with the Azerbaijani authorities, the EU Special Representative Peter Semneby met during his visit to Baku with President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadiyarov. During his visit, the EUSR also discussed with his Azerbaijani interlocutors the Turkish-Armenian normalisation process and its implications for Azerbaijan. The European Union Special Representative also had an open exchange of views with the Azerbaijani authorities on the relations between Azerbaijan and the European Union. The Eastern Partnership programme, which creates a new framework for the relations between the European Union and six countries of its Eastern neighbourhood, was discussed. The European Union and Azerbaijan can bring their relation to another level through the Eastern Partnership, the press release says.
On Sept. 30, the Azerbaijani parliament has ratified the paper on completion of the delimitation of borders with Russia. The parliamentarians have ratified a bill confirming the joint statement signed by the previous presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia on "Completion of delimitation of borders and on basic principles of division of the Samur River water basin". On the first day of the autumn session, the Parliament also passed a decision to open the Azerbaijani embassy in Serbia, Oman, Libya, Lebanon and Estonia. Azerbaijani Parliamentarian Iqbal Aghazadeh took the initiative to open an embassy in Israel
Turkey will not take steps that could hurt Azerbaijan, Head of the Turkish Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Movlud Chavushoglu said in an exclusive interview with Trend , when commenting on the issue of ratification of the "Protocol on Establishing Diplomatic Relations" and "Protocol for Development of Bilateral Relations" by the Turkish and Armenian parliaments. "The agreements between Turkey and Armenia can pass through the parliaments of both countries. Indeed, there could be very difficult and serious discussion at the parliament, but these agreements can pass them. However,serious issues and reactions arouse in Turkey and Armenia, as well as in Azerbaijan due to this issue. Azerbaijan is well aware of what the Turkish officials did and will do. The Turkish Prime Minister of said that they do not take steps that could hurt Azerbaijan. Regarding this protocol, he always said the steps taken by us will be beneficial mostly for Azerbaijan and Armenia. If Armenia is our friend, a friend of Azerbaijan, withdraws from the [occupied] lands and find a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, it will benefit from this. Naturally, Armenia's withdrawal from the occupied lands, resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem is profitable and useful for Azerbaijan. In doing so, we protect the interests of Azerbaijan and will continue to protect them in future," said Chavushoglu. He noted that these documents did not mention the inviolability of borders, in order not to complicate the internal situation in Armenia.
"If you carefully read the documents, you will sea all of them include Azerbaijan, its occupied land, and Nagorno-Karabakh. In these agreements, Azerbaijan does not remain on the sidelines. The official representatives of Turkey and Azerbaijan know it. Here, we have a definite strategy with Azerbaijan. We will apply it. Naturally, we are also discussing this here. We want all parties to win in this matter. Our duty is to protect the rights of Azerbaijan," he said.
Slovenian President Danilo Turk sees Azerbaijan as an important partner of Europe in energy security.
"Azerbaijan is an important partner in European energy security and could play a constructive role in this regard", - said to Trend President of Slovenia Danilo Turk. "Azerbaijan is an important partner of Europe in energy security and can play a constructive role in this regard," President of Slovenia Danilo Turk told Trend . "I intend to include this issue in the agenda of talks during my official visit to Baku, as well as security issues in general," said Turk. Slovenian President's visit to Azerbaijan is scheduled for November 9-10, Consul of Slovenia to Azerbaijan Borut Megushar told Trend formerly. President of Slovenia believes that Azerbaijan can play a constructive role in this matter, as well as in maintaining the peace agreements. According to Turk, Azerbaijan and Slovenia have good and friendly relationship. It needs to strengthen political consultations between the two countries, and for this purpose, I plan to visit Azerbaijan in November," he said. "I have already met with the President of Azerbaijan at the UN and appreciate his wisdom and political views. We want to strengthen political consultations between Azerbaijan and Slovenia," said the President. Slovenian President said that the agenda of talks also includes the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "Recently a positive move has been recorded in this issue. From positive normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations, we also can expect a positive contribution to the solution of the conflict from Turkey's policy towards Armenia. In a broad context, this facilitates the search for solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," the President of Slovenia said.
Turkmenistan considers possibilities to hold further bilateral talks on the Caspian oil fields with Azerbaijan, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow said at a meeting with representatives of the Turkmen media outlets. The Turkmen President stressed that there are several "good options" to find a compromise. He said that the dialogue at the diplomatic level has not been exhausted yet and can be continued. According to official Turkmen source, Berdimuhamedow stressed that Azerbaijan is neighborly country. We were, are and will be brothers. He said that while preserving differences on offshore fields, Turkmenistan, as planned, has a reason to apply to the international arbitration. Turkmen corresponding agencies were charged by Turkmen President to prepare an appeal to the court in summer 2009. The Turkmen side promised to admit the court's decision. Azerbaijani officials recognize the last fields as Azerbaijani ones. Readiness for joint exploitation was expressed concerning bordering Kapaz having hydrocarbon deposits. Turkmen leadership calls Kapaz field (Serdar in Turkmen interpretation), as well as Azeri and Chirag (Osman and Omar) as disputable topic. Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan resumed dialogue and expressed interest in bilateral cooperation after Berdimuhamedow became Turkmen president in 2007. During his period of office visits are exchanged at the highest level. The Turkmen embassy in Baku resumed its work. Mutual debt was settled. Currently, two Turkic states are considered by the European Union as raw sources for future gas pipeline "Nabucco" to Europe via Turkey. It will allow countries to diversify the markets of energy resources.
U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton congratulated Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov on the Ramadan holiday. In her letter, Clinton congratulated his Azerbaijani counterpart and the Azerbaijani people on the Ramadan holiday. "While the world Muslims are paying special attention to the values of charity, humanity and spirituality, we must also contribute to the development of tolerance, understanding and peace for all humanity," the letter wrote.
Clinton wished the Azerbaijani people welfare.
"I regret to note that there is other Council of Europe with other standards." This idea was expressed by the head of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE Samad Seyidov on Oct. 1 during debates on the report "The future of the Council of Europe in the light of its 60 years of experience" by the French MP Jean-Claude Mignon, held as part of the autumn session of the organization. "The issues, problems and discussions that have been raised many times are very important. It is important for all countries, in particular for my country - Azerbaijan. About ten years ago, we joined the Council of Europe high hopes and big ambitions. We have worked together with our friends, and naturally feel a sense of pride in it. We have cancelled the death penalty in our country, completely changed the legislation of the country, created a new environment for NGOs and public organizations, all of which are important steps in ensuring freedom of speech. As you know, all these were done through the efforts and initiatives of the organization. In 2005, the organization adopted a resolution on Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of my country. Assembly acted against terrorism and human rights violations and supported the establishment of democracy in the territory. I also welcome organization's activities against violations of women's rights. However, I regret to note that at the same time there is another Council of Europe with other standards. We see the Council of Europe, which has different approaches to similar problems, in different ways relates to the large and small countries, as well as various political parties. For example, let us look at the processes occurring in the European Democratic Group (EDG). Here there are some of our friends who are trying to change the rules of the game during the game. But it is unacceptable for the organization. I hope that we will keep all valuables left for us as a legacy by our founders, and we must do everything possible to do so," Seyidov said in his speech.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkish-speaking countries (TurkPA) will work to obtain international status. "In the future TurkPA will firstly act as a guest and observer in the international organizations. Then it can obtain a membership," TurkPA Secretary General, Ramil Hasanov, told the official website of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party. According to Hasanov, all international organizations will be informed about the establishment of TurkPA and they will study the experience of parliamentary associations of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and the Commonwealth of Independent States. In the future, the PA will make efforts to attract Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, as well as Turkic speaking autonomous republics, Hasanov added. The TurkPA General Secretariat will launch its activity on Jan.1, 2010. TurkPA was established at a plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking countries held with the participation of parliamentary delegations of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey in Baku on Sept. 28
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Trend in an exclusive interview.
According to the western media, Turkey is getting prepared to rebuild diplomatic ties and open borders with Armenia. There is an opinion that if this happens, an important for Baku factor in negotiations over Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will disappear. Does Turkey take this into consideration?
Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Azerbaijan's interests are always important for Turkey. We will never betray Azerbaijan. As a head of Turkish government I would like to speak particularly on one issue. In order to rebuild relations with Armenia we expressed our will. The normalization talks between Turkey and Armenia have entered a sensitive phase, the protocols guiding the establishment and development of relations between our countries will be sent to the Turkish Parliament next month for ratification.
We have reached an important stage with the step we have taken with Switzerland's mediation and I believe we can send the initialed document to Parliament if we do not face any prejudice and if steps are not taken by thinking just about the internal politics.
But especially I would like to explain that: Our efforts are not against our brother Azerbaijan. We will not agree on anything what is against the interest of Azerbaijan. We can approach the agreement but it definitely depends on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.
Q: According to the media, Turkey and Armenia will sign a landmark deal to establish diplomatic ties on October 10. Can you confirm that for us?
A: The foreign ministers will come together on October 10, or October 11 and sign the drafted document. Foreign ministers Ahmet Davutoglu and Eduard Nalbandian will ink two protocols, the texts of which had been agreed earlier and internationally hailed as a major breakthrough.
Q: You met on Friday with US President Barack Obama, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh. According to some reports Nagorno-Karabakh was discussed at this meeting. Can you give any more details on that meeting?
A: We discussed problems in the Middle East and Turkey, as well as relations among Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia, with Mr. Obama stressing the importance of improved our ties for the region as a whole. I think it would be easier if the OSCE's Minsk Group - tasked to find a solution to the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh - took more active measures. The time already has come. The United States as the co-chair of MG must follow its duties. This problem must be solved. I told Mr. Obama that if it is solved that it will turn on the green lights for regional cooperation, including our relationship with Armenia. There was need for dialogue that would bring together regional countries, referring to Turkey's proposal of a stability and cooperation platform in the Caucasus. Turkey aimed to make the region a basin of peace and wanted to solve Azerbaijan-Armenia, Turkey-Armenia and Russia-Georgia problems through this platform.
Q: Speaking of regional cooperation, what are your estimations about NABUCO project, in which Turkey is also participating?
A: We already past part of the way for this project. Recently we signed a contract with a number of European countries. As part of my trip to New York I also met with the president of Turkmenistan. To realize this project all the participants should show particularly efforts.
Monitoring was held on the contact line between Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces on Sept. 29 after a mandate by the special envoy of the OSCE chairman. The monitoring near the Mazam village of Azerbaijan's Gazakh region proceeded without incident on Sept. 29, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported. The monitoring will be held on the Azerbaijani side by OSCE Chairman-in-Office Personal Representative field assistants Pieter Ki and Irji Aberli.
On Sept. 28, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops from an area outside the Garakhanbayli and Horadiz villages in the Fuzuli region at 22:30-22:45, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported. The Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No causalities were reported.
Updated version of the Madrid principles on the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is ready and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs will submit it to the sides during the next visit to the region. "The Madrid principles have been updated. We have worked on this at a meeting of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in Krakow in late July," the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, Yuri Merzlyakov (Russia) told trend News over the telephone. The new version will be submitted to the sides during another visit to the region. A working meeting of the OSCE MG co-chairs was held in Krakow on July 25-26. According to Merzlyakov, the OSCE MG co-chairs will visit Azerbaijan next week. In Baku, the MG will work on preparing a meeting between the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, scheduled for October 10 in Chisinau.
On Sept. 29, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops in the areas of the Tovuz region at 15:05-15:15. The shots were fired from the Mosesgah village in Armenia's Berd region.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported that the Armenian soldiers fired at Azerbaijani troops from areas in the Goranboy region at 14:30-14:45, and from the positions near the Garakhanbayli village in the Fuzuli region at 00:30-01:10 on Sept. 30. The Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No causalities were reported.
Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davudoglu said at a news conference in Ankara that they expect many things from the Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents' Chisinau meeting. "We expect many thins from the Ilham Aliyev-Serzh Sargsyan meeting," Davudoglu said. The Foreign Minister added that this is the fourth meeting between the sides held since May. Davudoglu said the parties have not met so often during 17 years. "Close meetings between the parties are one of steps taken to resolve the conflict," he said.
Azerbaijan is ready to respect the rights of ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh on the basis of international law. "Azerbaijan originally stated emphatically that any attempt to impose the solution of the conflict to the detriment of the territorial integrity of the country will not be accepted by Azerbaijan. But we take into account the real situation and the conditions for further life and respect for the rights of ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. We are prepared to respect their rights on the basis of international law," head of the public-political department of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, Ali Hasanov, briefed the media on Sept. 30. On Oct. 9, Moldova will host the next summit of the CIS. The next round of talks between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan is expected to be held during the meetings. The OSCE MG co-chairs will visit Azerbaijan in early October. In Baku, the MG will work on preparing a meeting between the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, scheduled for October 10 in Chisinau, Yuri Merzlyakov (Russia) told Trend . According to Hasanov, it is difficult to predict the results of talks between presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Chisinau. "Unfortunately, today's unconstructive position of Armenia impedes the progress. Therefore, it is impossible to predict how the Armenian side will behave at the meeting in Chisinau and subsequent meetings. There have been cases where the issues on which agreements were reached were once again raised at the next meeting as a problem and it prevented the negotiation process," said the head of the department.
The OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs, Yuri Merzlyakov (Russia), Bernard Fassier (France) and Robert Bradke (USA) today have made an official statement in which they again described the conditions under which the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be settled. The Armenian Foreign Ministry's statement, sent to Mediamax, says: "The Co-Chairs would like to reaffirm the statement previously made by each of their government that the so-called Minsk process of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement is an independent, must move forward in accordance with its own logic without any preconditions or linkages, and within a reasonable time, without the imposed acceleration or deceleration." At present, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs are in Yerevan, where they will meet the Armenian President, Serzh Sargsyan and Foreign Minister, Edward Nalbandian.
On Sept. 30, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops from an area outside the Gulustan village in the Goranboy region at 19:40-19:55, from the positions near the Ashagi Abdulrahmanli and Garakhanbayli villafges in the Fuzuli region at 20:10-20:35 and 23:00-23:30 and on Oct. 1, from an area outside the Gizil Oba village in the Terter region at 01:40-02:10. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported that the Armenian soldiers fired at Azerbaijani troops from an area outside the Sarijali village in the Agdam region at 16:30-16:50. The Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No causalities were reported.
Azerbaijani government considers that the Lachin corridor should be opened for both Azerbaijan and Armenia. It can not be granted for only Armenia. "The Lachin path is very important for Azerbaijan and we cannot agree upon its use only by Armenia. This is impossible," Azerbaijani President's special envoy for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Deputy Minister of foreign affairs of Azerbaijan, Araz Azimov told journalists on Oct.1. "We have heard repeatedly that Armenia intends to liaise with the Armenian community of the Nagorno-Karabakh through the Lachin corridor. This road is also important for the Azerbaijanis and we cannot accept its one-sided use," Azimov said. Ankara shares the same position. Earlier Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davudolgu proposed to allow both sides to use this corridor, considering it to play an important role in the development of relations among Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia. The issue on Lachin corridor will be discussed during the OSCE Minsk Group's next visit to the region, Azimov added.
Baku does not believe signing of the Turkish-Armenian protocol on the resumption of diplomatic ties may lead to positive changes in Armenia's position. "Signing of the Turkish-Armenian protocol on the resumption of diplomatic ties, of course, will affect solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and development of the region. But I do not want to jump ahead. We have stated that we do not believe that without achieving advancements in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict any steps in this direction and the signing of the protocols is possible," Deputy Foreign Minister, Araz Azimov, told journalist on Oct.1. Signing of the protocols may change Armenia's position, but it is unlikely that these changes will be positive, Azimov said.
On Oct. 1, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops from an area outside he Tagibayli village in the Agdam region at 19:20-19:50 and from areas in the Fuzuli region at 23:00-23:20, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported. The Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No causalities were reported.
OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair, U.S. Ambassador Robert Bradtke hopes to continue working with colleagues within and on the basis of the Madrid Principles, the Novosti-Armenia website reported.
Peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is impossible not given the views of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, Bradtke told journalist on Oct.1. "I believe I look around and witness much more during my future visits," Bradtke added.
Brochures and DVD-disks distributed by Armenian delegation in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) caused discontent of Azerbaijan in the organization. "Azerbaijani delegation officially applied to PACE chairman on this regards. Totally, Armenians' actions are condemned here. PACE chairman called for head of Armenian delegation, spoke with him on this regards and explained inadmissibility of these actions," PACE deputy-president, head of Azerbaijani delegation in this organization, Samad Seyidov, told Trend on October 2. Members of Armenian delegation distributed brochures and DVD-disks with distorted historical facts concerning Nagorno-Karabakh conflict among participants of the session.
On Oct. 2, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops from an area outside the Gulustan village in the Goranboy region at 19:10-19:30 and from an area outside the Javahirli village in the Agdam region at 23:30-00:00 and on Oct. 3, at 00:50-01:00, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported. The Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No causalities were reported.
The talks in Yerevan were constructive, believe the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, arriving in Baku on Oct. 4. "The talks held in Yerevan have been constructive. Tomorrow we will meet with the Azerbaijani President and discuss the further talks," OSCE Minsk Group French Co-Chair, Bernard Fassier told journalists at the airport.