President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon have made press statements.
The President of Tajikistan made the statement first.
Statement by President Emomali Rahmon
– Dear representatives of the media,
First of all, I would like to once again sincerely welcome the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, distinguished Ilham Heydarovich Aliyev, who is paying a state visit to the Republic of Tajikistan.
I would like to begin by noting that over the 30 years of diplomatic relations, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan have been able to build effective mechanisms for interaction and achieve significant results that serve for the benefit of our fraternal peoples today. This is largely facilitated by close and trusting contacts at the highest level, at the origins of which was the outstanding son of the Azerbaijani people, my friend and senior associate Heydar Aliyev, whose 100th anniversary of the birth we will also be celebrating in Tajikistan next month.
I always have warm recollections of our communication with this great statesman of fraternal Azerbaijan. At the most fateful time for the country, Heydar Aliyev became a truly national leader of his glorious people and led the country along the path of stability and development.
The visit of the esteemed Ilham Heydarovich is a logical continuation of not only these ties, but also of the centuries-old relations of mutual communication between our peoples, at the origins of which stood the incomparable Nizami Ganjavi, who is revered in every Tajik home. Therefore, our talks, as always, were of constructive nature, aimed at promoting and deepening our bilateral cooperation. During the talks, we examined in detail the state of and prospects for the development of bilateral relations and exchanged views on all issues of relevance to us. The bilateral documents signed today are aimed at strengthening and supplementing the legal framework of our ties.
As components of our multifaceted ties, we noted the progressive nature of inter-parliamentary cooperation, which has acquired a new content as a result of reciprocal visits by the heads of the parliaments of the two countries.
We discussed in detail our trade and economic cooperation. We agreed that the volume of trade between our countries does not meet the potential the parties have. In this regard, we agreed to take urgent action to increase it.
As part of the talks, we separately focused on cooperation in the areas of investment, industrial interaction, agriculture, transport, and the fuel and energy complex.
In the field of industrial cooperation, we have identified ample opportunities for the implementation of joint projects in the light, chemical and mining industries, in the production of building materials, processing of aluminum, cotton fiber, precious and semi-precious stones and metals.
In the energy sector, we confirmed the interest in the participation of Azerbaijani companies in the development of oil and gas fields in Tajikistan.
We will continue to actively use the convenient transit opportunities of Azerbaijan and increase the volume of freight traffic of Tajik state and commercial entities.
During our talks, special importance place was attached to the humanitarian direction of our relations in the field of education, science and culture.
We have exchanged views on the entire set of topical issues of regional and international nature. We noted the importance of further interaction on the platforms of international and regional organizations. We have agreed to continue the practice of mutual support for each other’s candidacies and initiatives at multilateral platforms, primarily at the UN.
We have also expressed gratitude to the Azerbaijani side for supporting the global initiatives put forward by Tajikistan on water and climate issues.
Our negotiations also focused on security issues. We have spoken in favor of strengthening cooperation in the fight against international terrorism, extremism, drug and arms trafficking, cybercrime and other forms of transnational organized crime. We have discussed in detail international issues and the situation in our regions.
The results of today’s talks allow us the opportunity to look at the development of relations between our countries with great optimism and good hopes.
Now, it is with great pleasure that I am giving the floor to our dear guest, esteemed Ilham Heydarovich Aliyev. Please.
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Then, the President of Azerbaijan made the statement.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
– Dear Emomali Sharifovich, ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the President of Tajikistan for the invitation to pay a state visit to fraternal Tajikistan. This is not the first time I have visited Tajikistan. This is my third official visit. I have also visited Tajikistan to participate in international events. And first of all, I would like to congratulate you, Emomali Sharifovich, and all the fraternal people of Tajikistan on the great achievements in the way of socioeconomic development of Tajikistan. I also wanted to note that I was very pleased to see the rapid development of the capital, the city of Dushanbe, which is getting prettier year by year. I last visited Dushanbe almost five years ago, and I can say with confidence that significant positive changes have taken place in this short time. What I see and what I was talking about with the President of Tajikistan regarding future plans suggests that the capital of Tajikistan will be even more beautiful and even more convenient for visitors and residents.
I would also like to express my gratitude to the President of Tajikistan for the kind attitude to the memory of my father Heydar Aliyev, who, together with Emomali Sharifovich Rahmon, stood at the origins of the formation of interstate relations between our countries and, in essence, laid the foundation for these relations.
Today, the successful development of fraternal relations between our countries is the result of precisely that activity in the early 1990s, when both Tajikistan and Azerbaijan experienced great difficulties, when public and political stability in our countries was disrupted, when, unfortunately, there was a civil war both in Tajikistan and in Azerbaijan. The most horrific war is a fratricidal war. Both President Rahmon and President Aliyev did everything in their power to turn the page of bloodshed and put our countries on the path of development. And they succeeded. Today Tajikistan and Azerbaijan are two stable states. Today, when we see pockets of instability in our region and, in general, in the world, I think everyone understands that stability is the basis of development, the basis of security. Without stability, there will be no investment, no progress and peace of mind for the people.
Therefore, I think that the example of our countries, which pursue a policy based on the national interests of our peoples, shows that great results can be achieved with wise leadership, even starting from the lowest point of development. Tajikistan and Azerbaijan, of all the former republics of the Soviet Union, began the path of independence in the worst conditions, in the most difficult circumstances. Those who remember that period well can certainly confirm this. But it is necessary that the younger generation both in Azerbaijan and Tajikistan also know this. Our current successful development, as they say, did not fall out of the sky, it is the result of the work of great leaders, the leaders of our peoples, who, at the risk for themselves and for their lives, did everything to ensure peaceful and successful development.
I am particularly pleased to speak about this here, in Tajikistan, a fraternal country where the memory of Heydar Aliyev is honored. As Emomali Sharifovich has said, next month we will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the founder of the Azerbaijani state. I am grateful to our Tajik brothers that Heydar Aliyev will also be commemorated in Tajikistan.
Emomali Sharifovich has covered all topics of the talks. I think we have held very productive talks. Both in a tête-à-tête conversation and at the meeting in an expanded format with the participation of delegations, we discussed the specific issue of future cooperation. In all the areas that Emomali Sharifovich has mentioned, we have a clear idea of how to move forward. In the transport and logistical sector, specific instructions have been given, as indeed on issues related to industrial cooperation and investment projects. We are ready to seriously consider investment projects in Tajikistan, because, firstly, Tajikistan is a close country, and secondly, a stable state. Investments go only to countries where there is stability and a good investment environment. The fact that many foreign companies are actively investing in Tajikistan means that investments, including foreign, are protected by the state.
I have no doubt that tangible steps will be taken in the near future based on the results of the visit. We have agreed to hold the next meeting of the intergovernmental commission in Tajikistan this year, and by the time of the meeting of the intergovernmental commission, I am sure that all the instructions that we have given to the members of the delegations on the issues of transport and logistical interaction, investment policy, industrial cooperation will be fulfilled. I am sure that the results will please us all.
I would like to specifically note the solid foundation of our ties, namely cultural interaction. Our peoples have lived for centuries in an atmosphere of friendship, accord. We have always been friends, and it is no coincidence that Tajik culture is highly valued in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani culture is appreciated in Tajikistan. I would like to note that it is no coincidence that the monument to the outstanding son of the Tajik people Rudaki was created by the Azerbaijani sculptor Fuad Abdurrahmanov. In the 1960s, this monument was erected in Dushanbe.
Another well-known Azerbaijani sculptor Omar Eldarov has created monuments to Ayni and Ibn Sina. So this speaks volumes. To entrust the creation of a monument to the outstanding representative of the Tajik people to someone from Azerbaijan is evidence of great trust, friendship and brotherhood. We are also aware that the people of Tajikistan love and revere the great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi, who was born, lived and left this world in his native Ganja. And this is the cultural foundation that creates the prerequisites for active interaction in all areas today. I am sure that in the field of education and in indeed other areas, we will implement all the decisions that we made today.
I would also like to mention that we noted with satisfaction that about 50 cadets from Tajikistan are currently studying at educational institutions of the Ministry of Defense and the State Border Service of Azerbaijan. And we decided to help increase the number of Tajik students. Also, of course, I am sure that Azerbaijani students can receive education here in Tajikistan with great joy and desire.
I also want to express my gratitude to my dear friend and brother, Emomali Sharifovich Rahmon, for the hospitality and for cooperation. Taking this opportunity, I would like to invite you, Emomali Sharifovich, to visit Azerbaijan. Emomali Sharifovich has paid three official visits to Azerbaijan. I also paid three official visits to Tajikistan. This is evidence of the dynamics of our relations. I think that the intensity of these visits will grow further in the future. We will work together, make friends and build a common future. Thank you.
President Emomali Rahmon: Thank you, Ilham Heydarovich. Thank you for the invitation to pay a visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan. I will certainly take advantage of your kind invitation at the first convenient opportunity.