Following the one-on-one meeting, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic have made press statements.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made the statement first.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
– Distinguished Mr. President,
Ladies and gentlemen.
A month ago, I paid an official visit to Serbia at the invitation of President Vucic. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for the hospitality extended to me and to the delegation. At the same time, I would like to share my impressions. I was very impressed by the situation in Serbia and the ongoing development under the leadership of President Vucic. As a result of the visionary policy of President Vucic, Serbia is developing comprehensively in the field of urban development and, at the same time, in the fields of economic and industrial development and agriculture. This creates new opportunities for our future cooperation. Because both Serbia and Azerbaijan are countries that rely on their own resources. We are countries pursuing an independent policy. We are countries that maintain close contacts with each other.
I am very pleased that my dear friend has accepted my invitation and is visiting Baku less than a month later. This shows that the dynamics of our relations is very positive indeed. We do hope that the decisions we made in Belgrade last month will be implemented soon. We are not only hopeful, we have given appropriate instructions to our governments regarding the implementation of those decisions. I am aware that the heads of our respective institutions have been in contact with each other in the past month, and these contacts continue to this day. In other words, we want our bilateral relations to develop rapidly and the decisions to be implemented without wasting time.
Our cooperation in a number of fields already has a long history. First of all, I should say that Serbia and Azerbaijan are strategic partners. Several documents on strategic partnership have been signed between our countries. We have always supported and continue to support each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and this policy will remain unchanged. We advocate international law and are convinced that the relations between countries can be regulated only on the basis of norms and principles of international law. Of course, we are very concerned about the manifestations of double standards observed in the world in this field. Norms and principles of international law should serve as a basis for all countries.
Taking advantage of such wonderful relations of strategic partnership and, at the same time, our personal friendly relations, we do hope that this will produce result in all areas, of course – first of all, in trade. I am sure that the implementation of the agreements reached will lead to an increase in the volume of trade. It is not at the desired level yet. There is great potential in the field of transport and logistics, especially if we take into account that international transport corridors pass through the territories of Azerbaijan and Serbia, and our relevant institutions should work hard to create alignments and connections. Contacts have already been established between relevant institutions of our countries.
Of course, the energy sector is a part of our cooperation. The importance of this area has been on the increase lately. Azerbaijan’s natural resources are already being exported in various directions, including the European continent and countries that are Serbia’s neighbors. There are opportunities for cooperation in both natural gas and electricity. Relevant negotiations have been held. I am sure that tangible steps will be taken to export Azerbaijan’s electricity to Serbia starting next year.
I should also inform you that a corresponding agreement was signed on the delivery of Azerbaijan’s electricity to Europe four days ago. The cable that will be extended under the Black Sea will further highlight the fact that Azerbaijan is an important supplier for Europe in this field too. All this ushers ample opportunities and opens new horizons, and we will cooperate in this area, of course, in bilateral and multilateral formats.
During my visit to Serbia, we also gave relevant instructions in the field of defense industry. Both countries have significant capacity in this field, and specific steps are expected to be taken to combine this potential together.
In short, when we look at our bilateral relations again, we see that our relations in all fields are based on friendship and mutual understanding. I am sure that we will spend the next year in this atmosphere too. Because this year has been very successful for our bilateral relations. One can only be optimistic about the two reciprocal visits, the contacts between members of our delegations and the future of Serbia-Azerbaijani relations as a whole. This is why we are very happy, and I would like to thank my dear friend, President Vucic for this friendship. Welcome again.