President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif have made statements for the press.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, Mr. Prime Minister, I would like once again to welcome you to our country. I am very glad that you accepted my invitation and are visiting us today. As we agreed during our meeting in Davos in the beginning of this year, we meet today and will continue our cooperation based on mutual interest, based on friendship, history, partnership and brotherhood between our nations.
Pakistan for us is one of the closest friends and allies. Pakistan is among the first three countries which recognized Azerbaijan as an independent state and I would also like to inform our people that at that time Prime Minister was Mr. Sharif. Since that time we have established very close, friendly relations. We always support each other in international organizations – in United Nations, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other international bodies. We support each other on the issues of Kashmir and Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan fully supports resolution of Kashmir issue based on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. Pakistan also fully supports resolution of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. Unfortunately, these resolutions, adopted decades ago, are not implemented. And it is a sign of a double standard approach because in some cases United Nations Security Council resolutions are implemented within days, if not hours. But in our case, it takes so long. Our mutual support related to these painful issues for our countries also unites us. We are very grateful to Pakistan that because of the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijan Pakistan did not recognize Armenia and did not establish diplomatic relations with Armenia. It is a sign of brotherhood and the people of Azerbaijan highly value this brotherly approach. Also we are grateful to Pakistan that in 2012 the Pakistani Senate officially recognized the Khojaly genocide as a genocide. It is another sign of friendship and partnership. Therefore, people in Azerbaijan love your country and we are very grateful for this support and on our side always support you in every issue.
Political contacts are on a very high level. As I said we also support each other in international organizations. Today we, of course, reviewed with Mr. Prime Minister these issues and also talked about what we need to do in the future. Of course, our political contacts will successfully continue, but we need to work more on economic track, on the track of investments and creation of mutually advantageous joint ventures. In economic area, we are not satisfied with the level of joint trade. Therefore, today we discussed how to increase the level of mutual trade. What we can export to Pakistan and what Pakistan can export to Azerbaijan will be very closely addressed in the coming month. And I think that we can establish such a mechanism of cooperation that what we import and Pakistan can supply we should buy from Pakistan and vice versa the same - what Pakistan imports and we can supply to be bought from us.
Also, we discussed today issues related to creation of joint ventures in Azerbaijan, particularly in the areas of pharmaceutical industry. Pakistan is a very developed country from this point of view. We want to develop this industry in Azerbaijan because we largely depend on imports.
A significant part of our discussions was devoted to cooperation in the military area. We have a very good cooperation and we today discussed the plans for some joint military training between armed forces of our countries. At the same time, Pakistan has a very developed defense industry and we discussed very broadly cooperation in this area. Azerbaijan also for almost ten years has been developing its defense industry so we can work together to establish joint production. At the same time, we want to purchase the most modern and highly technological weapons from Pakistan and we have full understanding on this issue.
Other areas of economic cooperation were addressed today, particularly cooperation in agriculture, tourism. I hope that after the electronic visa system is fully applied in Azerbaijan it will be very easy for our Pakistani brothers to come to Azerbaijan and our people who want to visit the brotherly country will have the same opportunity.
We broadly discussed today other issues of mutual interest, and on all the issues we have full mutual understanding which once again shows that our relations are based on friendship, they are based on history. Throughout the history our nations have communicated, worked together. There are many signs of Pakistani culture in Baku. Today these relations also play a very important role for regional security and regional cooperation.
I think one of the areas which we also need to address in the coming years is transportation because the new transportation projects which Azerbaijan is implementing together with its neighbors will create new opportunities and open new routes of transportation from Asia to Europe, from North to South. Azerbaijan is situated on the crossroads of all these transportation arteries.
Once again, Mr. Prime Minister, I would like to express my gratitude to you for visiting us. I am sure that the visit will be very successful, and will play an important role in strengthening our brotherly relations. Thank you.'