Ilham Aliyev: Vladimir Putin's visit to Azerbaijan is token of friendship and respect
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev addressed the plenary session of the 9th Azerbaijan-Russia Interregional Forum, the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza reported.
"Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, Distinguished guests, dear friends, ladies and gentlemen!
First of all, I would like to greet the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, as well as the persons accompanying him in Azerbaijan. Welcome, we are always very glad to see you here!
Today's participation of the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan in the work of the Interregional Forum is evidence of the great importance we attach to the activities of this forum. This is the 9th forum, next year will be a jubilee. We are glad that the first forum was held in Azerbaijan in 2010, which has stimulated interregional cooperation. And the fact that this hall with a capacity of 1000 people is full today speaks about the great interest in the work of this forum," Ilham Aliyev stressed in his speech.
"Our meetings with Vladimir Vladimirovich are regular. Not so long ago, in early September, I made an official visit to Russia, and we held very fruitful talks, a very thorough exchange of views on all issues on the agenda. And the Russian President's visit to Azerbaijan less than a month later is a clear indication of the level of relations existing between us," the Azerbaijani leader said.
"16 documents have been signed within the framework of my visit, which cover many areas and which will predetermine the progressive development of our relations for many years to come. It should also be noted that it is Russian President Vladimir Putin's fourth visit to Azerbaijan. I also make regular visits to Russia, which is a clear testimony of our partnership, friendly, good-neighborly relations between our countries," the Azerbaijani President noted.
"As for the trade and economic relations, we see growth, it is very impressive. Both last year, and this year the trade turnover is growing. Russia is Azerbaijan's top import partner and non-oil products export partner. We also implement projects related to mutual investment, where we also see a positive dynamic. We have very strong ties in the energy and oil and gas sectors. Within the framework of my official visit to the Russian Federation, we signed an important document - the treaty between Rosneft and SOCAR for cooperation in the oil sector. Lukoil is an important investor for us, which has worked in Azerbaijan for more than 20 years," the head of Azerbaijan noted.
"We have very active cooperation in the transport sector. The joint North-South project is already yielding results. This year, compared to last year, we see more than 100-fold increase in the transportation of goods along this corridor. We expect that this corridor will become one of the most important transport arteries of Eurasia and thereby further promote the rapprochement between our countries and increase our transit potential," Aliyev said.
"I would also like to note that the Azerbaijani airlines carry out more than 50 flights a week to various cities of Russia. In 9 months, about 700 thousand Russians have visited Azerbaijan. I am sure that this figure will also grow in the future," the leader of Azerbaijan cited an example.
"In the banking sector, there are very good prospects and cooperation. 'Kamaz' and 'Ural' cars are already produced in Azerbaijan. An agreement was reached on the production of GAZ cars in our country as well," Aliyev said.
"We also have very close relations with the Russian regions: about 20 regions of the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan have corresponding agreements. We open trade missions in the regions, as well as Russian regions - in Azerbaijan. I would like to thank President Vladimir Putin for his visit to Azerbaijan. We appreciate it very much. We regard it as a token of friendship and respect for our country. I wish the forum successes and further achievements for the prosperity of our countries and peoples!" the President of Azerbaijan concluded.