Following the official welcoming ceremony, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko have held a one-on-one meeting.
President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Dear Alexander Grigoryevich!
I am very glad to see you again. Welcome to Azerbaijan!
Our meetings are of regular nature. This suggests that the relations between our two countries are very close and friendly. We regularly meet in Minsk, in Baku and elsewhere within the framework of international events, and the exchange of views with you is always very helpful and pleasant. We have resolved very many issues of the bilateral format in recent years. There are good results. And each time we meet again we summarize what has been done and see that there are results even in a short period of time.
We are committed to continuing active cooperation with Belarus in all directions. Today, the bilateral format covers almost all areas of our lives. The process of building up cooperation in traditional areas is under way. We are also defining new areas of cooperation. We are friends and partners. We have always supported each other and will continue to do that on all matters. I am very pleased to see you in Baku again as a good friend of Azerbaijan, as someone who enjoys great love and respect in Azerbaijan. I am sure that today’s visit will give a new impetus to further cooperation. Many documents will be signed, outlining the ways for the development of our relations in the future. And, of course, we will talk about bilateral affairs, regional matters and issues of concern to the entire international community today. We are friends and partners.
Once again, you are very welcome to Azerbaijan. Thank you for accepting the invitation and visiting our country. I wish you a successful and enjoyable visit.
Х Х Х
President Alexander Lukashenko said:
- Thank you, Ilham Heydarovich, for your kind words. Thank you for the invitation.
You know, we have problems we need to discuss and, as you rightly pointed out, outline ways of moving ahead. To be honest, when I come to Baku, the key issues are overshadowed when I see this development. I see this beautiful city where you have managed to preserve what you started from - ancient temples, ancient monuments of culture. This is where life emerged for many regions. And when I see your construction projects, which are very reasonable and rational, I forget about the issues we need to address together. This is like a distraction. This is the mood indeed, and I think not only with me, but with all the guests. And I learn a few things and notice what can be applied to the Belarusian land. And I am grateful to you for that, too.
Secondly, Ilham Heydarovich, I would like to congratulate you on the high confidence of the Azerbaijani people. I knew that the people of Azerbaijan love you but to achieve such a result is, to be honest, enviable, frankly. Well done! You have had a great plebiscite. You have earned the confidence of the Azerbaijani people. Only one small thing remains to be done - to move in the same way as you have done to this day and thank your people with such achievements in the development of the national economy.
Of course, you can count on us as on the closest friends. If we can be of any help to you in Azerbaijan, we will always do it. You know our abilities very well. You are a great friend of Belarus. You have visited us many times. A lot was done by your father earlier. I have talked a lot of him in the context of our relations. Our people very well remember this wise and good man, and what you have done in tandem, so to speak, for our relations. This will be remembered forever.
We have no closed topics. We cooperate, as you rightly said, across the board. We will cooperate in all areas. We do not harm anyone with our cooperation. We are open, we will continue to be open and public, if I may say so, when discussing the most pressing issues of our reality.
Once again, I want to thank you for the invitation to visit your country. Of course, as is our tradition, I look forward to seeing you in Belarus at any time. We have a good experience, I think. You will pick a convenient time and visit us not even as a guest, but as someone very close and dear to our country. Thank you.