President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro have made statements for the press following the ceremony of signing Azerbaijani-Venezuelan documents.
Statement of President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Mr. President,
Dear guests, ladies and gentlemen!
First of all, Mr. President, I would like to sincerely welcome you to Azerbaijan. Welcome to our country! We met at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul on 10 October. That was our first meeting. I invited you to Azerbaijan, and I am very pleased that after a short time you are paying a visit to our country.
The current visit is of great importance. I am confident that it will play a very important role in the development of Venezuelan-Azerbaijani relations. We are interested in expanding our relations. We want to establish a reliable partnership in the bilateral format. I am sure we will achieve that. This meeting is of particular importance. For the first time in history, the President of Venezuela is paying an official visit to Azerbaijan. This visit will play a huge role in history.
Three documents have been signed today. Among them, of course, I want to emphasize the Joint Declaration. This is a fundamental and valuable document. The Joint Declaration expresses our intentions. We have expressed intentions associated with our plans. The Declaration outlines the main directions of further cooperation – the development of political relations, economic cooperation, investment, cooperation in the fields of energy, transport, science, education, and environmental protection. In other words, this document reflects almost all of the key areas.
I want to emphasize the provisions of the Joint Declaration relating to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Declaration emphasizes the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of borders of Azerbaijan. Mr. President, I want to thank you for this just position. Let me add that the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has unfortunately continued for more than 20 years. A part of our territory recognized by the international community is under occupation. Twenty per cent of our land is occupied by Armenia. As a result of the policy of occupation and ethnic cleansing, more than a million Azerbaijanis were expelled from their homes and became refugees and IDPs. All major international organizations have unequivocally supported Azerbaijan's position. Among them, of course, I want to emphasize the United Nations. Both the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council have repeatedly adopted resolutions. The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions. These resolutions expressly state that the Armenian armed forces should unconditionally and immediately withdraw from our occupied lands. Unfortunately, these resolutions have not been fulfilled to this day.
Similar decisions and resolutions have been adopted by other international organizations – the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the Non-Aligned Movement. I want to emphasize the resolution of the Non-Aligned Movement, as we have joined this organization only recently. So the Non-Aligned Movement took us into its family a few years ago, for which I am very grateful to you. The Non-Aligned Movement has always demonstrated an unequivocal position on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and demanded that the conflict be resolved on the basis of our country's territorial integrity.
By the way, I want to congratulate you on the successful completion of the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, which was held in Venezuela in September. Azerbaijan also took an active part in this event. We attach special importance to our work in this organization.
Today we exchanged views on the development of trade relations. We decided that relevant agencies should explore the export opportunities of both countries in order to take further measures to increase the turnover. We can import certain goods produced and exported from Venezuela. At the same time, our products can be exported to Venezuela. Therefore, we will support mutual trade.
Both in Istanbul and here today, we exchanged views on investments. Here, too, there are great opportunities. Our businesses are simply not familiar with each other yet. In other words, the business people of both Azerbaijan and Venezuela do not have sufficient information as to what opportunities are available in our countries and what they can do. To eliminate this gap, of course, a very positive role can be played by mutual visits of trade delegations.
Mr. President and I have thoroughly and openly discussed and analyzed the current situation on the world energy market. I appreciate the work President Maduro is doing in this field, and his efforts. President Maduro is paying a visit to the region. During this visit, he will visit several oil-producing countries. The first of them is Azerbaijan. I have informed Mr. President and the Azerbaijani public know this. I have recently made an official statement that in order to regulate and stabilize the world oil market and increase the oil price, Azerbaijan unilaterally declares that it will not increase the production and exports of oil. This is a very responsible position. I want to say it again that we are declaring this unilaterally. We believe that other oil countries will support this approach and take similar steps. Only in this case can we stabilize the oil market. Oil-rich countries will also receive a fair price for their natural resources.
Of course, it is necessary for all countries to coordinate issues among themselves, in particular OPEC members and independent producers. Countries that are not members of OPEC should cooperate sincerely and openly. There should be correct joint decisions. It is necessary to develop a rigorous mechanism to monitor the execution of decisions. I am sure that in this case the oil price will reach the required level in the near future, a level that suits producing countries, oil companies and consumer states. Therefore, there should be a balance here. This balance has been disrupted, and oil-rich countries are experiencing great difficulties. This is unfair. The balance should be restored. I am sure that in this case everyone will get a profit. There may also be a balance of interests, because countries exporting oil to world markets have been incurring heavy losses for about two years. The revenues of these countries, including Azerbaijan, are reducing, and this is unfair. Justice must be restored. In this context, I want to emphasize once again the special role President Maduro is playing. President Maduro has made great effort to persuade OPEC members and the states that are not members of this organization that it is necessary to restore justice. I wish this mission success. Azerbaijan has already said its word. You can quote us in the sense that Azerbaijan has taken on this commitment, and we expect similar steps from other countries.
I must note again that this visit is of great importance. A new page in the history of Venezuelan-Azerbaijani relations is opening today. We established diplomatic ties 21 years ago. However, an active period of our relations is starting this year. I am sure that these ties, based on mutual interests and mutual respect, will develop well, our nations will get closer to each other and our countries will always support each other in the international arena.
Mr. President, you are welcome, and I wish you success again.