A trilateral Summit of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has today been held in Tehran.
The presidents made speeches at the event.
Speech by President Ilham Aliyev
- Distinguished Presidents,
Dear Summit participants!
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Hassan Rouhani, for the hospitality extended. Today's summit is of great importance. This meeting is an important step towards strengthening the trilateral high-level cooperation format established last year.
In August last year, the first summit of the presidents of Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan was held in Baku. The excellent results of the meeting served to deepen trilateral cooperation. I am convinced that today's meeting will also play a role in addressing many important issues.
Azerbaijan is the only country in the world to border on Iran and Russia. The geographical location of our countries is an important factor in our cooperation. The historical ties among our peoples form a solid basis for partnership between our three countries.
Azerbaijan successfully cooperates with Iran and Russia within the framework of international organizations. I would like to point to our joint activities with Iran within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Organization for Economic Cooperation (ECO), and with Russia within the CIS, the OSCE, and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization. We also actively cooperate within the framework of the UN.
The establishment of norms of international law in the world today is one of the most important issues on the agenda. Unfortunately, in many cases these norms do not work and are grossly violated. A good example of this is the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. For more than 20 years, Armenia has been keeping Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts under occupation. These are our ancestral lands, an inalienable part of Azerbaijan. The population of Azerbaijan was subjected to a policy of ethnic cleansing on the occupied lands, one million of our compatriots found themselves in the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons.
It should be noted that influential international organizations have adopted relevant resolutions in connection with this conflict. These include the resolutions of the leading body of the world, the UN Security Council, demanding an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from our occupied lands. Similar resolutions have been adopted by the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the OSCE and other organizations. However, Armenia flouts them. It does not comply with the resolutions of the UN Security Council and continues its aggressive policy. It is necessary to put an end to Armenian occupation as soon as possible. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored.
In some cases, UN Security Council resolutions are executed immediately. The resolutions adopted in connection with the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have been on paper for more than 20 years. This is an indicator of double standards. Today's status quo is unacceptable and must to be changed. Our refugees and IDPs must return to their ancestral lands and the territorial integrity of our country must be restored.
Dear summit participants, this trilateral format has created ample opportunities for raising our economic cooperation to a higher level. Increased trade and mutual investment are the most important issues on the agenda. It should be noted that in January-September 2017, Azerbaijan’s turnover with Russia and Iran significantly increased in comparison with the corresponding period of 2016. In the future, we need to maintain and increase this positive momentum. The volume of Iranian and Russian investments in the Azerbaijani economy is growing. After last year's summit, Iranian companies invested heavily in the construction of automobile and pharmaceutical production plants in Azerbaijan. A Russian company is investing heavily in the construction of another pharmaceutical factory. Azerbaijan, in turn, has also increased investment in both countries. These investment projects are a manifestation of mutual friendship and trust. As a result of the successful development of ties between our three countries, business circles have started to invest more. I do hope that today's summit will further enhance the enthusiasm of the business people of our countries and increase mutual investment.
Our countries successfully cooperate in the oil and gas sector. For more than 20 years, Iranian and Russian companies have been involved in the development of oil and gas fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.
Cooperation in the field of power engineering is developing. Azerbaijan has joined its energy system with those of Iran and Russia. The energy systems of Azerbaijan and Russia operate in a parallel mode. The power systems of the two countries are connected by power lines "Khachmaz-Derbend" and "Yalama". The energy systems of Iran and Azerbaijan are connected by power lines “Imishli-Parsabad”. The agreement on the construction of the Ordubad and Marazad hydroelectric power stations on the Araz River has come into force and is being implemented. The construction of the Ordubad hydroelectric power plant is proceeding successfully.
The trilateral cooperation in the transport sector is giving good results. This year Azerbaijan built its railway to the border with Iran. At the same time, we have built and commissioned a 82-km railway bridge over the Astara River. In addition, the Azerbaijani side has taken a 1.4km road on the territory of Iran and a land plot of 35 hectares for the construction of terminals on a long-term lease.
This year, tariffs for railway transportation have been agreed among the three countries. Thus, the railway from the Azerbaijani-Russian border to the border with Iran is fully operational. This road is an important part of the North-South transport corridor. At the same time, Azerbaijan is ready to participate in financing the construction of the Astara-Resht railway in Iran. Negotiations with the Iranian side have been successfully concluded on a $500 million loan agreement for the construction of the Astara-Resht railway.
A modern Baku-Iranian border highway will be commissioned next year. The construction of the last section of the Baku-Russian border highway will also be completed at the highest level next year.
Therefore, the process of creating the Azerbaijani section of the North-South transport corridor has entered the final stage. The North-South transport corridor is of great importance for many countries.
Dear colleagues, the Caspian Sea connecting us is our common heritage. The Caspian Sea is a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation. Reliable cooperation in the issue of border protection is carried out in the Caspian Sea.
Recently, within the framework of " International Army Games-2017" initiated by the Russian Ministry of Defense, the international competitions "Sea Cup-2017" were organized in Baku. In addition, the ships of our naval forces carry out mutual friendly visits. Good results have been achieved by security measures in the Caspian Sea, joint struggle against drug trafficking and smuggling. Cooperation in these areas is of great importance.
Azerbaijan also contributes to the strengthening of the dialogue between civilizations and religions. The "Baku process" launched on our initiative in 2008 unites more than 100 Muslim and Christian countries. It receives the support and appreciation of the UN.
The First European games and the Fourth Games of Islamic Solidarity held in 2015 and 2017 with the participation of more than 100 countries were not only sporting competitions, but also our contribution to intercultural dialogue.
In conclusion of my speech, I would like to note that the Iranian-Russian-Azerbaijani trilateral cooperation serves security, stability and economic development of the region. This cooperation clearly shows how relations between neighbors should be built. We are showing an example of friendship and good-neighborliness.
Our relations are based on the principles of mutual respect, mutual understanding, goodwill and friendship. I am confident that our trilateral cooperation will be successfully continued in the future.
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Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the Joint Declaration of the Summit.
The heads of state then made press statements.