President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has held an expanded meeting with President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Addressing the meeting, President Ilham Aliyev said: – Dear Shavkat Miromonovich, distinguished guests, dear friends, I am glad to welcome you to Azerbaijan. We have already had detailed discussions on the important issues of our mutual activity. Today we will continue our meetings in an expanded format.
First of all, I would like to thank Shavkat Miromonovich for accepting my invitation and coming to Azerbaijan for a state visit. It is particularly gratifying for us that this is the first state visit after your victory in the presidential election in Uzbekistan. First and foremost, I would like to congratulate you once again on your landslide victory and thank you for paying your first visit to our country. We consider this as a sign of brotherhood and friendship, as well as your respect for Azerbaijan.
Our countries share ancient history, and this foundation serves as the basis for the development of mutual activities. It is gratifying that our cooperation in all directions is very effective and productive. I think that the interstate relations between our countries have recently reached the highest level. I remember with great pleasure my state visit to Uzbekistan and the hospitality extended to me. I also want to say that the rapid development, transformation and reforms, the transformation of your country into a strong industrial state of the Central Asian region, which I witnessed in Uzbekistan, has made a deep impression on me.
Of course, serious groundwork has already been created for bilateral cooperation in many areas. This includes our individual contacts, regular meetings in Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and other places, as well as close interaction between representatives of state bodies. They are also working hard, and I think they take a good example from the presidents. They also know that, as we discussed, we will monitor progress of the implementation of all decisions, and we are doing it successfully. In our expanded meeting, we will give the floor to members of our delegations who will report to us on the work done in the fields of energy, transport and economic interaction as a whole following the meeting of the intergovernmental commission last month.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said at the meeting:
– Thank you, dear Ilham Heydar oglu. I sincerely thank you again for the invitation, for such kind, friendly and fraternal welcome all members of our delegation have enjoyed from the moment we set foot on Azerbaijani soil. Of course, you rightly noted that my visit to Azerbaijan after being re-elected as President of Uzbekistan is not accidental. Because during the last three to four years, we have together raised our relations to a completely different level, and this also applied to the international plane. This is universally accepted everywhere. In my opinion, this vector of deep strategic partnership with Azerbaijan is bearing real fruit. Both the people of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan are seeing this.
As I already said, 2023 has been a remarkable year. Because the 100th anniversary of Heydar Aliyev, the Great Leader, the leader of Azerbaijan, the great son of the Azerbaijani people, was held in Uzbekistan at a very high level. Of course, the memory of Heydar Alirza oglu is revered with utmost respect in Uzbekistan. In fact, I think that the people of Uzbekistan value all the work done in a completely different way. The older generation, the people who saw him, met him and worked with him, have also conveyed to the young people of Uzbekistan that Heydar Alirza oglu worked for a long time in order for Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan to reach the goals set in those difficult moments of life, for the leadership of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan to understand each other and to achieve a lot.
During the meeting, the ministers of foreign affairs, the chairman of the joint intergovernmental commission on cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Uzbekistan, ministers of energy, transport and agriculture presented reports on the progress made in their respective fields. The heads of state gave additional tasks.
Issues of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan in political, economic, trade, industry, automobile production, metallurgy, pharmaceuticals, transportation and other fields were also discussed during the meeting. In particular, the sides expressed their satisfaction with the increase of direct flights between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. It was noted that 15 flights were carried out every week.
Issues of successful cooperation within international organizations were also discussed. The sides emphasized that the decision to pass chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement on to Uzbekistan was made in Baku.