Azerbaijan condemns terrorist attack on Ankara, reiterates support

By Aynur Karimova

Azerbaijan has strongly condemned the terrorist attack committed in Ankara on March 13, which killed 37 people, and left over 120 injured and reiterated the country's support to the people of Turkey.

President Ilham Aliyev, who embarked on a working visit to Turkey to attend the fifth meeting of the Turkey-Azerbaijan High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council on March 15, said that the terror attacks on Turkey will have no effect.

Speaking at a press conference held following the meeting, President Aliyev expressed condolences to the brotherly Turkish people on behalf of Azerbaijan and its people and said that the unity of the two countries is eternal and unshakeable.

“We strongly condemn this dreadful terrorist attack and reiterate that today, we stand by the people of Turkey,” the president said. “We always stand by each other both in good and hard times. We, in Azerbaijan, are fully confident that the terrorist attacks on Turkey and its people, will have no effect. It can’t shake Turkey, can’t affect the will of Turkish people and can’t derail Turkey from the right path.”

President Aliyev noted that Turkey and Azerbaijan have been showing unity and solidarity for 25 years already.

“We have successfully cooperated in all spheres over these years and today, Turkey and Azerbaijan are the closest countries to each other on a global scale,” he added.

President Aliyev also said that Turkey has turned into a center of power on a global scale, and as a result of tireless activities of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has attained significant achievements in recent years.

“Turkey’s role in the world is increasing, its position is strengthening. The trust and sympathy to Turkey by the international community makes us happy,” he said.

He went on to add that Azerbaijan and Turkey are together in all international issues.

"Turkey has always supported fair solution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the international law and this support is being shown today," President Aliyev stated.

In his remarks, President Erdogan said that Azerbaijan has once again proved its brotherly relations to Turkey, and expressed his gratitude to the president of Azerbaijan.

“Turkey has been proud of Azerbaijan’s success throughout 25 years since it gained independence,” said Erdogan, adding that Turkey, as before, will support Azerbaijan in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of bloody war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts in 1992.

Erdogan also said that a number of issues in the energy and defense fields, as well as the regional issues were discussed during the meeting with President Aliyev.

He went on to add that the construction of the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline is one of the most important projects implemented by Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan and Turkey implement the important project on the construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which will link Europe and Asia, he noted.

“The BTK is a priority project for Turkey in the sphere of cargo transportation, and the construction of the railway will be completed this December,” Erdogan noted.

Erdogan believes that despite the decline in world oil prices slightly affected the trade turnover between Turkey and Azerbaijan, the two countries aim to increase the trade turnover up to $20 billion over the next five years.

"Turkey is also interested in goods import from Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic," Erdogan stressed.

As part of the visit to Ankara, President Aliyev and President Erdogan held a one-on-one meeting, and participated at the fifth meeting of the Turkey-Azerbaijan High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council.

Following the meeting, Azerbaijan and Turkey signed six documents with participation of the presidents of the two countries.

President Aliyev and President Erdogan signed the protocol of the fifth meeting of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council between Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Other signed documents include the protocol on exchange of the military/civilian personnel for social and cultural purposes between the two governments, an agreement on the paid employment of family members of employees of the diplomatic missions and consulates between the government of Azerbaijan and the government of Turkey, an agreement on the cooperation in the sphere of forensic examination between the Justice Ministry of Azerbaijan and the Interior Ministry of Turkey, an agreement on mutual recognition and replacement of driving licenses between the two governments and a protocol on technical cooperation between the Azerbaijani and Turkish governments.

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Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova

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