President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by Minister of Interior of the Republic of Bulgaria Mladen Marinov.
Welcoming members of the delegation, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Welcome! I think it is a good opportunity to talk about issues shared by our countries. I am glad that the relations are developing very successfully. Of course, top-level mutual visits are strengthening our ties. I have repeatedly visited your country, including an official visit. Bulgarian presidents have visited Azerbaijan more than once. Also, Prime Minister Borisov has also been our guest. So there is a very active political dialogue between us.
Of course, we also cooperate in the energy sector. Bulgaria always participates in the Advisory Council of the Southern Gas Corridor at a high level, at the ministerial level. I am sure that this project linking our countries will be successfully completed in the near future. So we will share the energy agenda for many years to come. We also look forward to increasing the turnover. I think that after the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project, the businesses of our countries will maintain more frequent contacts and cooperate more.
Another area of promising cooperation is the transport sector. Azerbaijan already provides transit services to neighboring and other countries for the transportation of goods along the East-West route. So I am sure that as this important corridor expands, shippers from our countries will also obtain additional opportunities for cooperation.
Of course, during the visit you will touch upon the topic of cooperation between the ministries of internal affairs and issues related to public order and security. The exchange of experience is also of great importance. Internal affairs bodies have an important function in protecting public order and ensuring the peaceful life of citizens. But I have to note that taking into account the fact that public and political stability has been maintained both in Bulgaria and in Azerbaijan for many years, the police have less work than some of your colleagues. We see literally every day on television the police of some developed countries beating up, killing, injuring demonstrators, using tear gas, water cannons, truncheons, dogs, and displaying utmost cruelty. In fact, we are seeing this in various countries of the world, in various regions, including the most developed countries. But we have a question in our country: why do the international organizations responsible for protecting people’s rights remain tight-lipped when they see such cruel and sometimes inhuman treatment of peaceful demonstrators? When a minor episode takes place in Azerbaijan, as, for example, was the case about a month ago when an illegal demonstration was prevented without any violence whatsoever, international organizations and ambassadors of some countries to Azerbaijan began to make statements and almost tried to blame our government. And when the same happens in Europe, with victims, killings, mutilations and dispersals, then human rights organizations and international agencies remain silent. This is a manifestation of double standards, and these double standards discredit the organizations that exhibit them. In order to accuse someone of something, you should first have a moral right to do that. And we are sometimes accused by those who flagrantly violate human rights and brutally disperse peaceful demonstrators.
But I want to say again that public and political stability and order in Bulgaria and in Azerbaijan are ensured by the will of our peoples. Your country under the leadership of my friend Mr. Borisov is on the path of development and stability. We appreciate it and congratulate you on all the successes. So when I say that bodies of internal affairs of our countries do not have much work, I mean exactly that. God willing, you always have little work.
Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said:
- Dear Mr. President, thank you very much! It is a great honor for me to meet with you. Let me pass on the greetings of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to you.
Azerbaijan is a strategic partner for us both in the energy sector and in the development of future transport corridors, economic ties and security. It is very important for us to build the Southern Gas Corridor on time in order to ensure gas supplies in the amount of one billion cubic meters.
President Ilham Aliyev thanked for the greetings of Boyko Borisov and asked the minister to extend his greetings to the Bulgarian Prime Minister.
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