The agenda of the talks includes the results of the Russian President’s official visit to Azerbaijan in September 2010, in particular the implementation of economic, trade, energy, investment and banking agreements, as well as the legal status of the Caspian Sea, the implementation of decisions adopted at the third Caspian Summit, which took place in Baku in November 2010, and humanitarian ties.
Ilham Aliyev arrived in Sochi on a working visit at Dmitry Medvedev’s invitation.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Aliyev, it is a pleasure to welcome you in Sochi.
This is a good place to discuss the current state of bilateral relations, the regional agenda, and to have a look at international issues, which have been keeping us on our toes: the global financial system is experiencing new economic problems, which is not an easy topic.
“The dialogue between our states is developing very well. However, there are some issues on which we need to exchange views or clarify our positions.“
To begin with, I would like us to focus on the progress made in the bilateral dialogue between our states. In my opinion, it is developing really very well. A great deal has been achieved in recent months: fundamental agreements outlining the main areas of cooperation in the coming years have been signed, bilateral trade has grown and there is a number of major projects. However, there are some issues on which we need to exchange views or clarify our positions.
One of the most important subjects is the Nagorno Karabakh settlement. Here I would like to conduct an absolutely frank conversation with you about our future steps and ways in which events can unfold in the light of our last trilateral meeting, which took place in Kazan, and our previous meetings in this format.
It is truly important for us to find solutions to regional problems because we are close neighbours, friends and partners. The way the situation in the region will evolve will determine the wellbeing of the entire region, our countries and our peoples. That is why I would like us to exchange views on these issues.
I am glad to welcome you.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, Mr Medvedev.
Thank you for the invitation. I am very happy to meet with you again in Sochi, this time in the summer. Our meetings usually take place in the winter, so I am pleased to have this opportunity to visit Sochi in the summer and, most importantly, to meet with you and discuss the issues you have mentioned.
Our agenda is very extensive. Nearly all matters of the bilateral format have been resolved, and the agreements you mentioned earlier are a culmination of the past years’ efforts and reflect the form, spirit and character of our relations, which are a friendly, neighbourly partnership.
If we look at the bilateral agenda, we can see positive changes and constructive trends across the board. Political consultations are held regularly, including at the highest level. Political interaction is also contributing to the development of regional cooperation.
In the economic sphere there is a marked increase in trade and an improvement in its structure, as well as prospects for future growth.
I also note positive trends in humanitarian cooperation, energy security and in many other areas. Today we can state with satisfaction that our relations are developing very positively and dynamically.
We are neighbours, two Caspian states, two Caucasus states, and the way various processes in the region will develop largely depends on our interaction.
I would like to thank you once again for your efforts to resolve the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We highly appreciate your personal involvement in this process. The rounds of trilateral talks that have been held have helped to bring the positions of the parties closer.
This is the main problem of regional security and Azerbaijan is interested to a greater extent than anyone else in an early settlement of the conflict, so that all displaced persons can return to their homes and peace, tranquility and cooperation are restored in the region.
The principles on which the settlement may be based reflect international legal norms and common sense. Therefore, an early settlement of the conflict is in the interests of all states.
Once again, I would like to thank you personally for your efforts and for the positive potential that we have built up over the recent years and which has brought our countries closer, as well as for the invitation to visit the beautiful city of Sochi in such good weather.