President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Aliyev, friends. It is a great pleasure to see you in Russia. Thank you very much for accepting our invitation.
We have a large number of bilateral and regional issues to discuss. I am happy to say that our relationship is developing successfully: we have been in contact on a regular basis, both at the top level and at the level of our governments.
Russian-Azerbaijani economic relations, humanitarian ties and other areas of cooperation are expanding. This is due to an element of trust, which is constantly growing in our bilateral contacts, and we are very pleased about that. I am sure we will also talk about the long-standing issues related to the Karabakh settlement.
Once again, we are very glad to see you. Welcome.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev: Thank you for the invitation, Mr Putin. We are pleased to visit Russia again and welcome the opportunity to meet with you and go over the very broad agenda of our relations.
As you mentioned, we have seen a positive trend in the development of our relations, stable and long-term growth. We value this a great deal and see Russia as one of our key partners in the international arena.
Our cooperation extends to a wide range of areas: in addition to political interaction, we have seen good results in the economic sector. Trade is thriving; we have seen growth last year and this year. The structure of trade has improved and mutual investments have reached significant levels. Naturally, this gives a new dynamic to our relationship.
We have very warm memories of your visit to Azerbaijan last year, which was a great success, and I think that gave a major boost to the development of our relations. We are determined to build up the potential of our cooperation.
Naturally, the issues of regional security and stability are always on our agenda. We will also discuss the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which has lasted far too long and needs to be addressed.
Once again, thank you for the invitation and for the hospitality.