Russian President Dmitry Medvedev: Dear Ilham Geidarovich!
I am pleased to welcome you to Moscow. This is yet another opportunity to see each other, discuss current affairs and the development of our relations; Russian-Azerbaijani relations are developing very dynamically and we are pleased with our partnership. Virtually all the objectives that we set during my official visit to Baku have been achieved. And I hope that by the end of the year we will have reached the two billion dollars in trade that we agreed upon, although of course the world economy is currently going through a difficult period. This makes the fact that our relations are not just short-term all the more gratifying. There are also excellent examples of cultural and educational exchanges that we have agreed upon. I understand that in the near future Moscow University will open a campus in Baku. This is also a very auspicious occasion. And of course we need to compare notes in light of the problems that have arisen in the Caucasus region since the attack by Georgia and the subsequent events. You and I have not had a chance to meet or to discuss the developments on the international arena. I think it is also useful to take into account our mutual interest in the stability and sustainable development of our relations and more generally in the situation in the Caucasus.
I am glad to see you.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, Dmitry Anatolyevich. Thank you for your invitation to visit Moscow.
As you noted, we have had an intensive series of meetings. We recently met during your official visit to Azerbaijan, and in Azerbaijan everyone took careful note that it was one of your first official visits as President of Russia, which also demonstrates the character and spirit of the relations between our nations.
We are very pleased with how our relations are developing. They cover a very broad spectrum, including active political engagement and economic ties. As you pointed out, trade between our countries is growing very rapidly. It is also gratifying to note that the composition of our trade is also improving.
We are implementing what we undertook in the cultural and educational spheres. And I should say that the campus of Moscow State University in Baku is already open. At the beginning of this year, I issued a decree on this subject and students have already enrolled starting this academic year. So in 2008 the campus of Moscow State University in Baku already exists. This shows how quickly everything that was sketched in during your visit to Baku and reflected in the joint Declaration on Friendship and Strategic Partnership has been implemented.
I am confident that the ongoing development of our relations will continue, and that it will extend to other areas and take on new forms. In our region there is a great need for consolidating efforts to establish peace, stability and predictability. Our relations are distinguished by precisely this predictable character. They are of a friendly, neighbourly nature. And we are very happy with the way they are evolving.
So too for the frequency of our meetings – this more generally reflects the substance of our relationship. Thank you again for your invitation and I am looking forward to continued fruitful cooperation.