Baku, 2 March 2017 – Newtimes.az
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of Azerbaijan
Not long ago, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have marked 20 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the republics. Over the years of independence, our countries have achieved impressive results, such as rapid economic growth and socioeconomic stability. We have a very good relationship, which has become synonymous with mutual trust and equality. The foundations of these ties were built on the principles of friendship and partnership and were, of course, laid by National Leader of Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev and President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Leader of Kazakh nation Nursultan Nazarbayev. These relations have been continuing to grow and develop under the current President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
Presidents of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan hold regular bilateral meetings, and meet at other events in the framework of integration structures and international organizations. Among the most recent and important meetings a special attention should be attributed to 2009 when the President of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev paid an official visit to Azerbaijan and participated in the IX Summit of Heads of the Turkic-speaking States in Nakhchivan. A serious aspect of this visit was the signing of the historic Nakhchivan Declaration and Nakhchivan Agreement on Establishment of the Cooperation Council of the Turkic-speaking States (CCTS), initiated by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev. Today, the legal successor of the CCTS is the Turkic Council, under whose auspices a number of full-fledged interstate institutions in the field of science, culture and history, as well as interparliamentary groups are successfully operating.
In the following 2010, President of Kazakhstan took part in the Summit of Heads of Caspian Littoral States, which was taking place in Baku. In December of that same year, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev participated in the OSCE Summit in Astana, organized for the first time after an 11-year break.
2011 was also marked with mutual visits of the heads of the two states. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev paid an official visit to Kazakhstanwhere he participated in the First CCTS Summit. The Third CCTS Summit took place in the town of Gabala in August 2013 when the President of Kazakhstan Mr. Nazarbayev again visited the fraternal country of Azerbaijan.
Among the events that took place in recent memory there is certainly the meeting of the presidents on the sidelines of the Fifth Summit in Astana in September 2015. At the invitation of the President of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev, President of Azerbaijan IlhamA liyev and the heads of other states then participated in a commemorative event to mark the 550-th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate.
In October 2015, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev once again visited Kazakhstan to participate in the CIS Summit in Borovoy. In the second half of 2016, President of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev is expected to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan.
Mutual visits by heads of the governments and ministers of foreign affairs of the two states, as well as the interaction betweenofficials of the two parliaments became a regular practice. Cooperation between our defence, law enforcement, national security, border and other agencies is progressively developing.
Both Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan attach great importance to the development of bilateral trade and economic ties. There is a successfully operating Intergovernmental Commission, and business forums are held regularly. Today, 37 Kazakh companies involved in different sectors of economy are successfully doing their business in Azerbaijan. In a western region of Kazakhstan alone, a total of 46 companies with Azerbaijani capital are registered.
By today, the two countries have already signed and are enjoying over 100 agreements, which constitute legal basis for our negotiations. More than 20 of those are in the field of economy. We are speaking here of numerous treaties and agreements, protocols and memorandums, being the basis of our bilateral political relations. The Agreement on Strategic Partnership and Allied Relations certainly remains one of the major treaties signed between our countries. In fact, the very name of the agreement has fixated and apparently reflects the nature of our relations - which is about strategic partnership and allied relations.
Azerbaijan is an important strategic partner of Kazakhstan in the Caucasus region. Being neighbors in the Caspian Sea, the most important points of our cooperation appear to be the contacts on energy issues, oil transportation, agriculture, and the use of the Caspian Sea as an important international traffic artery.
The Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan collaboration both in a bilateral format and within the framework of international organizations and various dialogue platforms is positively developing. The two states demonstrate similar positions on key issues of a contemporary global agenda. International initiatives of the parties are mutually supported. In this context, Kazakhstan is grateful to Azerbaijan for its support of our candidacy for a non-permanent membership in the UNSC for 2017-2018.
Both Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan advocate reinforcement of and full respect for international law. We strongly condemn terrorism and extremism in all manifestations and successfully cooperate in the international arena with a view to strengthening international, political and legal order based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all states. Together, we are actively helping to ensure that the Caspian region remains a zone of peace, good neighborliness and cooperation.
By having common Turkic roots in language, culture and traditions, the two countries actively and successfully collaborate within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking Countries (TURKPA), International Organization of Turkic Culture (TURKSOY), Turkic Council (CCTS), and the Turkic Academy.
In addition to the historical roots and culture, we are united by the will and tireless commitment to further development of good neighborly relations. And this is one of the reasons why Azerbaijan represents one of the highest priorities in Kazakhstan’s foreign policy.
Azerbaijan’s National Leader Heydar Aliyev in a historically short period managed to restore the country’s economy and put it on a path towards sustainable development. Under his wise leadership, the country has achieved its first great success. President Ilham Aliyev continued the noble cause that the National Leader was engaged in, under whom Azerbaijan has made a confident step-forward in socioeconomic development, industrialization, information and communication technologies, reached a high level of social welfare and made impressive progress in economy. Today, Azerbaijan is rightfully considered to be a leading country of the Caucasus region. The international community views Azerbaijan as an important and responsible participant in the processes of international and regional cooperation.
Friendly relations and mutual respect between our peoples have remained unchanged for all this time. Kazakhs arriving in Azerbaijan are always pleased with Azerbaijani soulful hospitality and benevolence, which we ourselves offer when welcoming guests. Openhearted and friendly peoples of both countries always leave the most pleasant impression upon tourists and foreign guests. And just think about how many ethnic Azerbaijanis live on the Kazakh land today! The Azerbaijani diaspora in Kazakhstan comprised of more than 130,000 people is actively involved in political and economic life of the country, making a significant contribution to strengthening of the warm and friendly relations between our peoples.
Speaking of the deep respect that exists between the Kazakh and Azerbaijani people, we cannot fail to mention that in the early 2000s, a street named after the National Leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev appeared in Astana, which has just gained the capital city status. Good works and achievements of this great politician, who was a true patriot and a worthy son of his nation, awake the most sincere feelings of respect in the Kazakh people. In turn, one of the streets of Baku was named in honor of the great Kazakh poet and philosopher Abay Kunanbayev. That was a worthy gesture symbolizing respect for our common spiritual values and national heritage.
Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have always enjoyed trusting and respectful relations and cooperation. We are confident that we shall continue to develop our relations in all areas for the benefit of peace and friendship between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, for this time-tested friendship.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the fraternal peoples of Azerbaijan on the 25-th anniversary of the Day of Restoration of Azerbaijan’s Independence and to wish you peace, well being and prosperity.