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Following the signing of documents at the 5th Summit of the Heads of State of the Caspian littoral states in Aktau, Kazakhstan, the presidents made press statements.
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev hailed the importance of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea and other documents, which were signed at the Summit.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made a press statement at the Summit.
Statement of President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Nursultan Abishevich,
Dear heads of state.
First of all, I would like to once again express my gratitude to Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev for the hospitality, for the warm welcome and for the remarkable organization of the Summit.
The signing of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea is a historic document. At all stages of preparation of this document, Azerbaijan worked constructively and made its contribution alongside other Caspian littoral countries to prepare it for signing. I would like to express my gratitude to colleagues for their hard work, so that we can sign this important document defining the general legal regime of the Caspian Sea.
Even before the signing of the Convention, the Caspian Sea was a sea of security, a sea of stability, and our relations, both bilateral and multilateral, were the guarantor of stability and security in the Caspian. There is a high level of cooperation, trust and interaction among Caspian littoral countries, and this is the main guarantor of security and stability.
Today, security and stability in the Caspian Sea are determined by the Convention we have just signed. Of course, this opens up broad prospects for close cooperation among Caspian littoral countries, solution of issues of economic and transport nature, issues that will contribute to improving the living standards of our peoples.
Azerbaijan is making an active and great contribution to improving the environmental situation in the Caspian. The measures our government is taking are aimed at preventing pollution of the Caspian Sea, especially when carrying out oil and gas operations. During the Summit, I already spoke about this and I want to say again that all the oil and gas operations Azerbaijan has carried out in the period of independence comply with ISO international standards.
Next year, we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of oil production in the Caspian Sea, which represents first offshore oil production. Of course, over the years of exploitation of the Caspian's oil and gas resources, the Caspian ecology has been affected to a certain extent. But our country is doing its best today to make the Caspian a zone of environmental development and stability.
Azerbaijan invests heavily in the transport infrastructure, and the projects we have implemented allow us the opportunity today to view the Caspian as an important transport artery. The East-West corridor within which Azerbaijan provides transit services to Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan and the North-South corridor through which Azerbaijan transits cargoes between Iran and Russia are projects that strengthen economic cooperation, create new jobs, bring our countries even closer together and contribute to the strengthening of stability and security.
As part of the meeting today, I noted that cargo traffic between Iran and Russia along the North-South corridor has grown more than 100 times this year. All work in this direction on the territory of Azerbaijan has been completed, and we expect an increase in freight traffic. Azerbaijan has also carried out a project linking the railways of Europe and Asia, and we expect a huge increase in freight traffic along this corridor as well. All these are additional opportunities for our countries. This means economic prosperity and the transformation of our countries into an important transit junction of a global scale.
Of course, today's signing ceremony opens up new prospects for us. We aim to continue cooperation. Azerbaijan has very close and trusting relations with all Caspian littoral countries, and these relations are based on respect for mutual interests, equality, respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries. I would like to express my great satisfaction on behalf of all Azerbaijani people with the fact that we have finally signed this important document, which will play a huge role in the successful development of all our countries in the future. Thank you.
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The heads of state posed together for photographs.