Joint Press Conference of Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani
Elmar Mammadyarov: Ladies and gentlemen! As you know, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani is on an official visit to Azerbaijan. It is the first visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar to Azerbaijan. A number of high level visits have been implemented and the cooperation is developing day-by-day between Azerbaijan and Qatar. Today morning, my counterpart was received by H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Afterwards, we had a tete-a-tete meeting and a meeting with participation of delegations. We discussed the political relations between Azerbaijan and Qatar. We noted that the positions of both countries coincide in the international arena. I informed him about the negotiations process on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
We touched upon the economic relations between Azerbaijan and Qatar. They are huge plans for cooperation. As you may know, the meeting of the Economic Commission is set to be held today. We plan to hold more intensive negotiations to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries.
We agreed on holding the cultural days. We touched upon the energy issue, as well. As you know, Qatar has a great role in the energy sector in the world. We had a discussion on TANAP, TAP, Southern Gas Corridor projects, as well as Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. Ministry of Foreign Affairs is building intensive relationship with the Gulf Cooperation Council. We proposed to hold a meeting at ministerial level between the Gulf Cooperation Council and Azerbaijan. We plan to organize it in Baku in summer of 2017.
The State of Qatar is interested in cooperation in the areas of agriculture and tourism. As you know, there is a big flow of citizens of Qatar to Azerbaijan as tourists. We welcome it and consider that it is very important in terms of developing the infrastructure in Baku, as well as in the regions. We agreed that the “Qatar Airways” company should increase the number of its flights to Azerbaijan.
Question (Qatar television): My question is for Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov. How do you see the perspectives of economic-trade cooperation between Azerbaijan and Qatar?
Elmar Mammadyarov: I think that we have huge perspectives. First, there is a will by our Heads of State to advance the cooperation. We, from the both sides as foreign ministers and also other members of the government must follow up all agreements achieved between the two countries including those signed during the visit of Emir of the State of Qatar to Azerbaijan. As my firend and counterpart noted, we are preparing the visit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Qatar. It is planned to sign a number of documents. We also plan to implement different projects with Qatar. The projects in the fields of agriculture, energy and construction are very important. The cooperation in the area of investment between the two countries has great importance, as well. There is no field which is closed to discussion between Azerbaijan and Qatar. There is great confidence between our countries. Taking this opportunity through the Qatar television, on behalf of the Republic of Azerbaijan I express my gratitude to the State of Qatar for supporting the just position of our country on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The position of Qatar on the conflict is the same with that of the international community. The UN Security Council adopted 4 resolutions on the conflict in 1993. In these resolutions, the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of occupying forces of Armenia from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is demanded. There are resolutions that are implemented even before they are adopted in the Security Council. But for us, they have not been implemented for more than 20 years. Everybody knows that there is no timeframe for the implementation of the resolutions of the UN Security Council. But we are still waiting. We hope that the United Nations will have strong determination for the implementation of those resolutions. The stance of Qatar on the conflict is very important for us.
Question (APA news agency): My question is for you, Mr. Minister. It is a long time no meeting on the conflict has been held. You made a visit to Moscow. Also prior to you, your counterpart from Armenia visited Moscow. Did you discuss any plans in regard with new meetings in Moscow? Also, the dead body of an Azerbaijani soldier is kept in Armenia. What kind of measures are taken to return it back? Besides, is the visit of co-chairs to the region expected?
Elmar Mammadyarov: In the framework of my working visit to Moscow, the press services of both countries’ foreign ministries made relevant statements. With my Russian counterpart, we agreed to continue the negotiations. There were proposals on holding a meeting between the foreign ministers of three countries. Unfortunately, the meeting did not take place. The Russian side is trying to organize a trilateral meeting. The Azerbaijani side has agreed for the meeting. But the meeting must be result-oriented. And on the visit of the co-chairs to the region, they had a meeting between themselves. The co-chairs from both France and the United States of America were newly appointed. First of all, they must be more informed about the conflict. I had a phone call with them. I probably meet them in the Munich Security Council. They sounded such a proposal and we accepted.
On the dead body of the soldier I can say that this is not humanist action by Armenia. I discussed this issue with my counterparts, as well as with the co-chairs. In fact, we had agreed to exchange or to return the soldiers’ dead bodies back after the battles. I repeat again, this is a non-humanist action.
Question (Interfax-Azerbaijan): Mr. Minister, my second question goes to you. Does Azerbaijan plan to involve the international organisations in carrying out construction work in Jojukmarjanli village?
Elmar Mammadyarov: I have no doubt that all occupied villages and territories will be liberated from the occupation. It is the first step. Afterwards, all those territories will be restored. We are carrying out negotiations with the international organisations to get them involved. There are different parts of the issue. This is not one-day issue. The preparation of documents, their submission and the feasibility study require time. The negotiations are being carried out and will be continued. But in the initial stage, the construction and reconstruction work in Jojukmarjanli village is done by the Government of Azerbaijan.
Full video of the joint press conference can be obtained from the following link