Ilham Aliyev: Not a single third-party force will be able to influence Turkey or Azerbaijan

Not a single third-party force will be able to influence Turkey or Azerbaijan, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said when receiving a delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu on Feb.5.

“You are welcome, dear Mevlut Bey. I am very glad to see you again. A very important meeting at the level of foreign ministers will be held in Baku tomorrow. This is the first meeting of foreign ministers to be held in Baku after the Summit. As you know, last year Azerbaijan took over chairmanship of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States. As the country chairing the organization, we will try throughout the year to work hard with the support of member countries to further strengthen cooperation, friendship and brotherhood among these countries. At the same time, your visit is a good opportunity to once again discuss bilateral issues. You and I recently met in Davos. We meet quite regularly. A meeting of the Turkey-Azerbaijan Strategic Cooperation Council will be held in Baku in the near future, and distinguished President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be our guest,” President Ilham Aliyev said.

“I am sure that Turkish-Azerbaijani relations will develop successfully this year as well. Last year, we made huge strides and together celebrated the TANAP project reaching the border with Europe. In addition, many important projects are being successfully implemented. With regard to the activities of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, it has now acquired wider proportions and already transports goods from many sources in European and Asian directions. I am sure that the significance of this railway will gradually increase. This is our joint successful project,” President Ilham Aliyev said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to you for the recent evacuation of Azerbaijani citizens from China. This is another manifestation of Turkish-Azerbaijani brotherhood. You showed the same attitude towards the citizens of Azerbaijan as you did to your own citizens, safely delivered them by plane to Turkey – to their homeland. Of course, this step, this act is very much appreciated in Azerbaijan,” President Aliyev added.

The head of state noted that at the same time, at a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg last month, representatives of Turkey in their entirety supported the just cause of Azerbaijan and once again showed solidarity.
“They once again demonstrated that they really stand for justice. In turn, the Azerbaijani delegation always supports Turkey. We, as people who worked in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, know this organization quite well. Unfortunately, this organization has targeted Azerbaijan for over the course of 20 years and Turkey for even longer. I remember that when I started working in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as head of the Azerbaijani delegation, my first step was to organize a meeting of the Azerbaijani and Turkish delegations. On the first day, we met and agreed to constantly support each other in all matters. I believe that, unfortunately, since that time, the Council of Europe has undergone a process of degradation. This organization is losing its importance in the international arena. It is not able to exert any influence on the developments unfolding in the world. The credibility of the organization has declined, and the main reason for this is probably the hypocrisy, double standards and injustice prevailing in it,” President Ilham Aliyev said.

“To be honest, the Azerbaijani people have long lost hope for this organization because for almost 20 years, at various times, it was fulfilling a political order, choosing Azerbaijan as a target, fabricating and spreading incredible lies about us. Azerbaijan is portrayed as a backward country and the positive processes taking place in Azerbaijan are not taken into account. They try to describe Azerbaijan only in black colors and again, relying on unfounded and falsified data, publish reports and adopt resolutions. There are allegedly political prisoners here and democratic process are supposedly obstructed in Azerbaijan. All this is a lie, there are no political prisoners in Azerbaijan – we know this well. Meanwhile, the countries that do have political prisoners are ignored. I can cite Armenia as an example. For more than a year, the former president of Armenia has been under arrest. He was arrested after declaring a desire to engage in active politics, and has been in prison for more than a year. Also under investigation is the president who led Armenia two years ago. A criminal case has been instituted against him and, according to the information circulated in the media, his case has been referred to court. The main reason is that former presidents criticized the activities of the current government. Journalists are arrested in Armenia. I am told that the head of a media agency was recently arrested. A few months ago, one of the journalists began a hunger strike in prison and died. However, none of these facts are taken into account in the Council of Europe. Why? Why do they show one attitude towards Armenia and a different one towards Azerbaijan and Turkey? We know the answer to this question too well, and I want to note once again: it would be good if the Council of Europe dealt with these issues. Let the Council of Europe pay attention to police brutality and violence, police killing people in leading European countries, condemn these countries and make a comment to their law enforcement agencies. We are not hearing this. We see this on television: practically on a regular basis people in leading European capitals are regularly beaten up, persecuted, insulted, killed, their eyes are hollowed out, they are set the dogs at and are crushed by horses. This is supposed to be democracy. When we talk about this – I often said this quite openly to people coming here from Europe and trying to criticize us – but they do not respond and remain silent. But after leaving the office, they begin their ugly activities again and try to tarnish us. Of course, we cannot tolerate this. We are fighting alongside Turkey, just as we done together in the past,” President Ilham Aliyev said.

“You were elected to a high post in the Council of Europe, were the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. When you held the post, this organization demonstrated a fair position. You did not allow it to become an instrument in someone else’s hands. As a very respected and independent person, you weathered the pressure and pursued an independent policy. Therefore, at that time, the Council of Europe somewhat seemed to have restored its real appearance. But I want to say again: this organization, unfortunately, does not have any authority today. Its decisions are absolutely irrelevant for us. The latest resolution adopted in connection with Azerbaijan has no meaning for us; for us it has no more value than a piece of paper. We do not accept any of the far-fetched accusations contained in it and will not fulfill any of their ‘requirements’,” Ilham Aliyev said.

“Our cause is just. Today, Turkey is a power center on a global scale, and we are very pleased about this. All the successes of Turkey are very significant for us, they inspire us. Together we did a great job and always stood for truth and justice. I am sure that this will continue to be the case. Not a single third-party force will be able to influence Turkey or Azerbaijan. We, as two fraternal countries, will continue to follow the path of friendship, brotherhood and independence. You are welcome again!,” President Ilham Aliyev added.