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Press statement by the President of the Republic, H.E.Mr. Bajram Begaj during the state visit to Azerbaijan

Honorable President Aliyev!

Distinguished attendees!

Thank you for the warm welcoming and hospitality!

It is a pleasure to be in Azerbaijan on this state visit, and to meet again with my friend, President Aliyev.

This year marks 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries. I think we have many reasons to be proud of these relations, which today are better than ever. I expressed my appreciation to President Aliyev for his essential contribution to further strengthen them.

Last year, President Aliyev visited Tirana, marking the first visit of an Azeri President to Albania. I am satisfied that the impact of that visit was instantly reflected. It didn’t take long, and the Parliament of Azerbaijan made the decision to open the Embassy in Tirana. Albania, likewise, made the same decision, to have an Embassy in Baku, in 2023.

Both these decisions will bring our countries even closer, will further strengthen the already excellent political dialogue, as well as promote economic cooperation, and beyond.

We have many reasons to celebrate our 30th anniversary of friendship, so I brought to the President’s attention some of the other successful steps taken towards the rapprochement of the two countries.

In May, took place the Joint Working Group on Economic, Industrial and Technological Cooperation between Albania and Azerbaijan. This working group marks an important step to further deepen relations in other spheres of vital importance.

Therefore, the agreement to create a Joint Intergovernmental Commission based on this Working Group to be held in Baku, in 2024 is a clear indication of the constructive spirit and understanding that exists between the two countries.

In addition, in the first months of this year, I had the opportunity to be part of the “Global Baku Forum“, another very important initiative for the exchange of experiences and the best visions for the future of our countries and the planet.

President Heydar Aliyev’s extraordinary vision of a developed and empowered Azerbaijan, on the 100th anniversary of his birth, is easily palpable by anyone who comes and visits your country.

The historical memory of what he has done for Azerbaijan will remain present and will serve in the development of the future.

Dear President Aliyev!

 Distinguished attendees!

Albania and Azerbaijan are closely linked through cooperation in the energy sector. TAP is already a consolidated success story.

Albania’s benefits from TAP have been numerous, both in the economic plan, but also in the strengthening of Albania’s strategic weight as a gateway and regional hub for energy. The Adriatic-Ionian gas pipeline will contribute even more to Albania’s role as a gas distributor in the region.

I reiterated to President Aliyev, Albania’s willingness to take quick steps in the framework of gasification of the country, in close cooperation with Azerbaijan.

Albania as a gas transit country is already a reality; Albania as a beneficiary country of gas transmission is an objective for the realization of which, our country is committed to further deepen the cooperation.

I emphasized to President Aliyev that Albania welcomes the increased attention of Azerbaijan in the development of regional energy projects, which would bring the countries of the Western Balkans even closer, and at the same time would strengthen their energy security positions.

Earlier, we also touched upon important issues in foreign policy. I told the President that I closely followed the talks of the last few weeks in Washington between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Albania has supported and will continue to support long-term peace in the South Caucasus region, mediated by reliable partners and international organizations. I reiterated to President Aliyev, that Albania has always supported the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the implementation of Security Council resolutions.

Even in the Western Balkan region, dialogue is very important, so that we can see each other not through the grudges of the past, but through the possibilities of the future.

 I expressed my conviction that regional stability in the Western Balkans is a necessary element. Kosovo and Serbia are negotiating parties in order to resolve any dispute and to build a new spirit of cooperation between each other.

 Respecting the agreements agreed by the parties, both between themselves and in international forums, must be points of orientation towards sustainable peace. Prosperity, not conflict, ought to be the guiding compass for bilateral and regional progress. The sooner something like this happens, the more beneficial it becomes for our people.

With President Aliyev we also discussed on the war in Ukraine. The presence of our two countries at the Ukraine Recovering Conference is an indication of our will to look at a developed and peaceful Ukraine. On this occasion, we once again shared our support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Help in critical moments is a gesture that peoples and states do not forget. That’s how it was Azerbaijan’s support for Albania, after the tragic earthquake of November 2019, so I once again expressed my gratitude to the President for being by our side in those difficult days. “A friend in need, is a friend indeed”.

The cooperation between Albania and Azerbaijan is best reflected also within international organizations. I expressed my conviction to President Aliyev, that this very good pace of cooperation will continue to be maintained in the future.

The “Cultural Week of Azerbaijan” will soon take place in Albania. So, as the cities of Albania these months are filled with tourists from all over the world, I am convinced that the “Cultural Week of Azerbaijan” will be a real celebration, and an indication of how culture can bring people and societies closer together.

Since I mentioned tourism: both our countries consider this sector a priority, and a very important sector of the economy. For this reason, the deepening of cooperation, as well as the presence of Azeri investments, also in terms of tourism are welcomed. The abolition of the visa regime is another way of bringing our people closer together. As I mentioned, President Aliyev is a man who fulfills his promises, and today he told me that the visa waiver will be implemented very soon, thank you President.

Dear President!

 Dear Ilham!

I believe it is obvious that since your visit to Tirana, our countries, with mutual goodwill and cooperation, have succeeded in translating the promises and commitments made into concrete actions.

Let today’s visit, like your visit, and all the high-level visits that our respective officials have exchanged recently, give another positive impetus in strengthening the relations between our countries.

In conclusion, allow me, President, to thank you once again for the warm hospitality.

It is truly a pleasure to be here today!