The Presidents of Georgia and Azerbaijan held a joint press conference

The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili:

I want to greet our brother, the leader of our brother country in a city that was founded together with Baku as a modern city and that is Baku's younger brother in reality. Baku and Batumi were constructed by one and the same architects, one and the same businessmen used to work there, Batumi and Baku were connected by the first oil pipeline, the first tankers existed in Batumi. Also the cultural life and social contacts were going on simultaneously in these two cities. Today both of the cities are on the way of prosperity. Tremendous projects and historical changes are carried out in Baku. We all are glad because of this. Batumi tries to catch up with Baku. Today we were discussing an issue that the office of AzerbaijanianOil Company is opening in the most visible and historically important place of Batumi. The whole new infrastructure is developing for this reason in Batumi. Two years ago IlkhamAliev lit natural gas in one of the families in Batumi. Now natural gas is available in every single village of the lower zone in Ajara.

Our friendship is tested by time and in many important issues. Georgia will never forget the fact that when our gas pipeline and electricity transmitters were exploded, in the coldest days of winter half of Azeri population was cut off from the network in order to enable Georgia continue its existence. This happened in January 2005 and I am sure it will photographically remain in the memory of the Georgian nation. Neither we will forget that for the most critical moment for Georgia Azerbaijan without any hesitation stood with Georgia. Our relations are not only based on strategic partnership, but it is true brotherhood. Several years ago I was speaking about the need of having confederation-based relations; in fact, relations between our countries are far beyond the relations, which ordinarily two countries may have; we continue each other.We are parts of a single body, so everything that is painful for Azerbaijan, is also painful for Georgia and vice versa. Today we have spoken about hurrying up the construction of a very important railway - Tbilisi-Karsi in the direction of Akhalkalaki. This construction is going on with the participation of our and Azeri companies. We spoke about the fact that gasification in Georgia in two years will reach 74 percent. This will be twice more than it was in the period of the Soviet Union. We as well spoke about creating a permanent working group that will work on the transit corridor that will connect Europe to Central Asia and China via Georgia and Azerbaijan. These are the relations, where not only the problems are absent, but one can not even imagine better relations. These relations were founded by HeidarAliev, who strategically forecasted what our future would be and by his wise and interesting creative work. IlkhamAliev even strengthened these relations that will remain during the centuries. I am sure that these relations can only get deeper and become the factor of regional stability. Mr. President, I would like to welcome you once again on very close and familiar for you soil. Feel at home.


The President of Azerbaijan Ilkham Aliev:


First of all I would like to express my gratitude for inviting us to Georgia. I see the development of those processes that are going on here and I am really glad to once again come to Batumi. Every single change here is connected with your active work. Batumi becomes more and more beautiful day by day, we see new hotels, new buildings, infrastructural projects are being carried out. I was here two years ago and I can compare the situation then and now. I am glad of the changes here. Its rather important, because your success means our success. From your active work we can say that Georgia is really an attractive country for foreign investors. Billiards of dollars are invested in Georgia. So we can say that foreign companies express trust and this is a big achievement. This shows that successful processes are going on in Georgia. I am glad that among foreign investors there are Azerbaijani businessmen as well and they show great interest to your country. Mainly energy sector is being invested, but I am sure that other Azerbaijani companies will get interested in other spheres. Our countries cooperate in various directions. Our relations are based on long, historic experience and we have long experience of brotherhood and friendship. We will always stand side by side and historic memory that lives with us is very important for us. We must do everything to strengthen partnership between our countries. Georgia and Azerbaijan work together on projects of global importance. Baku-Tbilisi-Jeihan, Baku-Supsa, Baku-Tbilisi-Ererum, oil pipelines, natural gas pipelines - each of these projects serves the interests not only of our people, but plays great role in creating world global energy security and stability. We have started to build a railway, we are going to start work in the electric energy sphere. It is very important that on each issue that we have worked together on, we had the best coordination. Baku and Tbilisi must continue cooperation this way.

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