Serbia and Azerbaijan always defend and support each other in the international arena, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said, making press statements with President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic on November 23.

Statement by President Ilham Aliyev

– Dear Mr. President,

Dear ladies and gentlemen.

First of all, Mr. President, I would like to thank you for the hospitality you have extended to me and the delegation. Thank you very much for the invitation to visit your beautiful country. Also, let me thank you for your kind words about Azerbaijan. These are the words of a true friend. President Vucic and I have friendly relations, and I believe that this factor has played an important role in the rapid development of Serbian-Azerbaijani relations.

The documents signed between us constitute the legal basis of our bilateral relations, and among them, of course, the documents on strategic partnership have a special place. We are strategic partners in the true sense of the word because we cooperate successfully in many areas and our cooperation has strategic goals.

Serbia and Azerbaijan always defend and support each other in the international arena. As President Vucic has said, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our countries are supported on a reciprocal basis, and this position is unequivocal, unchanging and will remain so. At the same time, I would like to say a few words to comment on the words of President Vucic regarding international organizations. Our lands were under occupation for many years. The world’s leading international organizations adopted important and truthful decisions and resolutions regarding this occupation. Among them, of course, I should mention the four resolutions of the UN Security Council. Those resolutions demanded an immediate, unconditional and complete withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijani lands. The UN General Assembly, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the OSCE, i.e. all the leading international organizations adopted decisions and resolutions in support of our position, but the issue was not resolved. What does it indicate? It shows that decisions and resolutions of international organizations and their implementation are selective in nature. In some cases, resolutions of the UN Security Council are implemented in a matter of days, in others they are implemented within a few hours. But as far as our issue was concerned, we had been waiting for the implementation of these decisions for 27 years but could not achieve that. This is why the world community should come up with suggestions regarding the future of international organizations. We in Azerbaijan are ready for that. Because if the decisions made are not implemented, if they are not fulfilled, this, of course, is food for thought.

As a result, when we saw that all these efforts, including the negotiations, were proving ineffective, we used the factor of force. International law gave us this opportunity, the UN Charter gave us this opportunity. The right to self-defense should be applicable to all states, including Azerbaijan. We restored our territorial integrity by force, we restored justice, and the people of Azerbaijan have been rebuilding the liberated lands for two years now – restoring buildings, rebuilding the entire territory covering an area of more than 10,000 square kilometers.

Of course, we analyze these and other developments from the perspective of the interests of our countries, and today we touched upon many international issues in a bilateral format. At the same time, we have discussed regional security matters. As my friend Aleksandar said, we have discussed cooperation in the field of energy, and these discussions will be continued today. There are ample opportunities for cooperation in the fields of natural gas and electricity. Today, Azerbaijan’s rich gas resources play a role in the energy security of many countries, and this role will continue to grow. Of course, first of all, we intend to deepen cooperation with friendly countries in this and all other fields. In particular, cooperation in the military and technical field is already underway, and additional steps will be taken to deepen and widen this cooperation.

In a nutshell, we have laid out an agenda for the coming years. Of course, the presidents will keep this agenda in mind and monitor the implementation of these issues. To do this more promptly and efficiently, of course, we need to meet frequently.

I have invited my dear friend, President Vucic, to visit Azerbaijan. I believe that such a visit can be organized both before the end of the year and after. Of course, I will come here again. My visit to Serbia is slightly overdue, it has been somewhat delayed, because President Vucic was in Azerbaijan three and a half years ago. I also had to pay a reciprocal visit. But due to the intervention of COVID, it was slightly delayed. But I am very happy to be back to your beautiful country. We will have many such visits. Our friendship will be eternal. Thank you again for your hospitality and attention.