President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received the U.S. President’s National Security Adviser John Bolton.
The Head of State noted successful cooperation between Azerbaijan and the United States in various fields. President Ilham Aliyev said that as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States plays an important role in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories were occupied by Armenia and as a result of this occupation, about one million of our compatriots became refugees and internally displaced persons. This occupation of Armenia is a clear indication of the gross violation of the norms and principles of international law. The UN Security Council has adopted relevant resolutions on the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian Armed Forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Armenia ignores these resolutions, tries to maintain the status quo and freeze the situation, which is unacceptable. The Head of State noted that the territorial integrity of our country should be restored and Azerbaijan hopes that the activity of the Minsk Group co-chair countries will yield practical results.
President Ilham Aliyev stated that Azerbaijan participates in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan, and our country has recently increased the number of troops involved in these operations up to 120, which is a good indicator of our contribution to the Resolute Support Mission. Azerbaijan also provides important transportation and logistics support for these operations.
Touching upon the relations in other areas, the head of state noted that as investors and contractors many US companies have successfully operated in the energy and non-energy sectors in Azerbaijan. High level of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the United States in the field of energy are resulting in huge global projects. This, in turn, contributes to regional development. President Ilham Aliyev said that the Southern Gas Corridor project is of great importance among these projects. Europe’s largest infrastructure project SGC is worth of $40 billion and will contribute to Europe’s energy security and regional stability. The head of state expressed his gratitude to the US Government for the support to the Southern Gas Corridor project. President Ilham Aliyev noted that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the visit of John Bolton to our country and expressed confidence that this visit will serve to the strengthening of partnership relations between the two countries.
Expressing his gratitude for the reception, the US National Security Adviser, John Bolton, said he was pleased with his first visit to Azerbaijan and expressed his hope that he would continue to visit to Azerbaijan. Stressing that relations with Azerbaijan are the top priority for the US, John Bolton said that the importance of relations in political, economic, security and other spheres has increased. Noting that Azerbaijan’s strategic significance, John Bolton said that during his visit to Azerbaijan, he intend to discuss the current state of relations, threats to international peace and security. Referring to economic cooperation, John Bolton noted that taking into account the leading role of Azerbaijan in international energy issues, the US government is determined to further expand cooperation with Azerbaijan in the energy sector, as well as in other areas, including international terrorism, combating human trafficking and other spheres.
“We discussed the issues about settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, economic cooperation between US and Azerbaijan and Southern Gas Corridor project. Azerbaijan plays major role in the international energy market. At the same time, we exchanged views on cooperation between Azerbaijan and the United States, our joint partnership in combating global terrorism, human trafficking and illicit drug trafficking”, the US President’s National Security Adviser said.
“The settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict maintain stategic importance. I visited Azerbaijan to get deep knowledge about the issue. As one of the OSCE co-chair countries, US will remain committed to the peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, because peace is important both Azerbaijan and Armenia”, he said.
During the meeting, the sides discussed the issues related to various aspects of strategic cooperation between Azerbaijan and the United States and expressed confidence in the future successful cooperation between two countries.