Official Visit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev to the Republic of Turkey (March 12-17, 2001)

On March 12 ,  the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev paid an official visit to the Republic of Turkey at the invitation of President Ahmet Nejdet Sezer.

The Presidents made statements after the welcoming ceremony in “Chankaya Palace”. President Heydar Aliyev said: “The relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey have always been on the level of friendship and brotherhood until now, and it will continue. It is the foundation of our relations, later cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, science, culture and it will continue hence. All of them now are on a high level. However, these relations should be increased more. We have come here to demonstrate that the Turkish-Azerbaijani friendship and brotherhood is very important for us. ”

Later the presidents held a tete-a-tet meeting. While expressing their satisfaction from the speed of the development of the existing relations, the presidents discussed the role of Turkey in the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict over Nagorno Karabakh, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, and the opportunities of transport of gas from  “Shahdeniz” deposit to Turkey.

On the same day broad negotiations were held with the participation of delegations. In the meeting they exchanged views about the positive changes in Azerbaijan in the recent years, the economic cooperation and the role of Turkey in the problems that Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic faced.

Later a ceremony of signature was held between Azerbaijan and Turkey. A joint statement of the Azerbaijani and Turkish Presidents and an agreement on transport of the Azerbaijani gas to Turkey were signed. Additionally, protocols on the cooperation of the ministries of justice, finance, and culture, agreements on cooperation in the field of tax, on trade of gas between Petroleum Pipeline Cooperation (BOTASH) and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and an agreement on the relations of fraternization of Sheki with Giresun, Ganca with Kars were signed.

After the ceremony Heydar Aliyev told the reporters that they came to an agreement in all the fields.

On the 12th of March Heydar Aliyev met Prime Minister of Turkey Bulent Ecevit in “Camli Palace”. The parties expressed their satisfaction from the development of cooperation in all the fields year by year.

On the same day President of the Turkish Republic gave an official reception in honor of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev. Heydar Aliyev stated in the reception: “Independence of Azerbaijan is the meaning of our life. As the Azerbaijani President it is meaning of my life. Independence of Azerbaijan will strengthen, live and independent state will not return back to its previous situation. On this way we always were with Turkey, and will be always together. The Turkish-Azerbaijani friendship is immortal and strong. We are loyal to this friendship and will preserve this loyalty. We shall improve our cooperation in all the fields. I hope that we are working for the future of these issues during my visit and will continue doing it. ”

On the 13th of March Heydar Aliyev met chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, General of the Army Huseyin Kivrikoglu, deputy prime minister, chairman of the National Movement Party Devlet Bahcheli, deputy prime minister, chairman of Motherland Party Mesut Yilmaz, minister of foreign affairs Ismayil Cem, former president of Turkey Suleyman Demirel and discussed some aspects of the bilateral relations.

On the same day President Heydar Aliyev met chairman of the Turkish Parliament Omer Izgi and made a speech at the parliament. He spoke about the role of Turkey in the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict over Nagorno Karabakh and transport of oil and gas from the Azerbaijani Sector of the Caspian Sea.

On March 14, the Azerbaijani and Turkish presidents left for Istanbul on a special plane. The presidents visited the Complex of the Military Academy of the Republic of Turkey and attended the annual conference of the Commandery.

This visit of President Heydar Aliyev attracted the attention of mass media. On March 15, Heydar Aliyev gave interviews to the channels “CNN Turk”, TRT, NTV, “Samanyolu”, and on March 16, to “Sabah” newspaper.

On March 16, there was a ceremony in Ankara University where President Heydar Aliyev was awarded with the title of the Honorary Doctor. On the same day the President met MPs Ali Guner, Aslan Haydar , and Osman Gezeger.

On March 17, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan arrived in Baku and characterized the visit as a new stage in the development of  the Turkish-Azerbaijani friendly and strategic relations.