Azerbaijani, Turkish, Georgian FMs meet for sixth time
Baku, Ankara and Tbilisi – the three strategic partners and regional allies – have outlined a joint strategy for regional development during the trilateral meeting of the three countries’ foreign ministers in Baku.
Being six in edition, the ministerial meeting provided an opportunity to discuss in a trilateral format the possibilities of regional partnership, promotion of the development of bilateral relations based on mutual benefits, strengthening of regional prosperity, stability and security.
A large segment of the talks between Elmar Mammadyarov, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Mikheil Janelidze covered the economic sector, while the three agreed to prepare a summit of their presidents.
Being pleased with the negotiations Mammadyarov at a briefing following the trilateral meeting said that the countries also agreed to develop a road map for further cooperation.
"Interesting and fruitful talks were held,” he said. “The three countries are implementing many regional projects and we have discussed the stage of their implementation."
The meeting could not but affect a regional rail link Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway project, constructed on the basis of the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey intergovernmental agreement.
The Azerbaijani FM said that the BTK railway construction project, with peak capacity at 17 million tons of cargo per year, will be implemented till late 2017.
“There is a need for this project, as well as the necessary volume of cargo transportation,” he added. “Three countries also intend to use other ways of cargo transportation."
The sides also discussed the issues of cooperation in ICT, energy and other spheres, which was fixed by signing an action plan for 20172019, covering cooperation in all spheres.
Baku also urged Ankara and Tbilisi to expand cooperation in resolving of conflicts.
Mammadyarov noted that the approaches of the three countries to the principles of the territorial integrity of states coincide. The parties, of course, are in favor of resolving conflicts through diplomatic means.
“Conflicts are discussed in all international organizations, and I think we should further expand cooperation in this matter,” Mammadyarov said.
Speaking at the briefing Cavusoglu told about the intention of the three countries to raise economic relations to a new level.
The minister called upon the countries to exert more efforts to solve a number of issues in such spheres as customs, logistics, transport, etc. and in this aspect.
In this aspect, he stressed the importance of giving an impetus to the work at the level of other ministries and departments of the three countries.
In recent months Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia have enjoyed stronger relations. The first test train on the BTK route left Turkey for Georgia, which expects to bring great results and benefits to the three countries.
Saying that the trilateral formats are making an important contribution to the development of regional cooperation, the Turkish FM added that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be used to strengthen cooperation between the three countries in the transport sector.
Talking about the trilateral relations, Janelidze stressed that Baku, Ankara and Tbilisi intend to give a new impetus to relations, stressing that his country intents to expand cooperation with Azerbaijan and Turkey both at the bilateral level and in the regional format.
“It needs to be noted, first of all, that this is a unique mechanism established among three neighbours. We play an exceedingly important role not only in the region, but also globally. All the three countries form the link connecting Europe and Asia. and the trade and economic relations getting deeper and deeper between Europe and Asia owe a great deal to this link” Janerlidze said
The Georgian FM also noted that the three countries successfully cooperate in the international arena, support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of one another, and cooperate fruitfully in this field at various venues.
The three ministers hailed the successful cooperation in this trilateral format, which is important not only in regional but also in global context.
Within the framework of the trilateral meeting, the Ministers also signed Baku Declaration, featuring specific projects and initiatives in the areas of economy, energy, agriculture, environment protection and innovative technologies.
Prior to the trilateral meeting the diplomats held bilateral meetings.
At the meeting between Mammadyarov and Cavusoglu, the sides discussed the prospects of bilateral and regional cooperation.
Cavusoglu informed his counterpart about the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Azerbaijan in late September following his participation in the UN General Assembly’s session.
The meeting between Cavusoglu and Janelidze held on the same day, covered issues such as development of cooperation in the political, economic, energy, transport and humanitarian spheres, the implementation of regional projects and the exchange of views on regional security issues.
Previous day, President Ilham Aliyev received the FMs separately.
Speaking with Janelidze, the head of state noted that the Azerbaijani-Georgian bilateral relations successfully develop and good results were achieved in all areas. President Ilham Aliyev hailed the dynamics of the development of relations, and pointed out the expansion of cooperation in several important fields.
At the meeting with Cavusoglu, President Aliyev noted that the work carried out among the three countries is of great importance for both the countries themselves and the whole region.
The basis of the trilateral meeting was laid on June 8, 2012 in the Turkish city of Trabzon within the framework of the Trabzon Declaration signed by the foreign ministers of the three countries. The declaration reflects the most important areas of mutual cooperation among Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia in economy, energy, infrastructure, transport, culture and humanitarian sphere.
Starting from 2012, the foreign ministers of the three countries meet twice a year to discuss trilateral cooperation and regional issues.
The previous meeting of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey was held on February 19, 2016 in Tbilisi.