Azerbaijan-Belarus ties not burdened by problems: Aliyev

By Jeyhun Aliyev

ANKARA (AA) – Relations between Azerbaijan and Belarus are "far from any problems," Azerbaijan’s president said Wednesday during talks with his Belarussian counterpart, who arrived in the capital Baku the previous day for a working visit, according to the state-run news agency Azertac.

Ilham Aliyev welcomed Alexander Lukashenko, noting he was very glad that relations between the two countries are developing.

"Together we have brought dynamism to our relations and see progress in all directions. We see that the issues we have agreed on are being implemented. Our reciprocal visits are of a regular nature," Aliyev said.

He emphasized that Baku and Minsk enjoy a "close political relationship” as well as a "high level of trust," adding the two countries are observing "good results" in terms of economic cooperation.

Aliyev recalled that despite the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic last year, turnover between the countries has increased along with exports from Azerbaijan to Belarus.

"Therefore, today we will discuss in more detail the issues related to industrial cooperation," he said.

Aliyev also underlined that he wanted to discuss issues related to the restoration of Karabakh following the liberation of its lands from Armenian occupation.

During the 44-day Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict which ended in a truce on Nov. 10, 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages in Karabakh from a nearly three-decade Armenian occupation.

"We know the experience of Belarusian companies in creating agro-industrial complexes in your country. Therefore, this issue, of course, has a special place in terms of the restoration of liberated territories," said Aliyev.

– 'True friends'

Lukashenko, for his part, thanked Aliyev for "finding time" to discuss the cooperation issues "at a very busy time" for Azerbaijan.

He said the meeting of the two leaders "may seem a bit like a burden," taking into account the pandemic situation and other events.

"However, true friends do not delay actions that need to be taken on time. This is what we are doing, and no pandemic can stop that," he said.

He highlighted that political and economic relations between Belarus and Azerbaijan are "very diverse" and "very appropriate," adding "nothing can harm them."

Lukashenko hailed Azerbaijan's "huge step towards achieving its national dream."

"But this is only the first step," he said, adding that Azerbaijan has "reliable friends" in Belarus.

"As for our political relations, it is difficult to say that we are missing something or that there is a certain negative factor. We do not have such factors. Our relationship is excellent, and I am always proud of that," he said.

During a ceremony attended by the two leaders, the agriculture and foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Belarus signed several Memorandums of Understanding on cooperation in the fields of veterinary medicine, tourism and energy.