Chairs of Parliaments of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Pakistan Hold Their First Trilateral Meeting
The First Trilateral Meeting of the Chair of the Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic Sahiba Gafarova, the Chair of the Great National Assembly of Turkey Mustafa Şentop and the Chair of the National Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Asad Qaiser took place on 27 July.
The Chair of the Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic Sahiba Gafarova welcomed the guests cordially in her opening address starting the meeting. She recalled the participation of the parliamentary delegation of Azerbaijan of the 2nd General Conference of the Economic Co-operation Organisation that was held in Islamabad last month, saying that the meetings held in the format of that event had been very useful. A number of essential decisions passed there included the one to incept, at the Azerbaijani side’s suggestion, an inter-parliamentary co-operation format Azerbaijan-Pakistan-Turkey, Mrs Gafarova reminded the assembly.
Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Turkey rank as the leading countries of their respective regions today. All the three states pursue their independent foreign political courses; their words carry weight internationally. The current relations amongst them and their mutually rewarding co-operation have the place and the role of their very own in the system of international relations, according to Mrs Gafarova. Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Turkey are closely connected; these are the friendly and fraternal countries, the allied states; their mutual relations rest on reciprocal respect and trust. Already the countries co-operate trilaterally in a number of areas; there is close collaboration amongst the ministries of foreign affairs and of defence of Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Turkey, for one.
Our nations have always been tightly connected and have never spared an effort to support each other, Speaker S Gafarova continued. A vivid testimony to that came from the moral and political support that both Pakistan and Turkey extended to Azerbaijan at the time of the Patriotic War – the support that our people met with exhilaration and love. The flags of Pakistan and Turkey alike waved alongside the Azerbaijani ones in our towns and villages. The brotherly bonds of our states and nations make themselves be felt in the interaction amongst the three legislative bodies, too. It is precisely in order to deepen this interaction that the Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic had put forth the idea of a trilateral co-operation format – the idea which was endorsed by both Pakistan and Turkey, Mrs Gafarova said.
The opening address of Mrs Gafarova was followed by a discussion of the agenda items.
The text of the Baku Declaration was discussed and approved in keeping with the procedure; the contact persons for future co-ordination were appointed then. It was also decided that the Second Trilateral Meeting of the chairs of the parliaments of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan would be convened in the city of Islamabad in Pakistan in 2022.
Speaker Sahiba Gafarova remarked at the closure of the meeting that the trilateral inter-parliamentary co-operation format being founded today would strengthen the historically fraternal and amicable ties amongst our states substantially whilst also serving the protection of the three nations’ common interests to high standards.
The signing ceremony of the Baku Declaration summarising the First Trilateral Meeting of the parliament chairs followed.
Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova spoke at the ceremony, stressing that such an event being held at the parliament of Azerbaijan was a historic occasion. The existing relations and co-operation of Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Turkey are based on the brotherly bonds as well as on the mutual respect and trust of our nations, she said.
Azerbaijan, as it reclaimed its territorial integrity and restored the historical justice, also enforced, all by itself, the resolutions of the UN Security Council that had remained merely on paper for a long time. Madame Speaker emphasised that the conflict was terminated with the signing of the tripartite statement by the presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia and the prime minister of Armenia in November 2020. Meanwhile, a new reality has set in across the region.
The open political and moral support that the brotherly Turkey and Pakistan extended to our just struggle was telling of the high level attained by the alliance of our states, according to Mrs Gafarova.
The Chair of the Milli Majlis also underscored the vast importance of the active support of the brotherly countries’ parliaments to those processes in view of the presence and mounting gravity of biased and unfair approaches around the world.
Sahiba Gafarova opined that from efficient operation of the trilateral co-operation platform of the parliament chairs would stem a joint protection of our common national interests at international sites and, especially so, in the international parliamentary organisations. The victory of Azerbaijan in the 44 days’ Patriotic War and the cessation of the conflict that had lasted for thirty years brought about changes in the geopolitical landscape of the region, too. Preconditions for peace, stability and co-operation, for arrangement of transport and communication links in the region of the South Caucasus have been provided to date. Steps are being taken already to restore the Zangazur Corridor that will give Turkey and Azerbaijan immediate and more effective linkage.
The Chair of the Milli Majlis also drew the attention of the assembly to the fact that the Lapis Lazuli Corridor, set to join Afghanistan and the Central Asia with the South Caucasus and Turkey by way of the Caspian Sea, was expanding the regional transport connexions gradually as it was. And launching the Zangazur Corridor will mean making real effective operation of a transport artery that will stretch from the brotherly Pakistan to the equally brotherly Turkey, according to her.
Sahiba Gafarova went further to express a confidence that the matters encompassed by the Baku Declaration, which had been adopted in conclusion of the first meeting of the chairs of the three fraternal states’ parliaments in this new format, would promote the strengthening of the parliamentary dimension of the evolution of our states’ relations.
Going on, Madame Speaker emphasised the importance of condemning the refusal by the Republic of Armenia to release minefield maps and of signalling the solidarity with Azerbaijan in Azerbaijan’s efforts to recover the liberated territories and put the displaced people back in their native lands.
Chair of the Pakistani Parliament Asad Qaiser congratulated the people of Azerbaijan on the victory in the 44-day Patriotic War, saying that that victory of the Azerbaijanis secured under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev had also been celebrated in Pakistan.
According to Asad Qaiser, the format of the trilateral meeting of the parliament chairs was a great opportunity that should be seized and used with due gain, to which end Mr Qaiser voiced a number of proposals of his. He also touched on the importance of co-operating in trade, tourism and employment of human resources. It was said that it would be very useful to establish culture centres of Azerbaijan and Turkey in Pakistan, to shoot feature films jointly and to arrange student exchanges.
Then spoke Chair of the Great National Assembly of Turkey Mustafa Şentop who praised the first-of-the-kind trilateral meeting of the fraternal parliaments’ chairs held in Baku. Progress is impossible without fending off the threats posed to our countries and the region, Mr Şentop pointed out before saying that, to his mind, the defence, transport, trade, energy and education activities constituted the cornerstone of the three-way co-operation. The Shusha Declaration will be recognised as the starting step taken up that path, in Mr Şentop’s opinion. The Baku Declaration being signed today was as significant, he added before saying that it was important that Armenia should respond to Azerbaijan’s call for a peaceful settlement.
Following that, Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova, Chair of the Great National Assembly of Turkey Mustafa Şentop and Chair of the National Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Asad Qaiser attached their respective signatures to the Baku Declaration.
Sahiba Gafarova commented that the document was to make a special contribution to the reinforcement of the strategic bonds amongst our countries.
Thus ended the First Trilateral Meeting of the chairs of the parliaments of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan.
The Press and Public Relations Department
The Milli Majlis