On an official visit to the Russian Federation, First Vice-president of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva met with President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, November 22.
The Russian President presented the state award to First Vice-president of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva, whom he conferred on the Friendship Order by the Decree signed on August 13.
Welcoming Azerbaijan’s First Vice-president at the meeting, which took place in the residence of the head of the Russian state, Vladimir Putin said:
-Dear Mehriban Arifovna.
Let me welcome you as the First Vice-president, in which capacity you had not visited Moscow to date. I know that your visit has a very big and rich programme. Chairperson of the Russian Federation’s Government Dmitri Medvedev has already reported to me of his meeting with you. I know there was a topic to have a discussion about. First, I mean the growing volume of our trade and economic relations. The commodity turnover has increased by 26 percent over the course of the nine months of the current year. This is a serious index. We have been maintaining relations in almost all directions – at the level of parliaments, and public organizations.
With the Azerbaijani President, we have formed very kind relations relying on trust. I know that tomorrow, you are going to open the 10th Interregional Forum together with Valentina Ivanovna. I think this is a very significant direction of our cooperation, as a significant part of our mutual activities are carried out on the regional level. I want to thank you for accepting our offer and coming on a visit to Moscow.
First Vice-president of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva said:
- Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich. First, I want to sincerely thank you for inviting me to come on a visit to Russia. I am very pleased to be in Moscow. Moscow is a close and friendly city for me. I have spent my student years here. Each time I come to Moscow, I see it more beautiful. I want to thank you for decorating me with a state award of the Russian Federation – the Friendship Order. This is a high appreciation of my activities towards strengthening the Russia-Azerbaijan relations.
Taking this opportunity, I want to convey the greetings and best wishes of the Azerbaijani President. He highly appreciates his relations with you, and pays special attention to the Russia-Azerbaijan ties. Regular meetings between you and Ilham Aliyev define multilateral and dynamic nature of our bilateral relations. I want also to convey the offer of the Azerbaijani President to come on a visit to our country at a convenient for you time.
Relations between our countries enjoy strong and kind neighbourhood and friendship traditions. Relations with the Russian Federation have their special place in Azerbaijan’s foreign policy. As you mentioned, we have been observing a positive dynamics in all directions. There is a regular political dialogue at the level of states. Azerbaijan and Russia have been supporting each other on the international arena. As you stated, the economic cooperation is already yielding its fruits, and this is rejoicing.
I want to mention that the number of Russian tourists visiting Azerbaijan is growing constantly. Last year, 900 thousand Russian tourists visited Azerbaijan. We expects that index to increase this year.
I want to underscore our relations in the humanitarian sphere in particular. I think these relations are exemplary. You know that the Russian culture and language are treated with great respect in Azerbaijan. Branches of the Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Sechenov Moscow State First Medical University are operating successfully in Baku. As of this year, implementation of a programme of dual master’s diplomas of the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy and the Moscow State International Relations Institute got underway. At 338 schools in Azerbaijan, teaching is conducted in Russian, with Russian sections functioning in 14 higher schools. 11 thousand Azerbaijani students are studying in Russia and, of course, the Russian speaking community uniting thousands of people has been worthily contributing to the country’s general development.
Once more thank you for the warm reception, and your hospitality. I am sure, the Azerbaijan-Russia relations will advance further for the sake of the peoples of Azerbaijan and Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said:
- Dear Mehriban Arifovna.
As you know that we were supposed to switch to the official part, however, I cannot, anyway, not to react to the point you have just mentioned, which relates, in particular, to our humanitarian relations and how the Russian language is treated in Azerbaijan. Actually, Azerbaijan is one of the former Soviet Union republics where – we feel this – the Russian culture, the Russian language has been enjoying a high-level treatment. I know that you, personally, have always participated in it. The President too has supported this. We highly appreciate this. Because this basis allows us to develop our relations in all directions, including the economic and humanitarian ties, in a broad sense of word. We thank you for that, and we will do whatever is required to support this tendency. I think this is our common treasure, as this allows people to have intercourse without any obstacles and hindrances, contributing to advancing the relations both between persons, as well as at the state level.
First Vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva: That is true, without a doubt, Vladimir Vladimirovich. This is a state policy in Azerbaijan. I think we have to pay more attention to this in future, as the young generation is growing. Our generation has common roots, and common history. Therefore, the humanitarian relations between people, in particular, the young generation, should be preserved, and strengthened further.
President Vladimir Putin: Convey my best wishes to the Azerbaijani President. I am hopeful I will be honoured to meet him in Petersburg on December 20.
First Vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva: Thank You for the invitation.
President Vladimir Putin: Let me switch to the official part, as you have already mentioned. First, I want to mention that this state award, the Friendship Order is, on the one hand, a formal matter, yet, on the other hand, is a decision well thought, to which I would like to draw your attention. Simply not because you have visited us, and not because you are one of the persons holding a high office. This is associated with your activities, and with the fact that you have maintained these relations on a high level. We appreciate this very highly. The name of the order reflects the works you have carried out towards advancing the relations between Russia and Azerbaijan. It sounds just so: The Friendship order. Thank You for your activities and your friendship.
First Vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva: Thank You.
The Order of the Russian President on decorating Azerbaijan’s First Vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva with the Friendship Order for her services to advancing and strengthening of the Russia-Azerbaijan relations was read.
Russian President Vladimir Putin presented the Friendship Order to First Vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva.
First Vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva said: I want to thank you for this order. In your congratulation letter, you called me a true friend of Russia. I have to say that it is a great honour to hear such a high appreciation from the President of the Russian Federation. I am very pleased to have made such contribution to the strengthening of our strategic partnership. Thank you very much.
President Vladimir Putin: Thank you.
First Vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva: Thank you.