Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan Interested in Strengthening Partnership with USA

Azerbaijan is interested in further strengthening of cooperation with the United States in the political, economic and energy spheres. This was said by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on March 31 at a meeting in Washington with the Vice-President of the United States Joe Biden.

As the statement posted on the website of the Azerbaijani President says, Biden said that Washington attaches great importance to meetings with President Ilham Aliyev, which serve expansion of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the United States, raising relations to a new level. He stressed that the United States strongly supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, and it is of great importance for the United States.

The US Vice-President noted that there are good opportunities for further expansion of bilateral ties in all fields, including in the economic sphere. He said the two countries have established good cooperation in the field of security and peacekeeping operations, and praised the active participation and contribution of Azerbaijan in the international anti-terrorist coalition in Afghanistan. Joe Biden also noted the importance of the steps taken, aimed at identifying opportunities for cooperation of the United States and Azerbaijan in the sphere of defense. The Vice-President pointed out that the United States fully supports the activities of Azerbaijan related to the implementation of the project Southern Gas Corridor, and takes the necessary steps in this regard.

President Ilham Aliyev brought to attention that Azerbaijan holds "reforms in all areas, to ensure the freedom of thought, press, of assembly, and the Internet." The Head of State informed in detail about the position of Azerbaijan related to the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. President Ilham Aliyev expressed his gratitude for the strong position of the United States in the settlement of the conflict, and stressed the importance of its resolution.

The Head of State stressed that the position of Barack Obama as the President of a Co-Chair country - the United States about the inadmissibility of the status quo is essential. President Ilham Aliyev noted that the US role in the peaceful settlement of the conflict through negotiations is essential. The Head of State stressed that Azerbaijan is interested in further strengthening of cooperation with the United States in the political, economic and energy spheres.

The sides expressed interest in a strong and long-term cooperation between the two countries.

The meeting was attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry. -06D--

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