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President Aliyev Hosts Official Dinner for President Zourabichvil

The official dinner was held at the Presidential Palace in Ganjlik. President Zourabichvili and President Aliyev made official toasts, highlighting the exemplary friendship between Georgia and Azerbaijan.

“Your reception proves that hospitality is one of the common features of our nations; this is a local, unchanging tradition of the Caucasus.

Today’s visit reaffirms the good-neighborly and friendly relations between Georgia and Azerbaijan. 

I would like to mention Ali bey Huseynzade, a great Azerbaijani historic figure and author of 'Becoming a Turk, Muslim and European (modernization)'.

Like Ali bey Huseynzade for Azerbaijanis, Ilia Chavchavadze is a hero for us, Georgians. His words, ‘homeland, language, faith’ have become a national slogan for Georgia. Ilia Chavchavadze was preaching the idea of Europeanization. 

Georgians and Azerbaijanis went the path towards freedom and state development together. Having gone the same path, we have common goals ahead.

We both restored independence in 1918; we formed a short-lived federation; we lost independence and went through the tough Soviet times. Also, we restored our independence at the same time.

The soviet period is a heavy burden to bear. Conflicts and violation of territorial integrity are tragedies for the both countries. We still fight together for restoring and recognizing our territorial integrity in international organizations, from the UN to UNESCO. Despite these tragedies, we were able to build modern states, develop modern economics and carry out large-scale projects.

We made the Caucasus visible on the world map. You are visible on this map as one of the largest producers of gas and oil, while we – as an important transit country. Our three countries, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey have become the cornerstone of this region's energy routes.

This is not the full potential of the Caucasus. Considering its exceptional location and unique opportunities, we have a major role to perform.

Our countries are located on the road connecting Asia to Europe, China to the West, and the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea. Interest in these transport corridors gradually increases.

In order to use the full potential of these roads and highlight their importance, our region should maintain stability and peace. We all need more investments, more partners, more tourists, and more markets. All these depend on our stability.

Culture is an integral part of stability and progress. Our countries should establish a decent place in the world and in the European community, which, aside economics, involves culture.

I believe that the time has come Georgia and Azerbaijan to use their culture as their business cards. We think about new strategies: joint economic projects, large-scale cultural projects.

During my recent visit to UNESCO, several important directions have been identified. Among them is the industrial heritage. This means that the discovery of oil in Baku and the development of industry at the beginning of the last century can be recognized as an industrial heritage monument. We are ready to share our experience and, if you have a will, we can jointly present the industrial heritage of the Caucasus (Baku, Railway, and Poti).

This will be a great honor for me personally, because my ancestor - Niko Nikoladze was actively involved in these initiatives and was in touch with capitalists who were working in the Caucasus at that time. These capitalists were Nobels in your country and Rothschilds in our country.

Let us not forget that the history of oil industry is a history of peace in our region. Presenting this history to the world will bring only benefits to our nations and change a false impression on the region that is only identified with conflicts.

Many projects may be carried out in the areas of culture and economy that will connect our countries, peoples, and young people closer to one another.

Our capitals should cooperate more actively; your traditional thread-works, painters, composers, and writers should be promoted; forums should be held on topical issues, for example, environmental protection, because we are responsible for protecting biodiversity of the Caucasus. For this purpose, we have to work in international organizations, also at the world conferences.

We should not forget that Georgians and Azerbaijanis living in our countries draw us closer to one another.

Tomorrow I will meet with Ethnic Georgians living in Azerbaijan. We feel very close to them and we would like to take care of them the same way you want to help Ethnic Azerbaijanis living in Georgia. These peoples bind our countries together.

I wish we would restore the territorial integrity of our countries through our joint efforts and a good will of our small or large neighbors.

This is a precondition for strengthening peace and stability in the region that is located on one of the most interesting crossroads of cultures and civilizations. We are responsible to the world to protect our uniqueness!” President Zourabichvili said.

According to President Aliyev, Georgia and Azerbaijan have good opportunities and prospects for developing bilateral relations in the areas of tourism, agriculture, information technology, science, education, and culture.

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