The presidents of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Turkmenistan had a wide-ranging meeting
On December 14, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the President of Turkmenistan Sardar Berdimuhamedov had a meeting in the city of Turkmenbashi.
Qazet.az report that the head of state spoke at the meeting. - Honorable President of Turkmenistan Sardar Gurbangulyevich Berdimuhamedov.
Dear President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Dear friends. I am visiting brother Turkmenistan for the second time this year and I am very happy to be here again. I would like to express my gratitude to President Sardar Berdimuhamedov for the high-level organization and hospitality of the Tripartite Summit. We are happy to witness the progress of Turkmenistan through stable and dynamic development and to see its achievements. Azerbaijan, Turkey and Turkmenistan are closely connected with each other by ethnic, religious and cultural roots and common moral values.
We are rightfully proud of the rich historical and cultural heritage of our people and their great contributions to human civilization. Azerbaijan's political relations with both Turkey and Turkmenistan are at a high level. The Shusha Declaration we signed with Turkey last year brought our relations to the level of strategic alliance. In 2017, the Declaration on strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan was signed.
Our countries provide mutual support and cooperate with each other within the framework of international organizations, including the UN, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Organization of Turkic States,
OSCE and other institutions. Our relations built on historical bonds create opportunities for the development of cooperation between our countries in economy, trade, transport-logistics and other fields. In January-October 2022, Azerbaijan's trade turnover with Turkey increased by 45 percent and reached 5 billion dollars.
About 20 billion dollars have been invested from Azerbaijan to Turkey's economy, and about 14 billion dollars have been invested from Turkey to Azerbaijan's economy. This year, trade turnover with Turkmenistan increased 5 times. This is a record indicator. Azerbaijan, Turkey and Turkmenistan have achieved great success in the field of transport and logistics.
Many projects have been implemented by our countries, which in turn open up new opportunities for cooperation in the field of transport connections. Investments in this field in all three countries have served to create new, modern infrastructure.
Azerbaijan is an active participant in the East-West and North-South transport corridors and has implemented all major projects related to railway, road transport and air transport in its territory. As a result, Azerbaijan has become an important transit country.
In the first 10 months of 2022, the volume of total transit transportation through the territory of Azerbaijan has increased by more than 80 percent compared to the corresponding period of last year. Currently, we are actively engaged in the opening of the Zangezur corridor. 40 percent of the works on the railway line and 70 percent on the highway have been completed in the part of the Zangezur corridor that passes through the territory of Azerbaijan.
All works will be completed in 2024, resulting in a new transport corridor. Baku International Sea Trade Port has an annual handling capacity of 15 million tons, and it is planned to allocate funds to increase this volume to 25 million tons. Last year, the foundation of the Alat Free Economic Zone, located on the coast of the Caspian Sea, was laid, and the first residents are already there. We invite companies from Turkey and Turkmenistan to benefit from the opportunities of this Zone. In 2017, together with my dear brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan, we inaugurated the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. More than 100 million additional dollars will be invested in this project and its transmission capacity will be increased from the current 1 million to 5 million tons. Azerbaijan has the largest merchant fleet in the Caspian Sea with more than 50 cargo ships.
The Baku shipyard, commissioned in 2013, is currently operating at full capacity. Any type of ships can be built in this factory. Azerbaijan has one of the largest civil air cargo fleets in our region with 18 cargo planes. It is planned to add 9 more aircraft to our cargo fleet over the next 10 years. Currently, there are 8 international airports operating in Azerbaijan. The President of Turkey, my dear brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan, participated in the opening of the Fuzuli and Zangilan airports built in the liberated territories. It is planned to open the 9th international airport of our country in Lachin, freed from occupation, in 2024. At the end of 2020, as a result of the Victory achieved in the 44-day Patriotic War, our lands were freed from the 30-year occupation of Armenia. The Karabakh conflict was resolved and this Victory created a favorable opportunity for new transport and communication projects in the region.
Currently, there are new challenges and threats in the world. For this reason, expansion of cooperation between our countries in fields such as security, defense, and defense industry is of great importance, along with other fields.
I would like to emphasize once again the importance of the meeting in the tripartite format of Azerbaijan-Turkey-Turkmenistan. I hope that such meetings will be held regularly from now on and will greatly contribute to the further development of relations between our brotherly countries.