Oktay's remarks came on the sidelines of the Turkey-Azerbaijan Eighth Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting, which was held in Azerbaijan's capital of Baku and co-chaired by Oktay and Azerbaijan Prime Minister Novruz Mammadov.
In his address, Oktay said that they signed the Eighth Term Joint Economic Commission Protocol with Mammadov. Noting that Turkey and Azerbaijan were two major economic powers in the region, the vice president stressed that the synergy created by the transformation of this power to higher levels of cooperation would contribute to the welfare of the people of the two countries and stability in the region.
He said that the positive progress in Turkish-Azerbaijani relations was observed not only in trade relations but also in mutual investments and that the bilateral trade volume, $296 million in 2002, reached $3.2 billion as of the end of 2018.
Three U.N. Security Council resolutions and two U.N. General Assembly resolutions refer to Karabakh as being part of Azerbaijan, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe refers to the region as being occupied by Armenian forces.
The Armenian occupation of Karabakh led to the closing of the frontier with Turkey, which sides with Baku in the dispute.
In his address yesterday, Oktay said they have reflected their will in the action plan they signed yesterday. "We will continue our solidarity with Azerbaijan on all platforms to keep the issue on the agenda of international public opinion. The decisions taken by our commission today are indicative of our determination to move our economic relations further in many areas from trade to energy, from transportation to education, from agriculture to health based on concrete actions. I hope that the commercial and economic relations between our countries will reach the levels that will reflect our fellowship as soon as possible," he added.
On the other hand, Azerbaijan Prime Minister Novruz Mammadov said 147 topics were discussed in the meeting, underlining that 100% agreement was achieved on all issues. Mammadov said that all issues were included in the protocol, saying this productive meeting would contribute to the development of close cooperation between the two sister countries. Oktay and Mammadov later signed the Turkey-Azerbaijan 8th Joint Economic Commission Protocol.
Earlier in the day, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met Oktay in the capital Baku. Their meeting at the Azerbaijan Presidency lasted one hour. Oktay arrived in Baku on Sunday to attend the 8th meeting of Turkey-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Commission and Turkey-Azerbaijan Business Forum.
Marking the 101st anniversary of the liberation of the Azerbaijani capital Baku, Oktay expressed hope for a much better Baku and a more developed Azerbaijan. During the meeting, Oktay also highlighted the importance of the Joint Economic Commission for the further development of economic relations between the two countries. The two sides agreed on cooperation in the defense industry, agriculture and pharmaceutical sectors.
Earlier in the day, Oktay visited the Alley of Honors and Alley of Martyrs in Baku to pay tribute to the national leader of the modern Azerbaijani state Heydar Aliyev and to the fallen Turk soldiers.
On Sept. 15, 1918, Baku was liberated by the Islamic Army of the Caucasus, consisting of Azerbaijani and Turkish soldiers. The army protected the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in 1918 and laid the foundation for Azerbaijan's independence in 1991.
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