Daily Sabah, Turkey
April 5 2014

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Azerbaijani
President Haydar Aliyev to discuss joint energy investments and the
Gulen Movement's damaging activities in both countries

by Mehmet Ali Berber Updated : 05.04.2014 00:12:04 Published :
05.04.2014 00:10:07

BAKU -- On his first foreign visit after last Sunday's local elections,
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets with Azerbaijani President
İlham Aliyev and both reiterate their commitment to the Trans Anatolia
Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP), which aims to fulfill both
Turkey and Europe's energy needs. The leaders said they are aiming to
begin the building of the pipeline by the end of the year and start
transporting gas in 2018.

In line with Turkish political tradition, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdoğan visited Azerbaijan right after the March 30 local elections
resulted in a decisive victory for his Justice and Development Party
(AK Party). Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev and
Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan discussed various topics from large
joint economic investments to the Gulen Movement's harmful actions
in both countries.

In the meeting, Erdoğan stressed that both governments should take
urgent steps to confront the movement and prevent it from spoiling
cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan. Aliyev confirmed that the
Azerbaijani government is conducting an investigation into the illegal
Gulenist structure in his country. In a press conference following
the meeting, Erdoğan stated that the two countries would never let
anyone harm their relations.

During the bilateral discussion between the two leaders, Erdoğan
brought a file to the table focusing on Gulenists who infiltrated large
joint projects. As sources noted, the leaders agreed to take steps
against those infiltrators who could threaten such crucial and costly
projects. Both leaders acknowledged their confidence in one another
and the importance of close relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan.

In the press conference, Erdoğan said, "I believe Turkey and
Azerbaijan will realize fruitful investments together, especially in
the field of energy. Close relations and cooperation between Turkey
and Azerbaijan will continue in future. In the bilateral discussion,
we had opportunity to talk over these projects in detail."

Emphasizing the significance of the Trans-Anatolia Pipeline (TANAP),
Erdoğan said Turkey is doing its share of the project and is launching
the expropriation program of the fields through which the pipeline
will pass.

Experts say the TANAP, which is a multi-dimensional project, has
various significances for Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Emphasizing the magnitude of the project, experts note Turkey and
Azerbaijan are attempting to build TANAP in a period during which
governments are tightening their belts all around the world. "We will
firmly preserve our attitude toward the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, which
we have had up to now," said Erdoğan. "We will never make concessions
on this point. I, once again, want especially the ones watching their
TVs to know that. "

Azerbaijani president İlham Aliyev was asked about the Gulen Movement.

Aliyev replied that many issues in a wide range were discussed in
the meeting. "We will never allow anything to harm our relations,
even in the least," said Aliyev. "We stand by each other in every
matter. We will support each other in both good and bad times. This
is what brotherhood requires."

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress