Presenting his credentials to President Ilham Aliyev, Ambassador Fergus Auld said in Azerbaijani:
-Dear Mr. President, good morning. I am very pleased to present my credentials to you.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you.
The head of state then spoke with the ambassador.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said:
-Mr. Ambassador, Good morning. First of all, I would like to express gratitude for learning Azerbaijani. We had an opportunity to see each other and I discovered that your Azerbaijani is almost fluent and this was really big surprise. And at the same time this demonstrates your respect to our culture, to our language. And I know that you spent several weeks prior to your appointment as an Ambassador in one of the regions of Azerbaijan and this is another demonstration of high level of responsibility you treat to your new assignment. And I am sure that during your stay in our country you will have an opportunity to discover Azerbaijan more and will contribute substantially to future development of our cooperation, including in the area which is not a traditional area of our cooperation to discover new areas of potential partnership. Because the traditional and main areas of our cooperation already demonstrated a great progress and big achievement, I mean energy which today becomes even more important than ever before not only for Azerbaijan but also for a broader region. But I think now we need to look beyond energy to see what we can do on trade, how to enhance mutual trade development, trade turnover, tourism, people-to-people-contacts. We have good, I think, already records in the area of education. And you know many Azerbaijanis studied and continue to study in UK. But also to bring some more dynamism and some framework for that cooperation. In general, we are very satisfied with the level of partnership. For many years UK and Azerbaijan demonstrate high level of political dialogue, respect of mutual interests and close cooperation in different areas. UK is our biggest investor and strategic partner in traditional and now, I am sure, will be in renewable sources of energy. And you know that we are close to making an important step in that direction. You are starting your activity in Azerbaijan in absolutely different environment here. Because after the resolution of Karabakh conflict situation in the region changed completely. We think this is now a window of opportunity to capitalize on positive dynamic on bringing long-lasting and sustainable peace to our region. Our position is very clear. We not only articulated but we publicly made several important proposals which may lead to a long-lasting peace, stability, security and normal neighborhood. And we count on the support of UK government. We know that your government is at the same agenda for the region – peace, stability, security, cooperation. Therefore, I am sure that in the coming years we will work actively with your government officials, with you, your team here to speed up the process of normalization between Azerbaijan and Armenia. We have really very long agenda.
Once again thank you for this sign of high respect to our culture and wish you success in your new duties. So, welcome, Mr. Ambassador.
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Speaking in Azerbaijani, Ambassador Fergus Auld said:
- Dear Mr. President.
On behalf of Great Britain, I would like to once again thank you for visiting our Embassy to offer condolences on behalf of the people of Azerbaijan over the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
It is the second anniversary of the terrible rocket attack on the city of Ganja today. I would like to express my condolences to the families of those who died on that tragic day. I would also like to express my condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives in the war two years ago and in landmine explosions after the fighting ended. Great Britain wishes to achieve peace in the region as soon as possible.
Dear Mr. President, as I told you when we met at the British Embassy, I came to Azerbaijan for the first time as a student of the Azerbaijani language. I lived with a local family in Ganja for six weeks, ate their food and shared their life. As you told me, this study showed my deep respect for your culture and a desire to understand your great country. I was impressed by my welcome and the hospitality of your people. I am very glad that I have now returned to Azerbaijan as an Ambassador and a friend. I do hope that the water in the new glass will be refreshing.
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President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you. While you were speaking, I thought that look, what a time, what a path we passed, UK ambassador talks in Azerbaijani, Azerbaijani president talks English and we understand each other.