Kars Statement of the Fourth Trilateral Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Turkey, 10 December 2014, Kars

At the invitation of H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, and with participation of H.E. Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan and H.E. Mrs. Tamar Beruchashvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, the Fourth Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the three countries was held in Kars, Turkey, on 10 December 2014.

The Ministers:

Underlined that enhancing bilateral and trilateral cooperation among their countries serves their common purposes of strengthening stability in the region, increasing welfare of the three countries, creating more favorable environment for regional projects and investments, and facilitating people-to-people contacts;

Stressed the importance of regional cooperation, as laid out in the Trabzon Declaration of June 8, 2012, the Batumi Joint Communique of March 28, 2013 and Ganja Statement of February 19, 2014 as well as the mechanisms of such cooperation reflected in “Trilateral Sectoral Cooperation Action Plan for 2013-2015”, as effective tools for political dialogue and implementation of specific trilateral projects;

Expressed their satisfaction with the growing bilateral and trilateral cooperation among their countries and reaffirmed their strong commitment for further enhancing their cooperation based on the strategic partnership, good neighborliness, mutual respect and trust among the three countries;

Underlined the fact that the unresolved conflicts in the region continue to undermine peace, stability and economic development in the region and therefore require urgent solutions in compliance with the principle of respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the states within their internationally recognized borders;

Exchanged views on recent situation in the region, reiterated their firm support to each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and in this regard renewed their call for the earliest settlement of the conflict in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the conflict in Georgian regions of Abkhazia, and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, in accordance with the fundamental principles and norms of international law, particularly respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of the states;

Reaffirmed their commitment to hold regular trilateral consultations on issues of regional and global importance, which are of common interest, with a view to advancing cooperation and exploring opportunities of joint action;

Expressed their satisfaction with the expansion of the scope of the trilateral meetings and in particular welcomed the first trilateral summit of the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey held on May 6, 2014 in Tbilisi, which elevated the trilateral cooperation to the highest political level and confirmed the strong joint commitment to further advance the trilateral cooperation;

Appreciated the addition of a parliamentary dimension to the ongoing trilateral cooperation and in this regard welcomed the meetings of the Foreign Affairs Committees of their Parliaments held on April 22, 2014 in Baku and on November 27-28, 2014 in Batumi;

Also expressed satisfaction with the first meeting of the Ministers of Defense of the three countries held in August 2014 in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan, and noted the importance of holding the fourth meeting of the Ministers of Economy and the trilateral Business Forum;

Welcomed the growing trilateral cooperation in the field of energy which has gained additional dimension with the completion of the new high voltage power transmission lines among their countries, and expressed full support for the realization of the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project (TANAP), which constitutes the backbone of the Southern Gas Corridor, safeguarding energy security of all the countries involved;

Acknowledged the importance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway project as a competitive connection between Asia and Europe that will contribute to the expansion of trade and economic development in the region, and in this regard strongly encouraged their relevant authorities to do their utmost to complete the project as soon as possible;

Emphasized the pivotal position of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey on the East-West as well as North-South transport axis, welcomed the projects such as Baku International Sea Trade Port at the settlement of Alat, Anaklia New Deep Water Black See Port and the underwater tunnel in the Istanbul strait within the framework of “Marmaray” which will contribute to the revitalization of the Great Silk Road, and in this context agreed to increase their cooperation in promoting multimodal transportation through their countries by facilitating customs procedures and improving infrastructure;

Stressed the importance of continuing regular trilateral meetings and expanding them to other areas so as to enhance and diversify the existing dialogue and cooperation among their countries, including in the international organizations;

Agreed to hold their next trilateral meeting in 2015 in Georgia.

H.E. Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan

H.E. Mrs. Tamar Beruchashvili
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey