Ital­ian FM de­scribes re­la­tions with Azer­bai­jan as strate­gic

Azer News - - Front Page - By Amina Nazarli

Ital­ian Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs and In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion An­gelino Al­fano has de­scribed his coun­try`s re­la­tions with Azer­bai­jan as strate­gic, as he met his Azer­bai­jani coun­ter­part El­mar Mam­mad­yarov on April 21.

Ital­ian Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs and In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion An­gelino Al­fano has de­scribed his coun­try`s re­la­tions with Azer­bai­jan as strate­gic, as he met his Azer­bai­jani coun­ter­part El­mar Mam­mad­yarov on April 21.

Al­fano char­ac­ter­ized Azer­bai­jan as a crit­i­cal and re­li­able part­ner and called re­la­tions with Azer­bai­jan strate­gic, the for­eign min­istry re­ported.

He hailed high level po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue be­tween the two coun­tries, fur­ther elab­o­rat­ing the im­por­tance of re­la­tions in the field of en­ergy and sig­nif­i­cance of TAP project.

The Ital­ian min­is­ter added that there is a wide range of op­por­tu­ni­ties in deep­en­ing eco­nomic re­la­tions along other sec­tors.

Mam­mad­yarov, in turn, said that Azer­bai­jan and Italy en­joy strate­gic part­ner­ship re­la­tions, as it was en­shrined in the Joint State­ment adopted dur­ing the visit of the Azer­bai­jani Pres­i­dent to Italy in 2014.

He un­der­lined that Italy is the big­gest trade part­ner of Azer­bai­jan in the Euro­pean Union. He also stressed the sig­nif­i­cance of re­la­tions in hu­man­i­tar­ian area, and high­lighted the ac­tiv­i­ties of the Hey­dar Aliyev Foun­da­tion.

Mam­mad­yarov put spe­cial stress on the South­ern Gas Cor­ri­dor and TANAP and TAP projects as its cru­cial com­po­nents.

The SGC project – that has al­ready be­gan to take shape as a se­ries of pipe­lines which will carry Azer­bai­jani sup­plies to Europe – is a unique project open­ing up route for Caspian en­ergy sources.

Mam­mad­yarov also gave in­for­ma­tion on North-South and EastWest trans­port cor­ri­dors and praised the promis­ing co­op­er­a­tion in this di­rec­tion as mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial.

The FM also spoke of Azer­bai­janEuro­pean Union co­op­er­a­tion and ne­go­ti­a­tion process on strate­gic part­ner­ship agree­ment.

Touch­ing upon the ne­go­ti­a­tions on the set­tle­ment of the Ar­me­nia Azer­bai­jan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the min­is­ter stated the im­por­tance of EU's ex­press­ing com­mit­ment to the prin­ci­ples of ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity, sovereignty, in­de­pen­dence and in­vi­o­la­bil­ity of bor­ders of states in a com­mon and un­am­bigu­ous man­ner in re­spect of all con­flicts.

Pre­vi­ously, Mam­mad­yaromet with Italy’s Min­is­ter of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Carlo Cal­enda, who said that Italy in­tends to take se­ri­ous steps for de­vel­op­ment of co­op­er­a­tion with Azer­bai­jan in non-oil sec­tor.

Azer­bai­jan is an im­por­tant eco­nomic part­ner of Italy, Ital­ian com­pa­nies op­er­ate suc­cess­fully in Azer­bai­jan, par­tic­u­larly, in the en­ergy sec­tor, and it is nec­es­sary to take se­ri­ous steps in order to con­tinue this co­op­er­a­tion, said Cal­enda.

The two min­is­ters ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion with the level of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions both in po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic spheres, and noted the im­por­tance of con­tin­u­ing the ef­forts to fur­ther strengthen the ties.

In 2016, the trade turnover be­tween Azer­bai­jan and Italy amounted to $1.89 bil­lion de­creas­ing by 33.5 per­cent as com­pared to 2015. Italy, which has been rank­ing first among ma­jor trade part­ners of Azer­bai­jan dur­ing eight years, was the third in late 2016.

How­ever, in early 2017, Italy again be­came the leader among Azer­bai­jan’s trade part­ners. Ac­cord­ing to Azer­bai­jan’s State Cus­toms Com­mit­tee, the two coun­tries’ trade turnover amounted to $461.5 mil­lion in Jan­uary-March 2017, in­creas­ing by 41.4 per­cent as com­pared to the 1Q2016.

Dur­ing his visit, Mam­mad­yarov also vis­ited one of the old­est and most pres­ti­gious think tank cen­tres in Rome - So­ci­ety for In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion (SIOI).

Mam­mad­yarov and SIOI pres­i­dent Franco Frat­tini at­tended the open­ing of a photo ex­hi­bi­tion on the 25th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween Azer­bai­jan and Italy.

The ex­hi­bi­tion widely cov­ered the his­tory of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries, as well as high-level vis­its, the events or­ga­nized in Italy to pro­mote Azer­bai­jan's re­al­i­ties and cul­ture.

Fol­low­ing the photo ex­hi­bi­tion, SIOI hosted a con­fer­ence ded­i­cated to the 25th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween Azer­bai­jan and Italy.

Frat­tini, addressing the event, shared his im­pres­sions of his visit to Azer­bai­jan and in­formed about the role of the coun­try in re­gional and in­ter­na­tional pol­icy.

High­light­ing the de­vel­op­ment of re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries, Benedetto Della Ve­dova, Deputy Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs and In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion said that Italy-Azer­bai­jan co­op­er­a­tion is based on a solid foun­da­tion. Deputy Min­is­ter also men­tioned that re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries have reached strate­gic part­ner­ship level.

In turn, Mam­mad­yarov spoke off the pri­or­i­ties of Azer­bai­jan's for­eign pol­icy, stress­ing de­vel­op­ment prospects of Azer­bai­jan-Italy re­la­tions.

The min­is­ter also in­formed about his­tory of the coun­try's in­de­pen­dence, Ar­me­nian ag­gres­sion against Azer­bai­jan and its se­ri­ous con­se­quences, set­tle­ment process on res­o­lu­tion of the conflict, en­ergy and trans­port strat­egy, as well as TANAP and TAP projects, con­tri­bu­tions to in­ter­na­tional peace and security, the pro­mo­tion of mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism and in­ter-religious di­a­logue, Azer­bai­jan’s re­la­tions with Italy and the Euro­pean Union.

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