Baku, Sofia intensify energy, transport ties
Adelegation led by Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov went for an official visit to Bulgaria on October 30.
The delegation included representatives of the Azerbaijani parliament, the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies.
As part of the visit, Mammadyarov held meetings with high-ranking officials of Bulgaria.
On the sidelines of the visit, Mammadyarov met with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev.
Mammadyarov delivered best wishes of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to the Bulgarian president.
Rumen Radev, in turn, highly appreciated the launch of BakuSophia direct flight, following the joint statement made together with President Ilham Aliyev during his visit to Azerbaijan in October 2017. The important role of the direct flight, especially with a view to developing ties between the sides in the field of tourism was underlined.
The signing of the “Joint Statement between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Bulgaria on Strategic Partnership” during the official visit of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to Bulgaria was highlighted in terms of paving way for establishment of favorable political grounds for further development of the relationship.
Then, Mammadyarov held meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Bulgaria Ekaterina Zakharieva.
The sides emphasized that the bilateral relations between the two states on the level of strategic partnership are based on the norms and principles of international law, particularly on the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of international recognized borders, as well as on mutual understanding and trust.
The ministers highly appreciated the current level of cooperation between the two states and underlined the existence of mutual interest and wide potential for development of cooperation in the fields of energy, transport, agriculture, tourism, ICT and environment.
After the bilateral exchange, the first meeting of the Strategic Dialogue of Azerbaijan and Bulgaria was held between the delegations of the both sides.
At the meeting wide range of issues of the bilateral cooperation agenda, including bilateral economic and trade relations, implementation of the projects in the fields of energy, transport and transit, partnership relations of Azerbaijan with the European Union, cooperation of Azerbaijan and Bulgaria within regional and international organizations, and other issues of mutual interest were discussed.
Further, Azerbaijani Minister was received by Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications of Bulgaria Rossen Jeliazkov and Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova.
At the meetings, the sides highlighted the existing opportunities for developing the beneficial cooperation between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria in the fields of energy and transport and confirmed the mentioned two fields to be the key components of the bilateral relations.
The importance of the export of the Azerbaijani gas to Europe in the framework of the Southern Gas Corridor project initiated and implemented by Azerbaijan and in this regard, providing gas to Bulgaria via Greece-Bulgaria Gas Interconnector was underlined.
It was noted that the issue of engagement of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) in gasification of Bulgaria is on the agenda.
Also, the ministers underlined the significant role that Azerbaijan and Bulgaria play with their advantageous geographic location in terms of promoting the international cargo transportation between Asia and Europe.
As part of his visit to Bulgaria, Mammadyarov also met with Speaker of the National Assembly of Bulgaria Tsveta Karayancheva.
The Bulgarian speaker recalled with pleasure her visit to Azerbaijan in September 2018, aimed at attending the ceremony dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijani Parliament.
The sides exchanged their views on the energy and transport projects implemented with the initiative and participation of Azerbaijan, as well as the involvement of the Bulgarian companies in these projects.
Furthermore, the sides stressed that these projects have a huge potential from the point of development of economic ties between the two countries and underlined the necessity of continuation of the activities in this field.
At the meeting, the sides also exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest.
Moreover, the Azerbaijani foreign minister held meeting with Bulgarian Minister of Education and Science Krasimir Valchev, during which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in education between the sides was signed.