The official Oslo attaches great significance to issues related to holding fair and transparent elections in Azerbaijan, the NorwayвЂ™s state secretary Kim Trovik stated on 31 August on arrival in Baku, Trend reports.
Kim Trovik noted, the purpose of the visit is development of the Azerbaijani-Norwegian cooperation, discussion of regional issues, in particular, the Nagorno-Karabakh problem settlement and implementation of regional projects.
He reminded, the Norwegian В"StatoilВ" is one of the largest investors into the oil and gas sector of Azerbaijan, voicing the hope, that bilateral economic relations will develop also in future.
As for the NorwayвЂ™s stance on the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, Trovik noted, the official Oslo attaches great significance to issues, related to holding parliamentary elections in conformity with the international standards.
Commenting on the position of the Norwegian government on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Minister noted, вЂњNorway supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk group and stands for continuation of peace talksВ".
В"The official Oslo is rather optimistic and hopes, the meetings of Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia will bring positive results in the endвЂќ, the Minister underscored.
В"Holding democratic elections is one of the commitments assumed by Baku for the Council of Europe and other international organizations. Undoubtedly, results of the voting are the sovereign choice of the people of Azerbaijan.
However, we stand for all candidates to create equal conditionsвЂќ, Trovik said, reminding, 6 short-term and 3 long-term observers will be involved in the monitoring of the elections.
Touching upon the issue of implementation of the project for supporting the South Caucasus states, performed by the Norwegian government together with UNDP, the diplomat noted, that within the project Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia will be allocated totally 10 million of USD till the end of 2007.
В"One third of this amount will be given to AzerbaijanвЂќ, Trovik noted, adding thanks to development of cooperation between Oslo and Baku large investments were made in the AzerbaijanвЂ™s economy.
В"For today, the government of Norway elaborates a number of new joint projects in regard to AzerbaijanвЂќ, the state secretary said, noting that joint cooperation presupposes implementation of programs in the development of democratic institution, energy projects, as well as measures on support of refugees and internally displaced persons.