Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 18
On September 17, Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met with the President of the Italian Senate Elisabetta Casellati in the framework of his visit to Italy, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
At the meeting the sides expressed satisfaction with the Azerbaijani-Italian strategic partnership, the ongoing political dialogue between the two countries, the high level mutual visits, extensive economic cooperation, and intensive exchanges in the fields of culture, science and education.
The contribution of the inter-parliamentary cooperation to further developing the friendship relations between Azerbaijan and Italy was emphasized and regular visit exchanges of the parliamentary delegations and activities of inter-parliamentary friendship groups operating in the parliaments of both countries were highly valued.
Casellati noted that after the state visit of the Italian President Sergio Mattarella to Azerbaijan on July 18-19, 2018, the dynamics of high-level mutual visits between the two countries continued and the official visit of the First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva to Italy on September 25-26, 2018, her visit to Azerbaijan as the chair of the Italian Senate on October 18-19, 2018, and the official visit of the Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Ogtay Asadov to Italy on May 6-8, 2019 took place.
Stressing that she was received at the highest level during her official visit to Azerbaijan, M.E. Alberti Casellati with pleasure recalled her meeting with President Ilham Aiyev, and noted that this visit was a good opportunity to get familiar with the realities of Azerbaijan; she appreciated rich historical and cultural heritage, economic development and multicultural environment of Azerbaijan.
She praised the First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva's attention to cooperation between Azerbaijan and Italy in the fields of culture, science and education, also the projects implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Italy and their contribution to the preservation of the world’s cultural heritage.
Noting the existing mutually beneficial cooperation between Azerbaijan and Italy in all areas Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said that Italy is the main trade partner of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan is Italy's important supplier of crude oil and the largest export point in the South Caucasus. He said that Italian companies are successfully operating in the economy of Azerbaijan both in oil and non-oil sectors, as well as noted the existence of ample opportunities for deepening the economic cooperation.
Mammadyarov expressed confidence that Southern Gas Corridor and TAP project as its important component will contribute to the energy security of Europe, including Italy, as well as further strengthening of Azerbaijan-Italy partnership, and underlined the importance of completion of the project on agreed schedule.
The sides also exchanged views on cooperation between Azerbaijan and the European Union, Italy's contribution to this cooperation and regional security issues. Briefing his counterpart about Armenia's military aggression against Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov stressed the importance of resolving the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in accordance with international law, based on relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council within the framework of Azerbaijan's sovereignty, territorial integrity and internationally recognized borders.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.