Austrian FM: Azerbaijan, Austria have turning point in bilateral relations

Austrian FM: Azerbaijan, Austria have turning point in bilateral relations

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 18 / Trend E.Ostapenko /

The opening of the new Austrian Embassy and the Austrian Library in Baku will mark a turning point in bilateral relations between Austria and Azerbaijan. The Austrian delegation's visit will lead to a substantial strengthening and deepening of the relations, Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affairs Michael Spindelegger said.

"I am very much looking forward to my visit in Azerbaijan. My discussions [...] will cover the whole range of issues reaching from our bilateral cooperation to the political situation in the region," the Minister said in the interview with Trend on the eve of his visit to Baku.

The two-day visit of the Austrian delegation headed by Foreign Minister is scheduled for June 22. Spindelegger will meet with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Prime Minister Artur Rasizade, Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Minister for Economic Affairs Shahin Mustafayev.

The main purpose of the visit to Azerbaijan is the official opening of the Austrian Embassy in Baku.

On Thursday, Azerbaijan University of Languages and the Embassy of Austria signed an agreement on the opening of the Austrian Library in Baku, to be held June 23.

The Embassy has the opportunity to establish direct contacts in the country itself, to the authorities as well as to the world of science, the media and the economic sphere. The Embassy will stimulate an active interchange in a broad range of areas and provide efficient support in order to strengthen and deepen our relations, the minister said.

"The fact that I am accompanied by the Austrian Minister for Economic Affairs, Reinhold Mitterlehner, and a large economic delegation proves the Austrian interest in enhancing our cooperation with Azerbaijan," he said.

On the eve of the official delegation's visit a business delegation will arrive to Baku from Austria on 21, June. The visit is organized by the Austrian Economic Chamber. Its purpose is to establish business relations between Azerbaijan and Austrian companies.

Speaking about the most urgent problem for Azerbaijan which is Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, the Minister expressed his hope that acceptable solutions to all partners to the unresolved conflict could be found.

"A peaceful resolution would make an essential contribution to stabilising the whole region and would enable the people in the region to look to the future", he said.

According to the Minister, Austria fully supports the work of the OSCE Minsk-Group and is ready to back every diplomatic initiative for a peaceful resolution of this conflict.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.

Since signing a ceasefire agreement in 1994 the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - have been holding the peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories that have been approved in 1990s.

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