Ambassador: Italy immensely interested in Azerbaijan (INTERVIEW)

Ambassador: Italy immensely interested in Azerbaijan (INTERVIEW)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 1 / Trend S.Agayeva /

Trend interviews Azerbaijani Ambassador to Italy Emil Karimov

Trend: How do you assess the level of political and economic cooperation between Italy and Azerbaijan? Is there room for our ties to grow?

Karimov: Azerbaijan-Italy relations flourish.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has visited Italy twice - in February 2005 and November 2008. He signed several intergovernmental documents during his official visits.

We are expecting a return visit of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to Azerbaijan. We have been working on this issue for about two years. We are in contact with the prime minister's office. Recently they told us that Berlusconi is very interested in Azerbaijan and wants to visit our country. I think we can organize a visit next year.

In addition, Azerbaijani several ministers recently visited Italy. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov visited Rome in 2010. Now, his Italian colleague Franco Frattini will make a return visit to Azerbaijan.

Inter-parliamentary ties between our two countries are high. Azerbaijani Parliamentary Speaker Ogtay Asadov also visited Italy this year.

The fact that in addition to an embassy, Azerbaijan has an honorary consulate in Genoa is another indicator of how are relations are developing. Former Italian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Margarita Costa, who is very active and tries to promote Azerbaijan in Italy, was appointed as the honorary consul.

I should stress that the Italian government supports Azerbaijan's and the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Italy is one of Azerbaijan's top trade partners in economic terms. Azerbaijan mainly exports oil and oil products to Italy. However, the Italian government is very interested in Azerbaijani natural gas. In this regard, representatives of the Italian government have paid several visits to Azerbaijan and held talks. At the same time, I would like to stress that the development of cooperation with Azerbaijan in the non-oil sector is very important for Italy. Italy has immense potential and experience in this context. The Italian economy is built on a model of developing small- and medium-sized businesses, which is important for us.

With regard to the non-oil sector, it is well known that Italy is famous for its light industry, agriculture, tourism, and construction - all of which are important for our country. Ties are also actively developing in these areas.

The two countries established an intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation, which first met in 2006. Now we are working to ensure that the next meeting of the commission is held in Rome. The intergovernmental commission's co-chairs are Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Alfredo Montica and Azerbaijani Industry and Energy Minister Natig Aliyev.

To date, more than 30 documents have been signed between the governments, ministries and departments of our two countries. At this stage, a number of projects of bilateral documents covering important areas such as health, economics, and law enforcement agencies are also under consideration.

Q.: What can Azerbaijan offer Italy as a trade partner? Are there any plans to initiate new economic projects?

A.: Today, Azerbaijan can offer Italy various types for cooperation - above all in the non-energy sector. This could be agriculture, light industry tourism or construction. Italy has extensive great experience in these areas. Talks are underway.

Q.: How do you see the cultural and social ties between Italy and Azerbaijan?

A.: Cultural cooperation is developing successfully. Politics and economy may change, but culture is the legacy of a country. Therefore, Italian-Azerbaijani cultural ties are very important. Our embassies, governments and ministries are actively working to promote cultural relations. On several occasions, Italy and Azerbaijan have hosted concerts and exhibitions featuring each others' musicians and artists. But these relations should be further developed. Italy is a large country. Azerbaijan should be popularized not only in Rome, but also in other cities and regions. One feels a great interest in Azerbaijani culture in Italy. The number of Italian tourists visiting Azerbaijan has increased over the last three years. The country is attractive to business people.

Developing cultural relations and promoting Azerbaijani culture are two of our embassy's major activities.

Q.: How do you assess Azerbaijan's role in guaranteeing EU energy security - particularly by providing gas through the South Corridor?

A.: Azerbaijan plays an important role in ensuring the EU's energy security and the EU has shown considerable interest in oil and gas projects in Azerbaijan in recent years. Italy, as an integral part of Europe, is also interested in the Azerbaijani gas.

In general, Azerbaijan-Italy bilateral relations are developing successfully. Italian officials have repeatedly stated that they are ready to provide any assistance to Azerbaijan's integration into European structures and also to provide an opportunity to share its experiences in this matter.

Q.: You are also the Azerbaijani ambassador to Malta and San Marino. How would you characterize Azerbaijan's current level of cooperation with these countries?

A.: Malta, although a small country, is a member of EU. The island has about 400,000 people. The country takes a great interest in Azerbaijan. Our embassy has been functioning in Malta since 2006 with its headquarters in Rome. Malta-Azerbaijan relations are developing quite successfully. About seven draft agreements are on the table at the moment. The documents will soon be signed. These agreements cover areas such as economics, tourism and cooperation between our foreign ministries and universities.

Malta's foreign minister is also expected to visit Azerbaijan in the near future upon the invitation of his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov. This will be the first official visit of such a high-ranking Maltese official to Azerbaijan.

Malta has a diplomatic academy at the University of Malta. Representatives of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry receive training in the institution each year. During my visits to Malta, I met with the academy's leadership and they expressed their readiness to expand cooperation with Azerbaijan.

The embassy has conducted several major events in Malta. One was a reception on Republic Day on May 28, which was attended by the president and the entire government/

We also presented the Azerbaijani economy in Malta together with the Maltese Chamber of Commerce. Maltese businessmen are expected to visit Azerbaijan in the near future.

Relations between Azerbaijan and San Marino are also successfully developing.

Developing tourist relations between our two countries is also on the agenda. To date, we have developed a draft agreement on cooperation in tourism, which will soon be signed.

Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at: [email protected]

UK records another 55,761 coronavirus cases, 1,280 deaths
UK records another 55,761 coronavirus cases, 1,280 deaths
Britain tightens borders to keep out new COVID-19 strains
Britain tightens borders to keep out new COVID-19 strains
Wells Fargo profit beats Wall Street estimates as credit costs fall
Wells Fargo profit beats Wall Street estimates as credit costs fall
Loading Bars
Latest
Iran ready to establish joint automobile company in Iraq
Kyrgyzstan’s public debt reaches USD 4 bln 887.46 mln
Turkey reports over 8,000 new COVID-19 cases
UK records another 55,761 coronavirus cases, 1,280 deaths
Israel has vaccinated over 2 mln people against COVID-19
Britain tightens borders to keep out new COVID-19 strains
Kazakhstan's national operator for main oil pipelines reports decrease in oil transport
Int'l community must condemn Armenia's actions against Islamic religious monuments - Azerbaijani MP
Azerbaijani Economic Council holds first meeting in 2021
Shusha's residents proud of seeing Azerbaijani president in Shusha city
Group supporting Russian export to Azerbaijan renders assistance for foreign trade transactions in 2020
President of International Judo Federation congratulates Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijan increases total volume of exported gas in 2020
European Gymnastics to focus on competitions planned for 2021
Azerbaijan's foreign trade balance remains positive in 2020
Export operations between Azerbaijan and Australia greatly increase
Azerbaijan establishes National Agency for Mine Clearance of Territories of Azerbaijan
Int'l structures willing to cooperate for 'Green Energy Zone' in Azerbaijan's Karabakh (PHOTO)
Georgia reveals volume of electricity imported from Azerbaijan
Georgian Hualing Group implements new construction project
Georgia outstripping European preferences for innovations in some areas - MasterCard
Afghanistan always supports Azerbaijan in its just cause - Ambassador
Azerbaijani, Finnish FMs discuss latest situation in region
Whole world to see rapid economic recovery in Azerbaijan's liberated lands - Russian MP
Azerbaijani, Russian FMs exchange views on tasks of Jan. 11 joint statement
Georgian Enguri HPP rehabilitation project carried out with support of EBRD and EU
President of Georgia, NATO Secretary-General to meet in Brussels
How can leaders of Muslim countries be friends with country that destroyed mosques? - President Aliyev
President Aliyev presented Holy Quran to Saatli Mosque
In near future, we will ensure restoration of Shusha in planned manner - President of Azerbaijan
Despite all pressures, phone calls and threats, I said that we would go to end - President Aliyev
I have come to Shusha using the victory road - President Aliyev
Great return begins, all work has begun - President of Azerbaijan
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan resume regular flights
Azerbaijan sees growth trend in car insurance segment
Azerbaijan’s PASHA Bank ends 2020 with big profit
Wells Fargo profit beats Wall Street estimates as credit costs fall
Citigroup quarterly profit beats estimates as loan loss provisions slow
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office appoints Special Representative for South Caucasus
Parliament's plan on steel sector to damage Iran's exports - Steel Producers Association
Azerbaijan announces starting date for COVID-19 vaccination
Port of Baku starts cooperating with Belgium-based int'l training center
Azerbaijani ombudsman visits persons detained during anti-terror operations in liberated lands
Most of Uzbekistan’s population to be provided with COVID-19 vaccine
International DOPPELMAYR to finish construction of Georgian ropeway
Demand for marble products of plant in Turkmenistan’s Akhal region increased
Azerbaijan shows video footage from Gasimli village of Aghdam district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Uzbekistan reconstructs number of water supply and sewerage networks Bukhara region in 2020
Azerbaijan discloses amount of compensation paid to depositors of closed banks
New gas compressor station put into operation in Turkmenistan
Jewelry production plant launched in Uzbekistan’s Tashkent
Georgia sees increase in subsistence minimum
Establishing Nakhchivan corridor will add new artery to Middle Corridor - AIR Center
Georgian citizens to have high-quality COVID-19 vaccines
Azerbaijan confirms 494 more COVID-19 recoveries
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva: I am very happy to be in our liberated ancient city of Shusha (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Karabakh regional branch of Regional Development Public Association to operate in Shusha
Azerbaijan, Pakistan discuss prospects for development of military co-op
Azerbaijan's 11M2020 expenses for importing EU goods up
BMW aims to double fully-electric vehicle sales in 2021
Embassy of India organizes online business meeting to promote Indian Basmati rice (PHOTO)
Askar Mamin reappointed Kazakhstan's prime minister
Azerbaijani wagon washing station shows record performance following automation (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan reveals number of vessels repaired at 'Bibiheybat' Shipyard in 2020
Schoolchildren gain their first achievement in 2021 with Azercell’s support
Azerbaijan’s import of fruits, nuts down in 2020
FAO supports Uzbekistan’s Kashkadarya region during COVID-19 pandemic
Azerbaijani president, first lady visit building of executive power, house-museum of Bulbul in Shusha
Kazakhstan decreases goods import from Austria amid COVID-19
MP suggests Iran obtains its frozen assets in S.Korea via essential goods
CISCO increases number of services to be automated in Azerbaijan
Ukraine excludes Azerbaijan from list of dangerous countries due to COVID-19
Azerbaijani big bank’s capital up as of 2020
Passenger transport volumes plummet in Kazakhstan in 2020
WHO summarizes results of activities in Turkmenistan for 2020
Oil demand to be over 100 million b/d again by late 2022
Kazakhstan's Aktau port opens tender to buy accumulators
Fuel imports up in 2020 in Georgia
Iran plans to raise mortgage rate
EU, UNDP aim to help Georgian Bioars company in installing solar panels
UK economy pushed into reverse by November lockdown
Nearly 60,000 have fled Central African Republic violence - U.N
Azerbaijan's Ministry of Economy to contribute to turning Karabakh into prosperous region
Azerbaijani FM meets with ICESCO Director General
First quarter of 2021 to be characterized by downward tendencies in Georgia - Cushman & Wakefield
Kazakhstan launches manufacturing of fuel characterized by record low freezing point
PASTPRESENTFUTURE solo-show of Azerbaijani Aida Mahmudova presented in New York (PHOTO)
Iran shares details on Chinese bitcoin farm in Kerman province
Azerbaijan reveals electricity production data for 2020
Azerbaijan raises electricity generation at thermal power plants in 2020
Azerbaijani leading bank’s total assets up
Iran's power plants have sustainable condition for power generation
Iraq seeks Iran's investments in car manufacturing sector - Chamber of Commerce
Energy price inflation to see sharp rise in H12021
Azerbaijani manat significantly undervalued against US dollar, study finds
Precious metal prices up in Azerbaijan
Demand for foreign currency from individuals in Uzbekistan rises in 2020
Azerbaijan reveals data on sales through Azexport portal
Turkmen greenhouse complex names volumes of tomato production
Belarus issues 2020 data on oil import from Azerbaijan
All news