Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 4
Azerbaijan`s first lady, head of the Azerbaijan-France interparliamentary friendship group at the Milli Majlis (Azerbaijani Parliament), president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva has met with president of the French Senate Gerard Larcher in Paris.
Gerard Larcher hailed relations between the two countries as excellent in various fields, and noted the importance of interparliamentary ties in the development of cooperation.
Speaking on recent elections at the Senate, Mr Larcher said the structure of the France-Caucasus friendship group would be re-formed and new chairman would be elected.
He hailed Mehriban Aliyeva`s contributions to the development of relations with France as head of the Azerbaijan-France interparliamentary friendship group and as president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
The French Senate president praised "rapid" economic development in Azerbaijan.
He expressed his country`s readiness to contribute to the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a co-chair of the Minsk group.
First lady Mehriban Aliyeva hailed political, economic and cultural relations between Azerbaijan and France.
"Economic relations between our countries are rapidly developing. More than 50 French companies operate in Azerbaijan. A number of humanitarian projects have been realized and this will be continued," she said.
Mehriban Aliyeva expressed readiness to contribute to the development of relations between the two countries` legislative bodies as head of the friendship group with France at the Milli Majlis. She said Azerbaijan backed peace and stability in the region. "From this point of view, the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is important. But because of Armenia`s non-constructive position, the peace talks, which continue already for more than 23 years, have not yet yielded any positive results," the first lady stressed.
"Following the Paris meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia held current year on the initiative of French President François Hollande, Armenia conducted large-scale military trainings in the occupied lands of Azerbaijan. That was Armenia`s provocative step. Of course, such steps impede the peaceful settlement of the conflict," she noted.
Mehriban Aliyeva said Azerbaijan supported the settlement of the conflict by peaceful means and in compliance with international legal norms. She expressed hope that "the conflict will soon find its just settlement, our occupied territories will be liberated and our refugees and IDPs will return to their homelands".
Mehriban Aliyeva also touched upon the cultural and humanitarian relations between France and Azerbaijan, particularly in the field of protection of cultural heritage. She said the Heydar Aliyev Foundation has implemented a number of relevant projects.
She also said Azerbaijan would hold the first European Games next year, and informed the French Senate president on the preparatory work.
Mehriban Aliyeva invited Gerard Larcher to Azerbaijan and to attend the opening ceremony of the European Games.
They agreed to continue cultural projects and organize Azerbaijan-related events at the French Senate.