Ex-ambassador says creation of French-Azerbaijani university under discussion
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.22
By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:
France sees Azerbaijan as a real strategic partner and recognizes its contribution to energy security and regional stability, the country's soon to be former ambassador to Azerbaijan Pascal Meunier told Trend.
France and Azerbaijan have started to better understand each other and the perception of each other has changed in recent years, said the former ambassador.
As a co-chairing country of the Minsk Group, France wants to be equally friendly to Armenia and Azerbaijan, said Meunier, adding that Azerbaijan plays a big role in the region.
Touching upon his activities as France's ambassador to Azerbaijan, Meunier said that one of his achievements was to attract more people in both ways.
Meunier said the French side has been implementing a very simple visa policy, adding that France is country of tourism and Azerbaijani people love this country.
"I don't see any reason to prevent Azerbaijan to come to us," he added.
The diplomat noted that another important element in Azerbaijani-French relations is education, adding that currently, the creation of French-Azerbaijani University is under discussion.
"It is a very strong project, because it will give an opportunity for students to study in Azerbaijan with French quality level," he said.
Furthermore, Meunier said that the trade relations between the two countries have developed significantly and there are a lot of French companies operating in Azerbaijan.
The trade turnover between the two countries stood at $735.135 million in Jan.-Sept. 2015, or 1.8 times less than in the same period of 2014, according to Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee.
The former ambassador said that French and Azerbaijani presidents meet regularly and another meeting of the presidents can be expected in the future.
The newly-appointed ambassador of France to Azerbaijan Aurelia Bouchez will arrive in Baku Oct.27. Aurelia Bouchez has previously served as the EU special representative in Kazakhstan. Pascal Meunier was appointed the head of the French diplomatic mission in Baku in July 2012.
Edited by SI
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