Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 7
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Paolo Gentiloni.
The head of state said Italy was Azerbaijan`s largest trade partner, adding that the two countries enjoyed good relations in various fields, including in political, economic and energy ones.
President Ilham Aliyev recalled with pleasure his last visit to Italy, and stressed the significance of the Joint Declaration on strategic partnership between Italy and Azerbaijan that was signed during the visit. The head of state emphasized the importance of the document in terms of developing cooperation between the two countries and reaching the goals set.
President Ilham Aliyev said economic relations were also developing successfully. The head of state lauded Italian businessmen`s interest in business activity in Azerbaijan and noted the importance of business forums in intensifying contacts between businessmen.
President Ilham Aliyev expressed his confidence that the visit of Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Paolo Gentiloni to the country would be productive.
Minister Paolo Gentiloni conveyed greetings of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to the head of state. Paolo Gentiloni hailed the development of ties between Azerbaijan and Italy, and said he was visiting the country with a delegation of Italian businessmen.
Paolo Gentiloni said they highly appreciated Azerbaijan`s commitment to developing the non-oil sector, and underlined the importance of diversifying economy.
The Minister emphasized Italy`s active participation in the energy projects involving Azerbaijan. Paolo Gentiloni said the launch of TANAP and TAP projects would be an important milestone in the development of bilateral relations.
President Ilham Aliyev emphasized the significance of TANAP and TAP projects in terms of energy security and diversification of economy, saying seven countries had already joined the project. The head of state noted the significance of two more countries` joining the project in future.
President Ilham Aliyev said the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project was on the agenda. The head of state noted that 80 percent of the work on Shahdeniz 2 project and approximately 30 percent of the work on TAP project had already been complete, expressing his confidence that overall work would be carried out on schedule.
They exchanged views over the expansion and strengthening of cooperation between the two countries in a number of fields.
President Ilham Aliyev thanked for the greetings of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and asked Paolo Gentiloni to communicate his greetings to the Italian Prime Minister.