Details added (first version posted on 12:03)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 16
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by Governor of Astrakhan Region of the Russian Federation Alexander Zhilkin.
During the meeting, a diploma of Honorary Professor of Astrakhan State University was presented to the president.
Zhilkin thanked President Aliyev for supporting the establishment of high-level cooperation between Astrakhan Region and Azerbaijan. He hailed the activity of the Azerbaijani diaspora in several areas in Astrakhan, including in economic and social ones, as fruitful and reliable.
Zhilkin said next year will mark the 300th jubilee of Astrakhan governorate. He invited President Aliyev to jubilee events, adding they will be honored, if the Azerbaijani president attends these ceremonies.
The governor said Astrakhan citizens have special sympathy for Azerbaijan.
Zhilkin described the erection of a statue of national leader of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev and the construction of a park around the statue as a wonderful gift to Astrakhan.
“It is already a tradition that newly married couples visit the park and lay flowers at the statue of the national leader,” he added.
The governor said a school and a kindergarten built through support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation are also beautiful examples of friendship.
Zhilkin pointed to activation of the Azerbaijani business in Astrakhan, saying high esteem and respect lie at the heart of cooperation. He said several companies of Azerbaijan and Astrakhan established business relations, adding it is planned to construct an Azerbaijani business center in Astrakhan.
President Aliyev said that historically Astrakhan and Baku have had close ties.
President Aliyev said that when he was in Astrakhan he was impressed with positive changes, land improvement work in the city, implementation of infrastructure projects, and protection of historical monuments. The president congratulated the Astrakhan governor on this occasion.
President Aliyev thanked him for warm attitude to Azerbaijanis in Astrakhan, adding that they feel themselves at home in this city.
President Aliyev touched upon cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia.
The president said Azerbaijan’s first trade representative office abroad will open in Moscow in the near future, adding that such trade and business offices will also open in various Russian regions, including in Astrakhan.
The president expressed confidence that this will accelerate import and export processes between the two countries.
Acting Rector of Astrakhan State University Alexander Lunov announced the decision of the Scientific Council of the university to name President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev Honorary Professor for his outstanding contribution to the development of Azerbaijani-Russian ties in the field of education.
The diploma and robe of Honorary Professor were presented to the president.
President Aliyev said he is proud to receive honorary professorship of the university, and expressed his gratitude for this decision.
The president touched upon close cooperation with Russia in educational area, adding that branches of Russia’s two influential higher education institutions – Lomonosov Moscow State University and Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University – opened and operate in Azerbaijan at his initiative.
President Aliyev said Azerbaijan attaches great importance to education, noting that cooperation in this area brings the two nations closer to each other.