Baku, Azerbaijan, May 9
A delegation of the Azerbaijani parliament under the leadership of Speaker Ogtay Asadov visited Italy, Trend reports referring to the parliament.
The delegation included the head of the working group on inter-parliamentary relations with Italy, Azer Karimli, MPs Ulviyya Aghayeva, Vahid Ahmadov, Elshad Hasanov, head of the Parliament's Office Safa Mirzayev and other officials.
During the visit, the delegation met with the leadership of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian parliament, as well as representatives of the Azerbaijan-Italy Friendship Group.
During the meeting with the President of the Senate Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, Ogtay Asadov stressed the importance of the recent official visit of the First Vice-President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva to Italy. He noted that to date,44 documents have been signed between the two countries, the most important of which is the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership between Azerbaijan and Italy.
Asadov noted that Italy is the largest trade partner of Azerbaijan and presently, there are up to 50 Italian companies operating in the country.
The Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament added that the Heydar Aliyev Foundation plays a big role in strengthening political and cultural ties between countries.
Casellati said that in Italy, the projects implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in the cultural and humanitarian fields, including the restoration of historical monuments in Italy, are highly appreciated.
She added that Italian companies are successfully participating in a number of economic projects in Azerbaijan, including the transport, agricultural, infrastructure sectors, defense industry, etc.
The Senate president, highly appreciating the role of Azerbaijan in the energy security of Europe, including Italy, stressed that the Southern Gas Corridor will serve to further expand economic cooperation between the two countries.
During the visit, Asadov also met in Rome with the President of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy's Parliament Roberto Fico. During the conversation, the chairman of the Azerbaijani Parliament highlighted the official visits of President Ilham Aliyev to Italy in 2005, 2008 and 2014 and working visits in 2011 and 2015.
Referring to the cultural ties between Azerbaijan and Italy, Asadov added that the Heydar Aliyev Foundation is carrying out exceptional work in strengthening political and cultural ties. According to him, the projects implemented in Italy by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation under the leadership of the First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva make a special contribution to cooperation between the two countries in the humanitarian sphere.
During the talks, it was also stressed that during last year’s official visit to Italy, Azerbaijan's First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva took part in the opening ceremony of the St. Sebastian’s Catacombs, restored by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Asadov said that Azerbaijan is interested in deepening relations with the EU and works closely with European institutions.