Valentina Matviyenko: Azerbaijan has been and remains strategic partner for Russia

Valentina Matviyenko: Azerbaijan has been and remains strategic partner for Russia

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 22

By Elchin Mehdiyev – Trend:

The parliamentary delegation headed by Chairperson of the Azerbaijani parliament Sahiba Gafarova is on an official visit to Russia, the Azerbaijani parliament told Trend on Sept. 22.

During the visit, Gafarova met with Chairperson of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Valentina Matviyenko.

Welcoming Gafarova and the Azerbaijani delegation, Matviyenko said that she was glad to see the Azerbaijani parliamentarians in Russia.

Matviyenko noted that she appreciates that Gafarova made one of the first official visits as chairperson of the Azerbaijani parliament to Russia.

"This is a sign of respect and very good intentions in terms of maintaining the existing close relations between the parliaments of Russia and Azerbaijan,” Matviyenko added. “Azerbaijan has been and remains a strategic partner for us. Of course, inter-parliamentary cooperation plays an important role in building the interstate relations. We have been looking forward to your visit and we attach great importance to it.”

“This is a good opportunity within the parliamentary dialogue to coordinate the positions on the bilateral agenda, discuss the issues of concern on international problems, exchange the views, plans, prospects, for the further development of our inter-parliamentary cooperation," Matviyenko said.

During the meeting, Matviyenko highly appreciated the steps of Azerbaijan in the fight against COVID-19, which has become a disaster for humanity in the 21st century, and expressed gratitude for the support for Russia by Azerbaijan in this sphere.

While talking about Gafarova’s planned speech in the Federal Council of the Federal Assembly, scheduled for Sept. 23, Matviyenko noted that "it is possible to say that you will open the first meeting of tomorrow's session".

Expressing gratitude for the warm welcome, Gafarova thanked Matviyenko for inviting the Azerbaijani delegation to Russia.

Gafarova expressed confidence that this visit and the upcoming meetings will give a new impetus to the successfully developing inter-parliamentary relations between the two countries.

The political dialogue and numerous mutual visits of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Russian President Vladimir Putin play an important role in bringing the comprehensive relations between the two countries to the level of strategic partnership.

Touching upon the relations between the two countries in the humanitarian and cultural spheres, Gafarova stressed that these relations play as important role as economic and political ones.

Gafarova reminded that Azerbaijani First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva made a great contribution to the development of cooperation between the two countries in the humanitarian and cultural spheres.

President Putin awarded Mehriban Aliyeva with the Order of Friendship for her services in the development of humanitarian and cultural ties between the two countries in November 2019 and during the ceremony, the president said that “Mehriban Aliyeva is a true friend of Russia”.

Gafarova stressed that of course, the parliaments of both countries play an important role in the development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Russia.

“Friendship groups operate both in the Azerbaijani parliament and in the Federal Assembly,” Gafarova added.

The speaker of the Azerbaijani parliament expressed confidence that Russia and Azerbaijan will continue cooperation in various parliamentary organizations after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gafarova emphasized the effectiveness of mutual exchange of experience between observation missions during the elections in Azerbaijan and Russia both in a bilateral format and between observation missions of international organizations, in particular within the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly.

The speaker of the Azerbaijani parliament expressed confidence that the permanent bilateral inter-parliamentary commission between the Azerbaijani parliament and the Federal Assembly will make an invaluable contribution to the development of relations between the two countries.

Gafarova noted that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to relations with the entities of the Russian Federation.

Speaking during the meeting about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Gafarova noted that this is a painful conflict not only for Azerbaijan, but for the entire region, and it has been going on for over 30 years.

"The occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands and one million refugees is a big problem,” Gafarova added. “Four resolutions of the UN Security Council on the settlement of the conflict, documents adopted by NATO, PACE and OSCE, remain unimplemented today. Armenia ignores these international organizations and, unfortunately, the international community does not react adequately to Armenia. Despite the signing of a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994, the fire did not stop. As a result, civilians, old people and children are killed.”

“The recent dangerous provocation was carried out by Armenia on July 12, 2020,” Gafarova said. “It was also dangerous because these events occurred on the section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the direction of Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district, rather than in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. As a result, servicemen and civilians were killed.”

“These provocations continue today,” Gafarova added. “According to the Ministry of Defense, one Azerbaijani serviceman was killed yesterday. We hope that Russia, as the co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, which is engaged in the settlement of the conflict, will intensify its efforts to resolve this issue as soon as possible."

"I am sure that today's meeting, in general, our visits will contribute to friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Russia," Gafarova said while inviting her colleague to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan at the convenient time.

Then the views on other issues of mutual interest were exchanged.

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