BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 30. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev have held an expanded meeting in Sofia.
Welcoming the President of Azerbaijan, President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev said: Dear Mr. President, I am very happy to welcome you and your delegation to Bulgaria today.
We assess this visit as an opportunity to repay your hospitality. We will discuss our bilateral relationship and review opportunities to address certain challenges. We have friendly relations of mutual respect with Azerbaijan. Our political dialogue at the highest level has been very active during the year, and our relations have already reached the level of strategic partnership. For us, Azerbaijan is a reliable and time-tested partner. I am sure that we have a mutual interest in developing our pragmatic and effective relations in all areas.
Your visit to our country carries a great symbolic meaning as it coincides with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries. Along with this, we will witness another interesting and very significant event. We will inaugurate the Greece-Bulgaria Gas Interconnector. This is a project of strategic importance both for us and for the European continent. Because by doing this we are redrawing the energy map of Europe. We will buy real gas from Azerbaijan. This, of course, will diversify our supply.
We attach great importance to our energy cooperation, but, of course, we will discuss not only the energy field, but also other strategic fields in our meeting. Innovation, high technologies, trade, investment and, of course, the fields of culture and science are also on the agenda. These will serve to deepen our cooperation.
I welcome you once again.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said: Thank you, Mr. President. First of all, let me thank you for the hospitality. I am also very happy to be visiting your beautiful country again, so thank you for the invitation.
You rightly noted that Bulgaria and Azerbaijan are strategic partners. The Declaration on strategic partnership was signed seven years ago, and over these years, this strategic partnership has manifested itself in a number of areas. I remember your official visit to Azerbaijan. The discussions and decisions we made during the visit are being implemented. As you have just mentioned, a very important event is taking place in Bulgaria tomorrow – we will celebrate the launch of the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector project. I congratulate you from the very beginning on this occasion.
Our cooperation in all fields is based on a sincere relationship. Bulgaria-Azerbaijan relations are multifaceted. The historical ties between our peoples are, of course, an important factor underlying these relations. Today, of course, this strategic partnership based on mutual interests opens up new opportunities. Very serious cooperation existing in the field of energy has a great future. We are at the first stage of this work. I am sure that tangible steps will be taken in the future regarding the issues we discussed in a one-on-one meeting today. Azerbaijan is an important country for Europe and a reliable gas supplier. The European market, including the markets of Bulgaria and your neighboring countries, is of great interest to us.
But as you rightly noted, there are good results not only in energy, but also in other areas. I should specifically emphasize the humanitarian field. The implementation of the Middle Corridor in the field of transport and the activity of the East-West transport corridor will certainly connect our bring even closer together. I am sure we will have many contacts in the future and new issues will be included in the already extensive agenda.
Thank you again for the invitation and for the hospitality.