On January 29th the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, held an official meeting at the French President's Residence, Elysee Palace, Trend reports.
During the one-to-one talks the President of France, Jacques Chirac said that in the past co-operation between Azerbaijan and France has been progressing and the Year of Azerbaijan in France will be organized this year. Our relationships are important and fruitful in political and economic aspects, President Chirac noted.
President Aliyev in turn noted that it was an honor to pay a State visit to France. The Azerbaijani leader paid his first official visit after the election of the President to France.
The heads of states had an exchange of opinions on energy projects, the state of affairs in the South Caucasus and the Nagorno-Karabakh. At the same time President Aliyev stressed the significance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum projects. He recalled a memorandum on Mutual Understanding and Strategic Partnership on energy issues between Azerbaijan and the European Union signed during a visit to Brussels in November 2006. The head of state stressed that Azerbaijan will become the first country to deliver oil and gas from the Caspian region to the European market. This is the decision of Azerbaijan, he stated.
Touching on the situation in the region, President Chirac stressed that France would welcome peace and stability in the region where Azerbaijan is located. The Presidents discussed the current state of talks on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
With respect to the last visit of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to the region President Aliyev attributed the last meetings useful. The last talks of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia were held in Minsk. Armenia should put an end to its aggressive policy and afterwards the stability should be ensured in the region.
In turn President Chirac stated that France as an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair uses its power and opportunities for the rapid establishment of peace in the region, repatriation of refugees and internally displaced people.
On the same day an official reception was held at Elysee Palace on behalf of the French President Jaques Chirac and his wife Bernadet Chirac in honor of the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva.