Azerbaijan , Baku /corr. Trend A.Ismaylova/ Trend exclusive interview with Mrs. Anna Fotyga, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland
Question: How do you estimate the current level of relationships between Azerbaijan and Poland ? What are your views on the prospect of these relations?
Answer: I would describe the current state of Polish-Azerbaijani relations as more than satisfactory. The recent visits - including that of the Marshal of Senate of Poland, Mr. Bogdan Borusewicz, to Baku , were very successful. We wish to maintain the high intensity of our political contacts. We hope it would bring new impetus for economic co-operation and stimulate bilateral trade. We perceive Azerbaijan as an economic leader in Southern Caucasus , a country with considerable - both economic and political - potential. Poland is particularly interested in developing intensive co-operation in energy sector. However, there is a need to stimulate mutual investments and activities of our enterprises in other sectors of economy. We watch with satisfaction the dynamic growth of Azerbaijan economy that creates new opportunities for Polish firms.
Question: When do you plan to visit Azerbaijan and what questions will you focus on in Baku ?
Answer: My intention is to visit Azerbaijan between 28 th February and 1 st March 2007. There is a wide range of topics to put on the agenda, ranging from political issues with particular regard to recent developments in the South Caucasus region to economic questions. Concerning the latter, I would like to focus on co-operation in energy sector and possible ways of supporting mutual investments.
Question: What assistance could Poland render to Azerbaijan in broadening the relationships with the European Union and NATO?
Answer: Poland has already supported Azerbaijan in the process of negotiating the ENP Action Plan, signed November this year. We hope that the AP will be thoroughly implemented what will result in the increased co-operation with the EU in a number of fields, including the energy sector. We hope that the EU-Azerbaijan memorandum on strategic partnership in energy issues will be an important step on the way to a fully functional transport corridor from Central Asia to Europe . We are ready to share with Azerbaijan our experience from the process of integration with the EU and NATO. We will support Azerbaijan aspirations to intensify its relations with those structures, also through expert assistance, activity of NGOs, co-operation at the level of public administration and municipal self-governance.
Question: Does Poland support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan ?
Answer: In our opinion, all "frozen conflicts" in the region of South Caucasus, including the one in Nagorno-Karabagh, should be resolved in a peaceful way with respect to the territorial integrity of existing states. At the same time, we put emphasis on granting high level of autonomy to national minorities, thus allowing them to develop freely within the internationally recognised borders.
Question: Could your Country put forward any initiative on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
Answer: Poland supports the efforts of OSCE in the resolution of Nagorno-Karabagh conflicts, in particular the activity of Minsk Group. Polish diplomat - Mr Andrzej Kasprzyk - is the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on the Conflict Dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference. We are convinced that the peaceful resolution of Nagorno-Karabagh conflict would be crucial for political stability in the entire region of South Caucasus . In our opinion, time has come for political leaders and societies of Azerbaijan and Armenia to find a solution to this years-lasting conflict, basing on proposals of the Minsk Group.
Question: Which sectors of Azerbaijan economy are more attractive to Polish investors? Is Poland interested in importing Azerbaijani energy resources?
Answer: Azerbaijan has a separate, very important place in Polish strategy of diversification of supply routes for energy resources from Central Asia - as a potential transit state and source of supplies. Caspian energy resources play a decisive role in our projects of diversification of supplies of oil and gas. We are highly interested in creating the transport corridor from Central Asia to Europe via South Caucasus . This project is attractive not only for us but also for all European countries. However - our ambitions are not limited to one sector of economy. We want to stimulate economic co-operation in such branches as food industry, agriculture, chemistry, tourism and transport.
Question: Does Poland have any interest in the regional organization GUAM [ Georgia , Ukraine , Azerbaijan , and Moldova ]?
Answer: Poland supports the activities of GUAM and co-operates with all the countries-members of that organisation. We hope that this organisation - after its institutional reform last year - will become a strong and stable element of political architecture in Eastern Europe . We expect it to be a useful tool in economic co-operation and a good platform of co-ordination of political decisions and actions of its member states.