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Azerbaijan-Italy bilateral relations entering new phase

Azerbaijan-Italy bilateral relations entering new phase

Politics
25 February 2020, 18:13 7634

The Joint Declaration defines the future directions of the strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and Italy

The successful state visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Italy last week has been an important step towards the development of relations between the two countries. Within the framework of his visit, the head of state has met with President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic Giuseppe Conte, President of the Senate of the Italian Republic Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, and President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Roberto Fico. During the visit, documents have been signed that will give impetus to the development of relations between the two countries. One of the documents signed between President Ilham Aliyev and President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic Giuseppe Conte is the "Joint Declaration on Strengthening Multidimensional Strategic Partnership”.

The Joint Declaration is an important political document that defines the long-term close cooperation between the two countries. This document defines the future directions of the strategic partnership between the countries and shows that bilateral relations have entered a new phase. In addition, the Joint Declaration is a comprehensive document covering political, economic, cultural, humanitarian and other areas. The statement of support for each other within international organizations in the Declaration indicates that Italy and Azerbaijan are close, friendly and allied countries. The Joint Declaration emphasizes that Italy and Azerbaijan respect and support each other's territorial integrity, sovereignty, and inviolability of borders. It expresses the support of Italy for the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of the Helsinki Final Act, resolutions and decisions adopted by the UN and OSCE. This means that Italy supports Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and the settlement of the conflict on the basis of fair and international law.

More than 20 documents covering political, economic, energy, cultural, tourism, agricultural, military, transport, education, sports, space, investment and export promotion, and other areas have been signed between the two countries. Italian companies have signed contracts worth around US $ 10 billion only on energy projects funded by Azerbaijan's energy sector and beyond Azerbaijan's borders. In the non-energy sector, the figure is $ 700 million. Meeting of President Ilham Aliyev with the President of the Italian largest financial and banking institution, "Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA” and heads of more than 10 world-renowned largest, leading industrial and financial groupsis of great importance in terms of the development of Azerbaijan's foreign economic relations and securing of new investment flows to our country. At the same time, Azerbaijan has been working closely with a number of leading Italian companies for a long time. In addition, Azerbaijan is a reliable and number one crude oil supplier for Italy. Azerbaijan accounts for 17% of Italy's crude oil consumption. The Southern Gas Corridor project, as well as the TAP project, which is already completed by 92 percent and is currently in its final stage, are important contributions to the energy security of Europe and Italy.

According to political analyst, MP Rasim Musabeyov, such visits underscore the importance of relations between the two countries. MP noted that Azerbaijan is an important partner for Italy, and this visit demonstrates the importance of our country for Italy as well. "Italy is the world number one partner for Azerbaijan. In 2019, the trade turnover between the two countries reached $ 6 billion. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received the Italian President two years ago. High-level dialogue between the two countries is of a permanent nature. The Speaker of the Parliament visited Azerbaijan last year, the First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva visited Italy a year ago. Italy is ranked third in the EU according to its economic performance and is able to maintain contact with all countries. Azerbaijan and Italy also have significant cooperation in the military industry. From this point of view, I think that President Ilham Aliyev's visit to Italy will contribute to the development of relations between the two countries and Azerbaijan's political relations with the EU. In this regard, I would like to emphasize the Joint Declaration signed between Italy and Azerbaijan. This document will be a good basis for the agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan,” he said.

MP, political analyst Hikmet Babaoglu also said that the state visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Italy took a new historical stage in relations between the two countries. Noting that Italy is one of the leading countries in the EU, the MP said that Azerbaijan has special relations with this country. According to him, the excellence of political relations between Azerbaijan and Italy will give impetus to the development of comprehensive cooperation. He said Italy is one of the most important economic partners of Azerbaijan in the European Union as a whole. "Mutual trade turnover is more than $ 6 billion. The potential prospects between the two countries and the absence of any political barriers to the development of relations are promising more prospects. Italy has always supported the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. In particular, at the recent meeting of the Azerbaijani and Italian presidents, the two countries declared their support for each other's territorial integrity, highlighting the issue of raising bilateral relations to a qualitatively new level, and further developing Italy-Azerbaijan relations. It will be a good example for EU member states,” the MP stressed.

Recalling that Italy is the leading country in Europe in several industrial areas, the political analyst noted that special relations between Sumgayit Industrial Park and Italian companies are not accidental. "All these are new directions in the chemical industry. Products manufactured at the chemical factories in Sumgayit Industrial Park account for 14% of Azerbaijan's non-oil sector, which has been possible thanks to the cooperation with Italian companies,” he said.

Rufik ISMAYILOV