Successful foreign policy in troubled region
Azerbaijan presents a model of multiculturalism, tolerance and effective cooperation to the world
A state visit in the context of bilateral relations between the countries is considered the highest. A limited number of state visits are made per year. The issues discussed during the state visit are broad and with deep essence. In this regard, the state visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Italy on February 20-21 is of particular importance. This is the first state visit of the Azerbaijani President to Italy. It is also the first visit by foreign leaders to Italy in 2020. This stems from the special attention paid to Azerbaijan and President Ilham Aliyev. During the visit of exceptional importance, the President of Azerbaijan was given unprecedented respect and special attention. In total, 28 documents were signed between the two countries.
As many as 17 of those documents were signed and exchanged following the expanded meeting of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic Giuseppe Conte. Other documents were signed within the business forum on the second day of the visit. These documents cover political, defense, economic, trade, energy, high technology, transport, infrastructure, cultural, scientific, tourism and sports areas. The "Joint Declaration on Strengthening Multidimensional Strategic Partnership” between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Italy is of particular importance among the documents signed during the visit. The Joint Declaration is a document promising a new level of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Italy.
Commenting the head of state’s visit to Italy, MP Parvin Karimzade said that Azerbaijan is the only country in the South Caucasus region with the highest level of political and economic dialogue with Italy. According to him, long-term cooperation between Italy and Azerbaijan in the political, economic, cultural and scientific fields can be an example for other European countries. "The successful state visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Italy has opened a new page in the development of relations and cooperation between the two countries. Developing relations with a reliable and strategic partner like Italy, one of the three European giants that has the power to determine the political agenda of the continent, will play an important role in enhancing Azerbaijan's prestige and strategic role in Europe. The signing of 28 documents on cooperation in a number of areas, and the issues discussed will define new perspective directions of development between our countries. This visit also shows that the partnership between the two countries is not limited to trade, tourism, investment, agriculture, military, as well as oil and gas. The announcement of the Year of Azerbaijani Culture in Italy in 2020 can also be emphasized as an indicator of the high level of cultural relations,” Karimzade noted.
The MP said that during the visit, the meeting of President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva with head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis, once again demonstrated that Azerbaijan is an exemplary country in the world for its commitment to tolerance and multicultural values. According to Karimzade, Pope Francis stressed the high level of tolerant relations between religious communities in Azerbaijan and the high level of domestic and foreign policy in the country.
Referring to the remark made by Italian President Sergio Mattarella, political analyst Nazakat Mammadova said that relations between Italy and Azerbaijan have undergone a unique development within the diplomatic relations that have existed for over 25 years. According to the expert, this was also possible thanks to the choice of Baku, which maintains its vision of the Euro-Mediterranean area and has a strong geopolitical position. Recalling the signing of a number of documents during the state visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Italy, Mammadova touched upon the Joint Declaration on Strengthening Multidimensional Strategic Partnership between Azerbaijan and Italy. She said that this document will raise our relations to a higher level. "The greatest importance of the Declaration is that Azerbaijan and Italy reaffirm their support for each other's independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and internationally recognized borders. The document reflects a unanimous position on the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of these principles, which coincide with the UN Security Council's resolutions, calling for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from all of Azerbaijan's occupied lands. It is important that Italy, a member of the G8 grouping, a leading figure in world politics, defend Azerbaijan's rightful position on the Karabakh issue,” she said.
Noting the high level of economic, trade and energy cooperation between Italy and Azerbaijan, Mammadova added that the total trade turnover with Italy in 2019 was more than $ 6 billion. According to her, after the visit of President Ilham Aliyev, the Italian-Azerbaijani relations will move to a new stage of development in all areas. "Political relations between Azerbaijan and Italy are at a high level, which provides a comprehensive basis for the development of cooperation in economic, trade and other areas. For example, under the TAP project, Azerbaijani gas will be transported to Italy, which may be an important indicator for diversifying routes and resources that are the basis of the EU's energy policy. On the other hand, Italy is the number one political, economic and trade partner of Azerbaijan among the EU member states. During the visit of President Ilham Aliyev, the Italian side noted that Azerbaijan has a very successful policy and close relations with neighboring countries, as well as secular traditions, despite being located in a very important and troubled region,” said the political analyst.