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Elmar Mammadyarov: Azerbaijan strong and prestigious country in system of international relations

'Azerbaijan not only participant of regional projects, but also their initiator and driving force'

Baku. 27 December. REPORT.AZ/ At present, Azerbaijan is a strong and prestigious country in the system of international relations and as a leading country of the region Azerbaijan’s interests on any issue emerging in this geography is taken into account. Azerbaijan is not only the participant of regional projects, but also their initiator and driving force. These successes have been achieved thanks to the far-sighted and pragmatic foreign policy strategy founded by nationwide leader Heydar Aliyev and being effectively continued by President Ilham Aliyev.

Report informs, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told in his interview with AZERTAC highlighting the results of 2016.

The 2016 year has been fruitful and efficient in terms of development of Azerbaijan’s bilateral relations. In the development of bilateral relationship, the expansion of our mutually beneficial and comprehensive cooperation with the neighboring countries - Turkey, Russia, Islamic Republic of Iran and Georgia should be particularly noted.

Numerous visits of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, Prime Minister Artur Rasizade, Chairman of Milli Majlis, also my visits as Foreign Minister and those of other government officials to foreign countries, as well as lots of visits of heads of state and government, foreign ministers and other officials at various levels to our country further strengthened our bilateral relationship.

Last year Emir of the State of Qatar, the presidents of Ukraine, Venezuela, Croatia and Belarus made official visits and presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia made working visits to Azerbaijan. Also, Chairman of Russian Government, prime ministers of Hungary, Turkey and Pakistan were on official visits and Prime minister of Israel was on a working visit in Azerbaijan. Heads of state of Montenegro, Bulgaria, Georgia, Albania, Malta and other countries paid visits to Azerbaijan to participate in the 4th Global Baku Forum and the 7th Global Forum of United Nations Alliance of Civilizations hosted by Azerbaijan. Our head of state made official visits to the United Arab Emirates and Iran and working visits to Austria, Germany and Russia.

In that period, visits of President Ilham Aliyev to Switzerland (Davos) to participate in the World Economic Forum, to United Kingdom (London) to participate in the Supporting Syria and the Region conference, to Germany (Munich) to participate in the 52nd Munich Security Conference, to Turkey (Ankara) to participate in the 5th session of Azerbaijan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council, to USA (Washington) to participate in the 4th Nuclear Security Summit, to Turkey (Istanbul) to participate in the 13th Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, to Turkey (Istanbul) to participate in the World Humanitarian Summit, to Poland (Warsaw) to participate in the NATO Summit, to the Kyrgyz Republic (Bishkek) to participate in the CIS Council of Heads of State, to Turkey (Istanbul) to participate in the 23rd World Energy Congress were particularly important in terms of development of our relations on the bilateral and multilateral basis, bringing the position of our country on the global political, economic, security and humanitarian issues to the attention of international community.

As the foreign minister, I paid official visits to Georgia, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Egypt and Portugal and made working visits to Russia (two times), China, Germany and France (two times). Participating in more than twenty international events, I delivered the stance of our country. During the year, the foreign ministers of Greece, Georgia, Malta, Germany, Italy, South Africa, and Bosnia and Herzegovina were on official visits and the foreign ministers of Sweden, Russia (two times), Turkey (two times), as well as the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy were on working visits in Azerbaijan. Also using the existing opportunities during international events, I had numerous meetings with the counterparts from other countries. In order to expand the bilateral legal-treaty base with other countries, more than ten agreements were signed.

The active participation of Azerbaijan in international events and mutual bilateral visits show the importance of our country in the region and also in the world, as well as present new opportunities for us.

Our bilateral relationship is further enhanced through regional cooperation mechanism in trilateral format. In 2016, the meetings of presidents of Azerbaijan-Russia-Iran, foreign ministers of Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey, Azerbaijan-Iran-Turkey, Azerbaijan-Russia-Iran were held in trilateral format. Holding these trilateral meetings has utmost importance for strengthening security in the region, expanding and deepening bilateral relationship. The trilateral meeting of the heads of state of Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran held in Baku with the initiative of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev and the joint statement adopted at the end of the meeting have provided important grounds for the development of cooperation in political, economic, trade, transport and other fields. The cooperation in this format also has strategic importance promoting trans-regional cooperation along the line stretching from South and South-East Asia to Northern Europe.

In general, the cooperation mechanism in trilateral format completing the successful bilateral cooperation of our country with regional countries creates important grounds for its comprehensive development on trilateral basis, provides favorable opportunities for raising the political dialogue on regional issues and economic-trade ties to higher level. The cooperation in existing trilateral formats will be further continued and the opportunities on establishing the new trilateral mechanisms will be considered.

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