Baku. 2 August. REPORT.AZ/ Report News Agency presents interview with the chargee d`affaires of Peru in Azerbaijan Luis Chang Boldrini
- Peruvian Embassy to Azerbaijan has been opened recently. Could you please introduce yourself and your country to our readers...
- I have been working at the foreign service of Peru for almost 30 years now. Before working in Azerbaijan I've been posted in Russia, South Africa and Washington D.C., which was my last posting before coming to Azerbaijan. I am going to stay in Azerbaijan for 5 years, as it is the usual term of office for our postings abroad, and I am looking forward to enjoy your country for all my stay.
Peru is special in all possible ways like Azerbaijan who hosts such nice people. Peru is situated in South America which is quite far from Azerbaijan and is very rich in its geography and human culture. Despite its small territory Peru has 85 of the 104 life zones identified in the world. It one of the 14 mega diverse countries and a history of 5000 years back and considered as a cradle of civilization in South America. We, from there, have developed very rich culture that has influence of many different civilizations like Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and so on. We are in many ways a melting pot, but we have a strong national identity nowadays. If you have an opportunity to go to Peru you will see this on the streets. Also our cuisine is now internationally recognized as one of the finest in the world. This is a product of the mix of all these cultural influences that comes from different regions of Peru and other civilization.
- On your own opinion, what similarities did you find between people of Peru and Azerbaijan? What was your first impressions on Azerbaijan when you arrived here?
- When I arrived here the first thing that I've found is that Azerbaijani people are very warm people, they want to help you, to make you feel you welcomed. I like to think that we the Peruvian also welcome people that are visiting our country. I feel that Peruvians and Azeri are very proud of our countries and cultures and we are people who are able to express that feeling to another people. Here I feel safe in the city. If you want to make a question to someone he will do everything to assist you which I really appreciate as a visitor. This makes you feel very well and makes you understand the character of who you have in front of you.
Before coming to Azerbaijan I was interested in history and geography. When we say Azerbaijan we know we are talking about Caucasus which is rich in history for different reasons. Also, it has a privileged location between East and West. So when I read about this area I learn more about Azerbaijan. And Baku has such wonderful buildings, its waterfront, which I think is one of the largest in the world, is amazing. I think from there the idea of how this city is growing and wants to show to the world gives an effect to the whole country.
- What will be your goals on you current posting?
- The Peruvian embassy is a new mission so we have a lot of field where we can begin our work harvest in the future. Maybe, the first is to try to go further than the political dimension and then try to build economic ties and then to give a material sense to these relation. So, building an economic relationship, bilateral trade, investment would not only strengthen our political ties but we will reach the business communities which is basic for the health of our economies. In this way we are trying to promote trade and investment. Our countries have strong economies, strong trade, open country, which benefits everybody. That's why we are aiming to give an economic perspective to our Embassy here.
Obviously, there is also perspective for political cooperation. We've already signed a MoU between Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and Peru to cooperate and coordinate issues of bilateral interest as well as local, regional and world level. So we want to start to offer issues and subjects for this memorandum to work in such a way so we could plan in the middle term to organize a vice-ministerial or ministerial coordination meeting that would definitely make our relationship stronger.
- When the arrival of Peruvian ambassador is expected? Are there any plans to raise the representation level of Peru in Azerbaijan?
- I would stay here for next years and after I depart, I hope I will be replaced by a full ambassador. It much depends on my work to make and to create an agenda so we will need for senior diplomat to come and push forward our relationship!
- How can you generally evaluate political and economical ties between our states? Is there any trade between our countries?
- For now the trade turnover is very small. Last year we had a trade of just around 5000 dollars. It is not negative of course. We have an Embassy here and you have Embassy in Peru and we are working to build a relationship and the economic side is important because we have to give a material justification, material issue for everyone to see and understand that relations between Azerbaijan and Peru are not only political but are tangible and benefits all. That's something that I am going to work from my side. I'd like to promote export from Peru. I think we have products that would be interesting for Azerbaijani people like fish, vegetables, fruits, textiles. We can think in many things that we can start working. But what we have to do is to work hard. If we can sell to China or Japan which are more far than Azerbaijan, why not to sell our products to Azerbaijan?
- Peru is one of the leading touristic destinations, but how many Azeri tourists visited Peru so far?
- At this point the number of Azerbaijani citizens visiting Peru are few. We issue around 4 or 5 visas monthly. One of the issue is that there is no possibility to have a visa to Peru in a short period of time. The embassy will soon open the consular office which will be able to issue visas. In any case we will be able now to issue a visa in only 5 working days and Azeri citizens will not need any more to send their passport to Turkey. But in middle term I hope Peru would stop requiring visas for Azerbaijani citizens.
- Can we expect any bilateral visits?
- In 2012 the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov visited Peru and the Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Peru visited Azerbaijan in 2014. We have to continue to work on agenda and aim to bring here high ranking Peruvian officials as I mention before.
- Peru and its culture not widely known in Azerbaijan. Do you plan to organize any kind of Peruvian cultural events in Baku?
- I have been working at the public diplomacy section of all the embassies before and I know that culture is a way to link people. When I came here I heard a lot of Latin music here which makes me happy to know. You know, Peru is very rich culturally and we want to show it here. Peru is actually one of the most important culinary spots in the world. We have gastronomic tours and the citizens from neighboring countries come to these tours to visit our best restaurants. In other countries the best restaurants would be Peruvian. We have a restaurant called "Central Restaurant" which is now the second best restaurant in the world. I am already coordination with a Peruvian chef who will be going to Paris at the end of year and we are already shaping a visit for him here to organize Peruvian culinary week and food festival. This issue in our agenda. This will create more interest to Peru and eventually to travel to Peru.
- What's the position of Peru regarding Nagorno-Karabakh issue?
- Peru is very sad to know about the incident that happened in the beginning of July and we really hope this incidents would never happen again. Peru fully believed that any kind of controversy should be settled by peace term and by international law. These principles that we have in our foreign policy helped us to be elected as a rotary member of UN Security Council. As such, we expect that all controversies should be settled peacefully, States should respect the international law and internationally recognized borders. Peru is against of the use of force in the relations between nations.