MINSK, 4 January (BelTA) - Azerbaijan is not just a partner but a close friend of Belarus, Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic Natalya Kochanova said as she met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Azerbaijan to Belarus Ulvi Bakhshaliyev in Minsk on 4 January, BelTA has learned.
"For us, Azerbaijan is not just a partner, but a close friend. We maintain friendly relations, economic, political and humanitarian ties. This cooperation is very important for us, because we feel the support of Azerbaijan in international organizations at all levels. This is what true partners and true friends do. In many respects, such good relations between our countries have developed thanks to our presidents,” Natalya Kochanova said.
The speaker noted that an intensive political dialogue is underway between Belarus and Azerbaijan. "In this difficult time, relations between our countries should be even closer and more fruitful. We welcome the work of the inter-parliamentary working group. Of course, the interaction between MPs should be even closer. Our contacts should be more effective, and, I think, the resumption of meetings and parliamentary visits to Azerbaijan and Belarus will contribute to this. We have found full mutual understanding of the ongoing processes. We support each other and will do everything to advance our cooperation. The trade picked up good pace, amounting to $442 million in January-October 2021," the speaker noted.
Natalya Kochanova stated that Belarus seeks a fruitful and constructive dialogue with the MPs of Azerbaijan. "We will be glad to host the speaker of the Azerbaijani parliament in Belarus, the delegations of our fellow parliamentarians," she added.
Ambassador Ulvi Bakhshaliyev thanked for the opportunity to meet. "I am very happy to work as ambassador here," he said. “We are very grateful to our presidents Aleksandr Lukashenko and Heydar Aliyev for the pace they have given to our relations. We must seek to fulfill the tasks on the bilateral agenda on time. I would like to thank you for assistance with the Nizami Ganjavi monument project. I would like to inform you that the monument has been erected and will be unveiled soon. We worked closely with the Minsk City Hall on the matter. Minsk is a very beautiful city, and I believe that the monument will beautify the architecture of the Belarusian capital.
Chairman of the Standing Committee on Regional Policy and Local Self-Government of the Council of the Republic Mikhail Rusy added that any foreign economic activity that Belarus does with other countries is carried out in a wide range of areas. “If we talk about Azerbaijan, it is an extremely friendly and effective country. Our manufacturers, our capital can work in Azerbaijan and representatives of Azerbaijan can work in Belarus. I know this issue well, because I headed the intergovernmental commission on social and economic cooperation between Belarus and Azerbaijan for three years. A lot has been done, because there is friendship and trust between the heads of states. This makes it easier for both governments and governing bodies to work,” he said.
The senator cited the example of the projects currently implemented between the two countries. “Azerbaijan has a well-developed agricultural engineering industry. Belarusian trucks and MAZs are produced in Ganja. We have started building tractors in Turkey through Azerbaijan. That is an interregional direction. Tractors of up to 80hp are sold to neighboring countries, first of all to Georgia. Earlier, Azerbaijani MP Khanlar Fatiyev, who is in charge of the production of tractor machinery and machines, MAZ, helped organize a network of Belarusian stores that operate in Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Businessman Vasif Ismailov set up production facilities in Mogilev and Minsk. We are happy that such a system of work has been built between our presidents. The Trading House of Azerbaijan in Minsk was opened with the participation of the president of Azerbaijan. We have the opportunity to represent their goods in our market,” he said.
According to Mikhail Rusy, much has been done in the supply of agricultural products. “The issues in the development of the agro-industrial complex have been resolved, so the interest is really great. As part of the parliaments and working groups we will work on the relations to build at a trustworthy and high level. Azerbaijani MPs support Belarus' position on the platforms of all international organizations, just as we support them. I am confident that we will continue our work in the same way,” he added.
Photos by Oksana Manchuk