Ambassador Juris Maklakovs: Latvia, Azerbaijan enjoy excellent political relations

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Baku, March 16, AZERTAC 

In an exclusive interview with AZERTAC, Latvian Ambassador Juris Maklakovs has highlighted the relations between the two countries, and shared his views about cooperation between the Azerbaijani and Latvian media.

The Ambassador hailed the political relations: “I would like to rate our political cooperation as excellent. During the last years we have had several mutual visits. High-level authorities of Latvia visited Azerbaijan, and representatives of different institutions of Azerbaijan visited Latvia.”

On the bilateral economic cooperation, Mr Maklakovs said: “I am not satisfied with the current level of economic cooperation. There is a lot of room for improvement in this field. This is actually the main priority of our Embassy. If we look at our possible cooperation and improvement in trade turnover I see many possibilities where we can achieve it. We had several meetings at Azerbaijani ministries. During the discussions we found many areas for cooperation where we can improve and start such cooperation.”

The Ambassador touched upon cooperation in agricultural field and also spoke about the discussions on diversification of the economy. “Agriculture is one of the areas where it is possible to improve economic development. Tourism, medicine, pharmacology, education are important fields for cooperation.”

On educational cooperation, Mr Maklakovs said many Azerbaijani students study in Latvia, adding his country offers quality education opportunities.

He also said that they discussed specific areas for cooperation with the Azerbaijani Minister of Environment. “We have very good specialists who already have experience in growing forests. We could make proposals to Azerbaijan in this field.”

Mr Maklakovs also highlighted the Embassy`s activities. “Next month we plan to bring Mayor of Riga and some entrepreneurs to Baku. They will attend the 15th Azerbaijan International Travel and Tourism Fair, AITF 2016. During the trip, there will be held a business forum. We would like to discuss possible cooperation in the field of tourism. We also plan to hold a meeting of Azerbaijan-Latvia Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Technical and Cultural Issues in May.”

The Ambassador underlined the “important” role of the media in the two countries` relations. “For several years, we have been organizing the visits of representatives of the Azerbaijani media to Latvia.” He said these trips help promote Latvia, its capital, regions in Azerbaijan and attract more tourists. “It is very important to have such visits because they help to establish relations, not only professional, but also personal ones.” He also hailed cooperation between AZERTAC and LETA news agencies. “AZERTAC and LETA successfully cooperate within international alliances. We wish closer cooperation between AZERTAC and LETA. I will do my best to fully support AZERTAC’s cooperation with LETA new agency. We are ready to promote this cooperation. I think that communication of people, flow of information is important in terms of close cooperation between the two countries.”

The Latvian Ambassador also commented on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He said Latvia supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. “During all meetings, discussions we say that only a peaceful solution can bring final settlement to this conflict. It is very important to have communication between the two parties, also through Minsk Group, through discussions in different international organizations. Recently we had a very good meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan. Representatives of Latvia who are responsible for Eastern Partnership had a very fruitful meeting. This is another opportunity where the two parties could meet. It is also a possible platform for solving this problem,” Mr Maklakovs added.

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