Baku, October 24, AZERTAC
Following their one-on-one meeting, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic continued their talks in an expanded format.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said:
Madam President, dear guests,
Welcome to Azerbaijan, we are very glad to see you in our country. It’s a very important visit of President of Croatia to our country. We just have had an opportunity to exchange views on bilateral issues, regional issues, issues related to security. And as we see our positions coincide. We want to develop bilateral cooperation. It’s a good opportunity now. We have close political connections in different areas. Madam President’s visit once again shows that tomorrow we’ll have a very interesting session of the business communities. We need to see how we can increase the level of mutual trade and investments and see other opportunities.
Of course, cooperation in the energy area is of extreme importance. We are partners in the Southern Gas Corridor which is being implemented on time. We have a very broad agenda. Also, of course, we have EU-Azerbaijan cooperation where Croatia plays a very important role, and we want to see more development on this track.
I think our countries established very close partnership relations in many areas and we need now to see what else we can do, especially in the area of trade, economic development, business-to-business contacts because, as I said, political relations are very good, and they will be even better after your visit. I am sure that the visit will be very successful and will be another important step towards the development of our friendly cooperation. Madam President, once again welcome.
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Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said:
Thank you very much, Mr. President. It is a pleasure to be here this morning. Thank you for the very warm welcome. We already had a chance to meet the Croatian community who live here in Baku and in other parts of Azerbaijan last night. And I am happy to see that apart from the coach of the national team Robert Prosinečki there is also a number of others who work, especially in the economic sector, in pharmaceuticals, in transportation, engineering, etc.
After your own visit to Zagreb back in 2013 and our meeting on the margins of the London conference on Syria last year it is a good opportunity today, an excellent opportunity to discuss how to further improve our relations.
As you said Mr. President we have no open issues. Our political relations are very good, but there is much room for improvement, and there is much room to deepen and widen our cooperation especially in economy, economic exchange, investment in trade, and also in people-to-people contacts in culture, education, defense and security and overall cooperation, coordination and consultations on regional and global security issues that affect all of us. After the signing of the Zagreb Declaration on the relations of strategic partnership and friendship between our two countries I think that there are still some concrete steps that we need to take in terms of the commissions, meeting and discussing overall cooperation and details of how to proceed further.
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The two presidents discussed prospects for cooperation in the fields of economy, high technologies, expansion of trade, shipbuilding, transportation, energy, agriculture, food industry, tourism, and pharmaceutical industry.
President Ilham Aliyev highlighted the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic reaffirmed Croatia`s support for Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The importance of Azerbaijan-Croatia relations within Azerbaijan-EU cooperation was stressed at the meeting.