Baku, December 1, AZERTAC
Sweden`s ambassador in Baku Ingrid Tersman has hailed her country`s relations with Azerbaijan.
In an exclusive interview with AZERTAC`s correspondent, the ambassador said the two countries enjoy good relations.
"We have had an embassy here since 2014 which is strengthening the bilateral relations on our part. We have regular exchange at the ministerial level. We have had annual business delegations coming from Sweden to Baku. There was one just two weeks ago in energy and transport, which was led by one of our state secretaries. In addition to political dialogue, the possible business ties, the companies that are already here, I think, we have possibilities to further strengthen our relationship.”
The ambassador noted the necessity of boosting the bilateral trade. "Azerbaijan is of course a market in which Swedish companies have an interest.” “ICT is of course an area where Sweden is very good, and I know that Azerbaijan would like to diversify its economy. We have expertise, we are happy to share that."
Ambassador Tersman pointed out energy and transport issues. "Azerbaijan is on the crossroads between Europe and Central Asia and Caucasus and Turkey." "Such companies in Sweden that are working in the wider transport area have an interest in that. We have also companies that can provide advanced solutions to complex challenges also in the energy sector.”
She hailed the inauguration of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad, describing it as “another step in the pattern of connectivity that we are seeing in the Caucasus and also, of course, in Central Asia”. The ambassador said the project will strengthen the links between Azerbaijan and Europe.
Ambassador Tersman also spoke of the Southern Gas Corridor and TAP projects, which she said “are strongly supported by the European Union that seeks a stronger relationship with Azerbaijan in the energy issues”. “Azerbaijan is an important partner for the European Union in the energy sector. It`s another issue of connectivity, where Azerbaijan becomes a stronger partner, a stronger country in the region and also a stronger partner for Europe."
On cooperation in educational sector, she highlighted scholarships offered by Swedish universities. "Students that are interested can look at the embassy`s website or the embassy`s Facebook page - "Swedish embassy in Baku". Regularly we post the scholarships that are open for application. We have a program called the Visby Programme Scholarships for master's and PhD levels in different universities. So now is the application period. For those who want to search for scholarships we also have an institute called the Swedish Institute. On their web page the applicants can search for the way that various universities offer scholarship. The webpage is www.si.se."
Ambassador Tersman also commended Azerbaijan for its efforts to promote interfaith dialogue and multiculturalism.
“Azerbaijan is very well known for the way that it works on interfaith dialogue and the issues of multiculturalism which is in a sense a trademark for Azerbaijan.” “We want to come here to share the way we work on the issues of interfaith dialogue and multiculturalism in Sweden and also establish the contacts for possible further cooperation,” the Swedish ambassador said.
She also commented on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: "Our stand has long been that, of course, there is no military solution possible. It has to be solved by the political means. Sweden was one of those countries that were founding fathers of the OSCE Minsk Group in the mid-1990s. We have been a member of the group and still are. This is the negotiation format that exists and we support that. I am glad to see that there have been renewed contacts over the last few weeks leading up to the OSCE ministerial meeting. I trust and I hope that all parts involved will be able to take progressive steps towards the settlement," ambassador Tersman added.
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