Baku, November 19, AZERTAC
In his exclusive interview to AZERTAC`s correspondent, Slovenian Ambassador Milan Jazbec has highlighted Azerbaijani-Slovenian relations, and outlined prospects for future bilateral cooperation.
- How would you evaluate the current state of relations between Azerbaijan and Slovenia?
- The relations between Azerbaijan and Slovenia are excellent. We have understanding, a lot of knowledge about each other. Our political dialogue is very intensive. During last two years the economic cooperation has also been steadily growing. That’s why it is important that we have inaugurated Honorary Consulate of Slovenia in Azerbaijan in the last few days. And that will help to boost economic relations.
I also have to point out that Mikhaylo (Mehdi Huseynzade), an Azerbaijani hero, was fighting against the fascism in the Slovenian territory during the Second World War. And this is among important factors that ensure broader knowledge of Azerbaijan in Slovenia. So there is a lot of aspects that we share, where we understand each other I am glad for that. This is very good for the relations between the two countries and also in terms of setting an example to others.
- In which fields of economy could Azerbaijan and Slovenia cooperate in the future?
- There are some important areas where we really have good cooperation. For example IT sector - one of the leading Slovenian companies Iskratel opened its office in Baku just recently. Another important area is agriculture, food production. It means exchanging not only food production, but also knowledge and expertise. There is good potential for cooperation in the pharmaceutical industry. We can also mention tourism, which is important for both countries. When we hear about Azerbaijan in Slovenia we immediately think about the Caucasus, skiing, sea, beautiful places and so on. I guess it is something similar when your people hear about Slovenia, Rogaska, etc.
- What are the main issues on the cooperation agenda?
- We have concluded a few agreements already. Basically we have to focus on concrete projects, examples. So we have to focus on concrete projects between companies. That’s why we have established the Honorary Consulate here. During last few years there have been six or seven big business conferences, and reciprocal political visits between our countries. It is important to continue working on concrete projects between companies. I see this as the most important element in the economic sector. As far as tourism is concerned I think it will be very good if we agree on opening direct charter flights between Slovenia and Azerbaijan. This is the most important thing. I think this is the first concrete, necessary step.
- A few days ago the Slovenian Honorary Consulate has opened in Baku, and Honorary Consul has been presented. And what are your expectations from the Consulate? And how do you think will the Consul contribute to boosting bilateral relations between the two countries?
- The inauguration process took about one year and during that time Honorary Consul was already helping different Slovenian companies. I received from some of them expression of thanks for his help. So this is the main part of his job as an honorary consul - to connect companies. Cultural promotion is also important. We plan to have, in the first part of the next year, the Slovenian days in Baku. We combine some business conferences, meetings, cultural activities. So this is what one is expecting from the honorary consul as a driving force of relations.
- What do you think about the possibilities of cooperation between the media of the two countries?
- Formal and informal cooperation between the news agencies forms the backbone here. At our meeting with AZERTAC we also discussed your formal cooperation with the Slovenian press agency. We have to bring the two agencies together to formalize their relations, to have a memorandum or an agreement. Then, off course, it will be good to exchange visits of media people, journalists from Slovenia to Azerbaijan and from Azerbaijan to Slovenia to show them the most important, interesting things in both countries and highlight those issues, those topics which connect us. This is very important. I am very much in favor of this because I am also a journalist by profession. I know by my personal experience how important it is to have such visits because they help to establish relations, not only professional, but also personal ones.
- Mr. Ambassador, what is your opinion about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
- This is a very difficult issue. I have to say that I deeply sympathize with each internally displaced person who was affected by this conflict. I am very sorry to see, to hear, also as a diplomat, that it takes so much time. Our two countries have had similar experience. We know how difficult it is for the people, the countries, the governments to have a war. So we hope that a solution will be reached, and it is necessary.
There is the Minsk Group, the United Nations, the European Union, there are many discussions, visits… This has to move on. The conflict must be solved for the benefit of the people, each person that has been affected by it.
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