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President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received credentials of newly appointed Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Azerbaijan Peter Michalko.
Welcoming the head of state, Ambassador Peter Michalko said:
-Your Excellency, respected Mr. President Ilham Aliyev. Today, I have honor to present to you a letter of credence signed by President of the European Council Mr. Charles Michel, and President of the European Commission Madame Ursula von der Leyen appointing me as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the European Union to the Republic of Azerbaijan. As recent visits, including the visit of President Michel highlighted, Azerbaijan is important partner for the European Union. We are ready to work together in strong partnership, on important fields like economy, innovations, trade, energy, investments, infrastructure, and connectivity. Conclusion of the new comprehensive agreement between the European Union and Azerbaijan will be our key priority. We are sure that it will not only help to increase our bilateral cooperation, but also will be working for further strengthening of economy of Azerbaijan, increasing its prosperity and diversity. The European Union is interested in state of secure and prosperous southern Caucasus as part of EU-Eastern partnership. We are looking forward to active participation and contribution of Azerbaijan in preparations for the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit. We are also ready to assume role in confidence-building and peace-building, in close complementarity with the OSCE Minsk Group. We would welcome opportunity to offer our experience in fields like border delimitation and demarcation, using our project tools if partners are interested. The European Union will also continue to support Azerbaijan for social and economic growth in the context of impact of COVID-19 pandemic, and to work together for economic recovery, and resilience. Your Excellency, it is honor to be appointed as Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Azerbaijan. I will assert my efforts to work for mutually beneficial cooperation, and for our common goals. I will be grateful and confident that in fulfiment of my tasks, I will be able to rely and benefit from the support of Your Excellency and of the government of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you.
Ambassador Peter Michalko presented his credentials to President Ilham Aliyev.
Then they posed for official photos.
Welcoming the ambassador, President Ilham Aliyev said:
-Mr. Ambassador, I welcome you to Azerbaijan and wish you a pleasant stay in our country. Some part of your life will be connected with our country. I hope that you will not only be an active ambassador in promoting those issues which you just talked about, but also you will be able to see around, to know Azerbaijan better. And when you will have to go back to Brussels, or any other destination you will take with you good memories. As you mentioned, we have very broad agenda of cooperation, long-lasting, very efficient and successful cooperation. The areas which you mentioned, actually are priorities for our cooperation. During the visit of President Charles Michel this summer, we broadly discussed these issues. We have full coincidence of our views for our bilateral relations, for regional development, and for post-war situation. We count on European Union as a big partner, and honest broker in mobilizing its efforts and contributing to the post war situation. Our traditional areas of cooperation are well-known, and we achieved a great success. Ten years ago, in this building, a declaration between EU and Azerbaijan was signed on energy cooperation, energy security that was a very important step towards the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor. After that, practical steps have been taken. Since the last day of the last year, we have already seen the practical results. Azerbaijani gas is already on the European market. Of course, our plans with that completion of the great project of the Southern Gas Corridor go beyond. We see that we can be also a supplier to many other members of the EU. We are planning jointly working with the EU to expand the geography of our supplies, especially now, in this winter everybody sees that alternative source from alternative route is exactly energy security. I am very satisfied that the European Commission is paying a great importance to our transportation sector. During the visit of President Charles Michel, he was presented with opportunities of our trade Sea Port free zone. We see a very serious approach from European institutions to this area. It really can be very promising area of not only economic and transportation cooperation, but in general stability and security in the region, because connectivity unites countries, makes them interdependent. They can share the benefit, and therefore, it minimizes the risks of any kind of misunderstanding. As you probably know we completed all the necessary elements of the transportation infrastructure network in Azerbaijan, and already are using this potential. Other areas which you mentioned are also very important-humanitarian, education. There were issues related to democratic development of Azerbaijan. These are all issues on our agenda, and we are working closely with the European Union. Of course, now I think one of the most important areas will be the post-war development and the contribution of the EU towards establishment of sustainable peace and cooperation. We are ready for that. Probably, you heard about my statements on that. I say what I mean and this is our policy. We want to turn the page. We want to establish relations with our neighbor Armenia and we are ready to start negotiations on peace agreement, on delimitation, on opening communications. Partly this process have started but I think if the European Union is actively involved and I see that there is such a desire that can help us in many areas. Also in general, the situation in the Southern Caucasus now may have absolutely new dimension which it didn’t have for 30 years and which can be also very important factor of stability, predictability, and peace. So, I am sure you will be very busy, because there are a lot of things to do. I wish you and your family success, and a good stay in Azerbaijan.
Ambassador Peter Michalko expressed his readiness to work very intensively for mutually beneficial results. He emphasized the fields that President Ilham Aliyev mentioned were also very important from their point of view. The ambassador expressed his confidence that a lot of opportunities would be opened for cooperation in the coming days.