Chair of the Milli Majlis (Azerbaijani Parliament) Sahiba Gafarova had a meeting with Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria Nikolai Denkov on 12 September, the Press and Public Relations Department of the Milli Majlis said, APA reports.
The speakers expressed satisfaction with the fruitful development of bilateral relations and emphasized that the high-level political dialogue between the two friendly states, who are also strategic partners, lays a solid foundation for the development of interaction in other areas. Particularly mentioned was the joint statement on strategic cooperation signed in 2015, which elevated the interaction between the two countries to a qualitatively new level. Economic ties represent one of the key components of bilateral interaction, including the energy sector being among the central areas of joint efforts. Mr. Denkov highlighted the importance of inter-parliamentary cooperation for the development of our relations and expressed confidence that the visit of the speaker of the Azerbaijani parliament will contribute to the progress of these ties.
Having highlighted the investment opportunities in diverse fields in Azerbaijan as well as the country's modern transport infrastructure and her important role as a transit state, Speaker Sahiba Gafarova also mentioned the extensive possibilities for further development of bilateral cooperation in different fields. According to her, the effective work of the Joint Commission on Trade, Economic and Scientific-Technical Co-operation will enable diversification of our cooperation.
PM Nikolai Denkov, in turn, said that Bulgaria was interested in developing the transport and logistical fields and transport corridors in Azerbaijan as well as in broadening co-operation in pharmaceuticals and information technologies.
Humanitarian co-operation was discussed in the course ofthe conversation. It was noted that the friendship between the Azerbaijani and Bulgarian peoples is a strong foundation for the development of interstate relations, and that bilateral humanitarian ties have a rich history. Collaboration in education, science, and cultural sphere, as well as joint cultural events, bring our people even closer. In particular, the architectural museum-reserve of Trapezitsa was restored in the town of Veliko Tarnovo with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in 2016, which was another manifestation of our close humanitarian ties. An important memorandum of twinning the cultural capital of Azerbaijan Shusha and the same Veliko Tarnovo was signed in September 2022.
Sahiba Gafarova proceeded to tell PM Denkov of the new regional reality established following Azerbaijan’s victory in the 2020 Patriotic War that had resulted in our country restoring the wholeness of her national territory.
Drawing Mr Denkov's attention to Armenia's campaign of lies and fabrications surrounding the Lachin Road, Mrs Gafarova emphasized that this road is open for passage and has always been so, with no blockade whatsoever. The Lachin Road is part of Azerbaijan's territory, and in April 2023, the Republic of Azerbaijan established a border checkpoint on the Lachin Road within its sovereign territory, in accordance with international legal norms and exercising her sovereign right. Mrs Gafarova mentioned that Azerbaijan had proposed the use of the Agdam-Khankendi Road for the delivery of humanitarian goods to Khankendi and surrounding villages, and this proposal had been supported at the international level. However, unfortunately, it was not supported by Armenia, which refuses to use the proposed route. The Armenians living in Garabagh are Azerbaijani citizens, and steps have already been taken towards their reintegration into Azerbaijani society. President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that the Armenians living in Garabagh are our citizens who will enjoy the same rights as their fellow countrymen. Mrs Gafarova further emphasized that Armenia's absurd claims of a ‘dire humanitarian situation’ in the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan and the lack of provisions and medicine for the Armenian population in the area are meant to confuse the international community. They are nothing more than manipulations aimed against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan.
The ‘presidential elections’ organised by the illegal clique set up by Armenia in Azerbaijan’s Garabagh Region were mentioned as well as a provocation and flagrant violation of our country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, Constitution and laws – and an equally outrageous violation of the international law standards and principles.
Mrs Gafarova emphasised that the Azerbaijani people desire peace and stability. Despite being a victim of the conflict, it was Azerbaijan that put forward a peaceful initiative to establish long-term peace and stability in the South Caucasus and to normalise relations with Armenia based on norms and principles of international law.
Other issues of mutual interest were also talked over during the conversation.