By Rashid Shirinov
Azerbaijan and Serbia are making a joint active contribution to the development of the Silk Road project, Chairman of the National Council for Coordination of Cooperation with Russia and China, former President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic told Serbia's influential Danas newspaper on March 22.
He said that this can be seen from the fact that Azerbaijan hosted an international conference entitled “The role of parliamentarians in boosting economic cooperation and cultural ties along the Silk Road” in mid-March, where Serbian MPs participated among others.
In 2013, China proposed the “One Belt, One Road” initiative that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries. The strategy consists of two main components: the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the ocean-going Maritime Silk Road. The initiative envisages creation of a trade corridor for direct supplies of goods from the east to the west on preferential terms.
“As for the countries with which Serbia can closely cooperate on the Silk Road, I would undoubtedly like to point out Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan jointly with China actively participates in infrastructure projects in Serbia,” Nikolic said.
He noted that Azerbaijani company Azvirt constructed the 11th Corridor section of the Ljig-Preljina highway, and the quality of the company’s work is the reason why the Serbian government expressed interest in Azvirt’s continuing its activities in the country.
“In the coming days, our Azerbaijani and Chinese partners will start implementing another important infrastructure project for Serbia,” Nikolic added.
He emphasized that Serbia seeks to expand and strengthen economic cooperation with Azerbaijan in a bilateral format, including Azerbaijan’s broad participation in the privatization process in Serbia and in investing in the Serbian economy.
Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Serbia were established on August 21, 1997. Over all these years, the countries have been successfully cooperating within international organizations and enjoyed sustainable development of ties in many spheres, such as political, economic, scientific, cultural and humanitarian fields.
Azerbaijan also appreciates the principled position of Serbia on the speedy settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the principle of territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan.
With the signing of the Declaration on Friendly Relations and Strategic Partnership by Azerbaijani and Serbian presidents on February 8, 2013, bilateral relations between the two countries reached a new level.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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