By Ayya Lmahamad
Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and World Bank (WB) and European Union (EU) officials have discussed the rehabilitation of Azerbaijani territories liberated from Armenia's occupation in the 44-day war in 2020.
At the meeting held with and WB Country Manager for Azerbaijan Sarah Michael in Baku on September 14, Bayramov briefed Michael about the implementation of smart city and village, green energy and modern infrastructure projects to be implemented on the liberated territories.
He also stressed that the opening of all communication lines and transit routes in the region in accordance with the signed trilateral statements is important for the future development of the entire region.
Cooperation with World Bank
Speaking about Azerbaijan’s relations with the WB, the minister underlined that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to this cooperation.
Moreover, the parties noted cooperation between Azerbaijan and the WB in the non-oil sector, private sector, alternative energy, digital development and other areas.
In turn, the WB country manager expressed satisfaction with bilateral cooperation, highlighting that the next year would mark the 30th anniversary of the WB activities in Azerbaijan.
She stressed that the bank will continue to support Azerbaijan’s great vision for the development of the country and the region as a whole.
Moreover, speaking about the restoration of Azerbaijan’s liberated lands, she noted that the bank is ready to provide the relevant support to the process.
Additionally, the parties discussed prospects for cooperation and other issues of mutual interest.
It should be noted that Azerbaijan joined the WB in 1992. Since then, the bank has financed over 50 projects with total commitments of $4.4 billion. It started economic cooperation in Azerbaijan to help increase the country’s institutional capacity and to build efficient management of oil reserves. The WB has always supported the large-scale reforms carried out in Azerbaijan.
On the same day, Bayramov received the new head of the EU delegation to Azerbaijan, ambassador Peter Michalko.
During the meeting, the parties discussed the existing effective cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan, including recent high-level visits to Azerbaijan, preparations for the upcoming high-level Eastern Partnership meeting, and a new agreement that will form the legal basis of bilateral relations.
Moreover, various issues of the bilateral cooperation agenda, including the implementation of projects in the energy sector and the expansion of cooperation in this field, were discussed.
Michalko stressed that Azerbaijan is an important partner for the EU.
In turn, the foreign minister informed the new EU official about Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan, its consequences and unconstructive approach towards resolving the conflict over the past 28 years and the liberation of its territories as a result of the 44-day war. In addition, he spoke about the restoration currently underway in those lands, as well as future development plans of the territories.
During the meeting, Michalko presented a copy of his credentials to Bayramov.
The parties exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest.
It should be noted that the EU invested over $21.5 billion in Azerbaijan’s economy from 2012 to 2021. Azerbaijan’s trade turnover with the EU amounted to $9.3 billion last year, which is 38 percent of the country’s foreign trade. The Delegation of the European Commission to Azerbaijan was opened in Baku in February 2008.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz