By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
Azerbaijan and Lithuania are interested in boosting bilateral relations in political and economic spheres.
This was discussed during Lithuanian Seimas Speaker Viktoras Pranckieti’s recent visit to Baku.
In an interview to local media, Pranckietis said that the purpose of his visit was to intensify bilateral relations and bring them to a higher level not only in the political, but also in the economic sphere.
In recent years, contacts between Azerbaijan and Lithuania have not been active and the current level of trade cannot be considered satisfactory, the Seimas speaker said, adding that the two countries have great potential for further development of relations.
"The last visit of a Lithuanian Parliament speaker to Azerbaijan took place eight years ago. A lot of time has passed since then. We have now renewed relations between our parliaments and contacts within the framework of an inter-parliamentary group between Lithuania and Azerbaijan. We have a very large inter-parliamentary group with Azerbaijan. The group includes 64 members of the Lithuanian parliament, which makes up almost half of the entire parliament. From the Azerbaijani side, 14 people are participating in the inter-parliamentary group. The Lithuanian parliamentarians who were on a visit to Baku are also from this group," Pranckietis said.
He stressed that Lithuania, as an EU member, is interested in the signing a new partnership agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan.
"No doubt, we are interested in the agreement between Azerbaijan and the EU, as well as visa issues between the two sides. Azerbaijan is also one of the participants in the Eastern Partnership program, which turned 10 this year," the Lithuanian parliamentary speaker said.
Pranckietis also expressed support for the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The Lithuanian official was received by Azerbaijani Parliamentary Speaker Ogtay Asadov who said that the relations between the two countries are based on the principles of mutual respect and equal partnership. Next year the countries mark the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. Asadov reminded that 39 documents have been signed between two countries to date and additionally 10 documents are on signing process. Conducting business forums can play a positive role in strengthening ties in this area. The activity of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission has a great importance to develop relations further, as well, Asadov said.
Azerbaijan’s attractiveness for foreign investment and its favorable geographical location was also stressed during the meeting. The global oil and gas projects implemented by Azerbaijan contribute to the strengthening of European energy security.
Pranckieti was further received by Azerbaijani Prime Minister Ali Asadov and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
Mammadyarov and Pranckietis expressed their satisfaction with the current level of bilateral relations between the two countries and the existing wide potential for developing cooperation in the fields of agriculture, energy, transport, tourism, education and other spheres.
Mammadyarov briefed his interlocutors about Azerbaijan-European Union cooperation relations, ongoing negotiations on the new agreement between the sides, as well as Azerbaijan’s participation within the Eastern Partnership program.
Pranckietis stated that Azerbaijan is interested in technology and medical achievement in Lithuania, thus the country's representatives will attend a Fintech event to be held in Lithuania in late November.
That's the goal of the parliamentary diplomacy - to make contacts to create a political background for economic opportunities, Pranckietis stressed.
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