The state visit of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to Italy can be called historical both in nature and content, Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev said in an interview on the state visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Italy, Trend reports.
Hikmet Hajiyev noted that Italy recognized the state independence of Azerbaijan on January 1, 1992, and diplomatic relations were established between the two countries on May 2 of the same year.
"Since that time, our ties have been continuously and positively developing. The first state visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Italy is of particular importance in terms of the status, quantity and quality of signed documents, bringing bilateral relations including trade, economic, military-technical, cultural relations, to the level of strategic partnership This was the first state visit of the head of Azerbaijan to Italy. In previous years, the Azerbaijani president visited Italy five times with three being official and two business visits," Hajiyev said.
"Italian President Sergio Mattarella made his first official visit to Azerbaijan in July 2018. A state visit is considered the highest in terms of status, and they are made to a limited number of countries during a year. The range of issues discussed during a state visit is broader, the essence is more profound. In addition, this was the first state visit made by the head of a foreign state to Italy in 2020, which is a manifestation of special respect for our country and its president," Hikmet Hajiyev noted.
"During the visit, President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva were paid special respect and attention. This can be seen in every detail of the organizational and protocol aspects of the visit of the head of state, and in the richness of the visit's program. President Ilham Aliyev held meetings with his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella in one-on-one and expanded formats, as well as with the President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic (Prime Minister) Giuseppe Conte, the presidents of the Italian Senate of the Republic and the Chamber of Deputies," Hikmet Hajiyev said.
"The state visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Italy has ensured a new level of relations between Azerbaijan and Italy. At present, relations between Azerbaijan and Italy are at the level of strategic partnership. Italy is the main political, economic and trade partner of Azerbaijan among the EU countries. We have high level political ties. Experience shows that the superiority of political relations between the two countries has created a comprehensive guarantee in other areas, including for the development of cooperation in the economic, commercial, cultural and other fields," Hikmet Hajiyev said.
"In addition to strategic partnership in a bilateral format, both countries also have close and multidisciplinary cooperation within international organizations. In particular, Italy actively supports the strengthening of Azerbaijan's cooperation with the EU and NATO. Italy, being the 7th economy of the world, a member of the G-7, as well as organizations such as the EU and NATO, has its weight and plays an important role in international relations," the assistant to the Azerbaijani president added.
"At the meetings, Italian side noted such important factors as the strategically favorable location of Azerbaijan, pursuing a successful policy, despite being in a difficult region, and close friendly relations with neighboring countries, as well as secular traditions," Hajiyev noted.
"Other events during the visit included a state reception in honor of President Ilham Aliyev at the Italian Presidential Palace, a concert program for the heads of state and delegations on the occasion of the launch of the "2020 - Year of Azerbaijani Culture in Italy" project, a working lunch with leaders of more than 10 world-famous leading Italian industrial and financial groups, an Azerbaijani-Italian business forum, and a visit to the Rome city hall. Consequently, this visit can be called historical in nature and content," Hikmat Hajiyev added.
The assistant to the Azerbaijani president emphasized that 28 documents were signed between the two states during the visit.
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