By Vafa Ismayilova
Three different municipalities from Italy's Catanzaro, Chieti and L'Aquila provinces have adopted documents urging respect for Azerbaijan's sovereignty, territorial integrity and internationally-recognized borders and further strengthening of Azerbaijani-Italian strategic partnership, Day.az reported on February 23.
The documents adopted by the municipality of Soverato of Catanzaro province, the municipality of Fossacezia of Chieti province and the municipality of Sante Maria of L'Aquila province also expressed solidarity with the people affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and stressed that the rights of Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs should be ensured to return to their native land, the Italian embassy told Day.az.
It should be noted that about 20 cities and municipalities in Italy have adopted similar documents.
A large Italian parliamentary delegation on December 7 was the first one from the EU visiting Azerbaijan after the war. At his meeting with this delegation, President Ilham Aliyev expressed his confidence about successful work with Italy in the liberated lands in the non-energy sector, the spheres of agriculture, tourism, creation of renewable energy sources.
Italy is one of a few countries involved in projects to be implemented in Azerbaijan's liberated territories.
A cooperation agreement on the construction of energy infrastructure in the liberated lands was signed between Azerenergy Director-General Baba Rzayev and Italian Ansaldo Energia CEO Marion Giuseppe and Italian Ambassador Augusto Massari. Under the accord, Ansaldo Energia will supply equipment for four 110 kV substations to be built in the Aghdam, Kalbajar and Gubadli regions.
In meetings with Azerbaijani officials as part of their post-war visits to Baku, Italian delegations focused on the restoration of energy infrastructure, urban development, mine clearance, restoration of historical monuments, implementation of projects in the tourism and agricultural areas.
Notably, Italy was Azerbaijan’s main trading partner in January and October 2020 with trade worth $4.2 billion out of the country's total turnover of $17.8 billion. Italy was Azerbaijan’s top trade partner in 2019 as well with the mutual trade amounting to $7 billion and Azerbaijan was the largest supplier of crude oil to Italy in this period. Some 113 Italian companies, operating in various fields, are registered in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is one of Italy’s three main energy resources suppliers. The implementation of the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline project is expected to further boost cooperation between the two countries.