Azerbaijan, Finland discuss regional peace, ties [PHOTO]
By Vugar Khalilov
Azerbaijani Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov received a Finnish delegation led by Director-General of the Foreign Ministry's department for Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia Maria Livala on January 24.
Hasanov briefed the guest, who is on a working visit to Azerbaijan, on the activities carried out in the liberated lands as well as the situation on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border, the Defence Ministry said.
The minister emphasized that Azerbaijan and Finland successfully cooperate as part of the NATO Partnership for Peace Program.
In turn, Livala emphasized the importance of strengthening ties between the two countries.
The officials also talked about bilateral relations, regional peace and stability, and other topics of mutual interest.
In late September 2021, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov met his Finnish counterpart Pekka Olavi Haavisto on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
The sides expressed satisfaction with the level of development of bilateral relations and multilateral cooperation and exchanged views on prospects for expanding these ties. They also stressed the mutual understanding existing between Azerbaijan and Finland at all levels.
During the meeting, the ministers exchanged views on various aspects of the bilateral cooperation agenda, including strengthening of political, economic, humanitarian, educational, agricultural, high tech, investment, cultural cooperation, as well as regional security issues, implementation of the provisions of the trilateral statements and realization of confidence-building measures.
Bayramov briefed Haavisto about large-scale acts of deliberate destruction committed by Armenia in Azerbaijan's liberated lands, destruction of historical and cultural heritage, large-scale damage to the environment, as well as the threat of landmines and broadly informed Pekka Olavi Haavisto of the ongoing reconstruction.
He noted that despite decades of the aggressive policy pursued by Armenia against Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan is ready to normalize relations with the neighboring country on the basis of the principles of international law.
Minister Pekka Haavisto said that his country is interested in expanding relations with Azerbaijan in various areas. He said that Azerbaijan’s position on the normalization of relations with Armenia is commendable and stressed the importance of implementing the trilateral ceasefire agreement signed by Baku, Moscow and Yerevan in November 2021.
Finland recognised Azerbaijan's independence on December 30, 1991. Diplomatic relations were established on 24 March 1992.