Azerbaijan, Italy eye energy, reconstruction of de-occupied territories
By Sabina Mammadli
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and his Italian counterpart Antonio Tajani commended effective cooperation between Azerbaijan and Italy in the economic sector, Azernews reports.
The conversation took place through a phone call on November 21.
Bayramov congratulated his colleague on his appointment and wished him success in his future activities.
During the conversation, the sides stressed that Italy is Azerbaijan's largest trading partner, and Azerbaijan is one of the top energy suppliers of Italy. The importance of the Southern Gas Corridor and TAP in expanding energy cooperation was also noted.
Bayramov praised the development of energy cooperation and expressed readiness for the next meeting of the Azerbaijan-Italy Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation in Baku, which was last held in Rome.
Further, the Azerbaijani minister outlined the importance of high-level visits aimed at strengthening the Azerbaijan-Italy strategic partnership, in particular the visit of Italian President Sergio Mattarella to Azerbaijan in 2018, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's visit to Italy in 2020 and in September 2022, as well as the visit of former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy Luigi Di Maio in 2022.
He also pointed out the significance of further enhancing relations between the two countries, multidimensional strategic partnership, and political dialogue within the "Joint Declaration on Strengthening the Multidimensional Strategic Partnership between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Italy".
Speaking about the bilateral collaboration in education, the minister brought attention to the Italy-Azerbaijan University, the foundation of which was laid during the Italian foreign minister's visit to Baku.
Additionally, Bayramov briefed his colleague on the reconstruction work carried out in the post-Karabakh conflict period, the normalization process with Armenia, as well as thanked Italy for supporting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan. He noted that Italy is one of the first countries to take part in the restoration activities on Azerbaijan's liberated lands.
In turn, Tajani emphasized the strategic dialogue and cooperation between Azerbaijan and Italy, noting Italy's constant support for regional peace and stability. According to him, there are great prospects for partnership in education and culture, along with energy.
The parties also eyed other issues of mutual interest. Bayramov invited his Italian colleague to visit Azerbaijan.
The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on May 8, 1992. Italy's first embassy in the South Caucasus was opened in Azerbaijan in 1997 and the embassy of Azerbaijan in Italy has been functioning since 2003.
Italy was one of the first countries to express support for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, as well as an interest in participating in restoration efforts in Azerbaijan's liberated territories. Last year, Azerenergy and Ansaldo Energia signed a cooperation agreement on the construction of energy infrastructure in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories. According to the agreement, Ansaldo Energia will supply equipment for four 110 kV substations to be built in Aghdam, Kalbajar, and Gubadli districts.
Azerbaijan is a major supplier of energy to Italy. In Azerbaijan, over 100 Italian companies operate in various sectors. At the same time, Italian firms have contracts worth more than € 10 billion ($11.8 billion) for Azerbaijani projects both inside and outside the country. Azerbaijan's total investment in the Italian economy is estimated to be around € 1.7 billion ($2 billion), with Italy investing approximately € 770 million ($910.8 million) in Azerbaijan.
Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl
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