Serbian president back to Azerbaijan again to reach new heights with strategic partner
Hot on the heels of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s official visit to Belgrade, Serbian leader Aleksandar Vucic is back again in Baku with a large government delegation to gauge and estimate the horizons of the political, economic, military, and energy cooperation, to name but a few.
In Baku, the Serbian leader had also a separate meeting with Azerbaijani Defense Industry Minister Madat Quliyev, which prior to the press statements of the presidents, indicated the two countries' intention to also cooperate in the defense sector.
Addressing the media following the presidents' one-to-one meeting, President Aliyev praised the positive dynamics of relations and strategic partnership between the two nations, thrusting into the spotlight the determination of the two peoples to always support each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, underscoring that the policy will remain perpetual.
Giving prominence to opportunities for cooperation in trade, transport, logistics, as well as natural gas and electricity sectors, President Ilham Aliyev vowed that "tangible steps" would be taken to export Azerbaijani electricity to Serbia starting next year as part of the Black Sea underwater cable signed with European countries recently in Romania. He added that Belgrade and Baku have also had significant capacities in the defense industry sector and that "specific steps are expected to be taken to put this potential together".
The dynamics of relations between Azerbaijan and Serbia are promising and positive and both leaders are behind the deals to be implemented they made in Belgrade last month.
“We are not only hopeful, but we have also given appropriate instructions to our governments for the implementation of those decisions. I am aware that the heads of our respective institutions have been in contact with each other in the past month, and these contacts continue to this day. In other words, we want our bilateral relations to develop rapidly and the decisions to be implemented without wasting time,” the Azerbaijani leader underlined.
The scopes of cooperation are indeed broad and they create new opportunities for future cooperation as both Serbia and Azerbaijan rely on their own resources and pursue independent policies and maintain close contacts with each other, augmenting them with concrete and practical steps and projects. Azerbaijan and Serbia have long cooperated in a number of sectors for a long time and they are strategic partners, as several documents on strategic partnership between the two nations reveal.
Baku and Serbia are very sensitive about their territorial integrity and sovereignty, and the two presidents pledged to remain loyal to this line.
“We advocate international law and are convinced that the relations between countries can be regulated only on the basis of norms and principles of international law. Of course, we are very concerned about the manifestations of double standards observed in the world in this field. Norms and principles of international law should serve as a basis for all countries,” the Azerbaijani president reiterated.
Taking advantage of such wonderful relations of strategic partnership and, at the same time, the two presidents’ “personal friendly relations”, the governments hope that this will produce results in all areas, of course, first of all, in trade.
The Azerbaijani leader believes the current level of economic relations has not reached the desired level and pushes for conquering the level that can be considered as desired.
“I am sure that the implementation of the agreements reached will lead to an increase in the volume of trade. It is not at the desired level yet. There is great potential in the field of transport and logistics, especially if we take into account that international transport corridors pass through the territories of Azerbaijan and Serbia, and our relevant institutions should work hard to create alignments and connections. Contacts have already been established between relevant institutions of our countries.”
Among other spheres of cooperation, the energy sector is a part of the relations between the two nations and the presidents stressed this aspect at their meeting as many experts keep reiterating.
The importance of this area has been on the increase lately. Azerbaijan's natural resources are already being exported in various directions, including the European continent and countries that are Serbia's neighbors. There are opportunities for cooperation in both natural gas and electricity.
“Relevant negotiations have been held and I am sure that tangible steps will be taken to export Azerbaijan's electricity to Serbia starting next year,” the news conference heard.
Referring to his latest visit to Romania, the president added that “a corresponding agreement was signed on the delivery of Azerbaijan's electricity to Europe four days ago. The cable that will be extended under the Black Sea will further highlight the fact that Azerbaijan is an important supplier for Europe in this field too. All this ushers ample opportunities and opens new horizons, and we will cooperate in this area, of course, in bilateral and multilateral formats”.
The president of Azerbaijan also focused on the potential to work together in the defense industry sector as both countries possess the significant capacity and specific steps are expected to be taken to combine this potential together.
Last but not least, the two nations are optimistic about the two reciprocal visits, the contacts between members of our delegations, and the future of Serbia-Azerbaijani relations as a whole.
For his turn, President Vucic said that Serbia and Azerbaijan are opening up some new areas of cooperation such as the exchange of technology in the defense industry and "work on some products that we can take to the markets of third countries together". Actually, this reveals the reason why the Serbian president had a meeting with Azerbaijani Defence Industry Minister Madat Quliyev.
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