Baku, Rome ink protocol of intent on cooperation
Azerbaijani Defense Minister Col-Gen Zakir Hasanov and his Italian counterpart Guido Crosetto signed a protocol of intent on cooperation in the field of training and education, Azernews reports.
At the start of the meeting, the ministers passed along the guard of honor, and both countries' national anthems were performed.
Further, the Italian guest signed the “Book of Honor” in accordance with the protocol.
Informing the visiting delegation about the military-political situation in the region in the post-war period, Zakir Hasanov emphasized that cooperation between Azerbaijan and Italy in the field of military education, as well as within the framework of NATO, continues rapidly, and these relations are highly valued.
He then went on to point out that the current visit is the beginning of a new stage of development in the field of Azerbaijan-Italy military cooperation.
In turn, Crosetto expressed gratitude for the hospitality and highlighted the importance of developing military cooperation between the two countries.
During the meeting, the sides emphasized the significance of mutual visits in the development of relations between the countries based on strategic partnership. The parties also eyed the further expansion of cooperation in the military, military-technical, and military-educational spheres and other issues of mutual interest.
Earlier, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met with the Italian Defense Minister.
Saying that Azerbaijani-Italian bilateral relations based on strategic partnership are developing successfully, President Ilham Aliyev emphasized the importance of high-level reciprocal visits in this regard and hailed his recent visit to Italy.
Minister Crosetto noted that the Azerbaijani president’s visits to Italy are always welcomed with great pleasure in this country.
The Italian defense minister expressed his gratitude to President Ilham Aliyev for his appreciation of Italy’s role in the development of Azerbaijan-NATO and Azerbaijan-European Union relations.
During the conversation, it was noted that there were good prospects for expanding cooperation in the fields of energy, construction, tourism, agriculture, defense industry, and others.
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.
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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