Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has held talks in Austria during his official visit to the country, which started on May 12.
A ceremonial Guard of Honor was lined up for the Azerbaijani President in front of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. Austrian President Heinz Fischer and his spouse Margit Fischer welcomed President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva.
Following the official welcoming ceremony, the two presidents met in private. During the meeting, they praised the development of the Azerbaijan-Austria relations in various fields, including politics and economics.
The presidents noted the importance of high-level reciprocal visits in terms of the development of bilateral relations.
It was noted that President Aliyev's official visit to Austria would contribute to developing the relations between the two countries.
Later on Presidents Aliyev and Fischer signed "the Joint Declaration on Friendly Relations and Partnership between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Austria" in Vienna.
The Azerbaijani President and his Austrian counterpart held a joint press conference.
Speaking about his official visit to Azerbaijan paid in October 2011, the Austrian President pointed out that the visit gave an impetus to cooperation between the two countries. He noted that the development of friendly relations opened up avenues for Azerbaijani-Austrian cooperation in all areas.
President Fischer said the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved in line with the norms of international law.
The Austrian leader stressed the development of bilateral economic ties. According to him, Austrian companies are successfully operating in Azerbaijan in a variety of fields. Fischer said there are good prospects for energy cooperation between the two nations.
The Azerbaijani President said that the signed Joint Declaration would boost bilateral relations. President Aliyev noted that the economic cooperation between the two countries is successful, with the trade turnover increasing. Companies from the two countries are closely cooperating.
The President touched upon the importance of the energy cooperation, in particular, the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline. He said the pipeline will provide additional opportunities for shipping Azerbaijani gas to Europe.
On the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Aliyev said Armenia continues to keep part of the Azerbaijani lands under occupation, defying resolutions of international organizations, in particular, the UN Security Council. The Azerbaijani leader said the mediating OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have reaffirmed that the status-quo is unacceptable.
The same day Heinz Fischer and his spouse hosted an official luncheon in honor of the Azerbaijani President and First Lady in Vienna.
President Aliyev met Chancellor of Austria Werner Faymann in Vienna on Monday.
The sides praised the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Austria.
During the talks, the sides exchanged views on the current state and prospects of Azerbaijan-Austria economic relations. The Azerbaijani President and the Austrian Chancellor said there was good potential for expansion of the economic cooperation.
President Aliyev also met with the Mayor of Vienna Michael Haupl.
Earlier on May 12, the President met with Chairman of the Executive Board of OMV AG, Gerhard Roiss, in Vienna. The sides exchanged views on the cooperation between Azerbaijan and OMV AG and the possibility of implementing joint energy projects in the future.
Before the meeting the President and his spouse visited and laid flowers at a monument to great Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibayli in Donaupark, Vienna.
Donaupark features monuments to outstanding world cultural figures. Uzeyir Hajibayli`s monument was unveiled there in 2006.
Austria-Azerbaijan business forum
A joint business forum was held in Vienna with the participation of the Azerbaijani and Austrian Presidents on May 13.
Opening the forum, President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber Christoph Leitl congratulated Ilham Aliyev on what he has done to ensure Azerbaijan`s development.
"Today a lot of huge projects are being implemented in Azerbaijan," said Leitl, adding that the projects cover a number of fields and Azerbaijan has good potential for cooperation.
The Austrian President hailed the expansion of economic ties between Austria and Azerbaijan, saying Azerbaijan has become a favorable market for his country.
President Fischer said the cooperation between the two countries covered a number of fields, including tourism, service and banking sectors.
He stressed that the Azerbaijan-Austria business forum held in Baku in 2011 paved the way for the expansion of bilateral relations, adding that the current meeting of businessmen will be a good step towards the development of bilateral relations.
President Aliyev, for his part, said Austrian companies were successfully working in Azerbaijan, making their contribution to the economic development of the country.
He also noted that Austrian companies were involved in a variety of fields in Azerbaijan, including restoration of architectural monuments, particularly the Maiden Tower, referring to a historical symbol of Baku dating back to the ancient times.
The President said Austrian companies are "our main partners" and invited the Austrian businessmen to Azerbaijan.
He also emphasized that Azerbaijan has launched its own satellite.
The President said a major task was diversification of the economy.
Aliyev also hailed the energy cooperation with Austria, saying "Azerbaijan`s energy diplomacy is based on cooperation".
"It is no coincidence that Azerbaijan made history as the first country which opened Caspian energy resources to the world," he said.
"Today Azerbaijan plays a crucial role in the world energy security with its system of oil and gas pipelines."
Azerbaijani Cultural Center
The opening ceremony of the Azerbaijani Cultural Center in Vienna was held with President Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva's participation on May 13.
The President delivered a speech at the opening ceremony. He hailed the opening of the Cultural Center in Vienna, which is one of the cultural centers of the world, regarding it as "a significant milestone" in the history of the relations between the two countries.
President Aliyev expressed confidence that the Cultural Center in Vienna would make a tremendous contribution to bolstering strong friendship and partnership relations between the two countries and peoples.
Speaking to the ceremony, Fritz Neugebauer, Second President of the Austrian National Council, hailed the friendship ties between Azerbaijan and Austria.
Touching upon the importance of the political and business links, Neugebauer said cultural ties bring nations closer. He expressed confidence that President Aliyev`s official visit, as well as the opening of the Cultural Center, would give an impetus to further strengthening of the relationship.
At the opening ceremony, Austrian public figures, representatives of Azerbaijani diaspora and Azerbaijani students talked to President Aliyev. They praised the opening of the Cultural Center in Vienna, describing it as "an important step".
The Cultural Center was set up under President Aliyev`s Order signed on November 16, 2012, and is aimed at popularizing Azerbaijan`s cultural heritage in Austria. The Center will host a variety of events on Azerbaijan`s rich cultural heritage, art and tourism potential. Visitors will have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with Azerbaijani classic literature and music.
The Cultural Center in Vienna is one of the important initiatives undertaken by Azerbaijan`s First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva to promote the country abroad.
During the visit to Austria, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visited the Imperial Treasury at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna on Monday.
Mehriban Aliyeva and Austrian First Lady Margit Fischer viewed the paintings reflecting the ancient sights of the Hofburg Palace.
Mehriban Aliyeva was informed that the Imperial Treasury contains a valuable collection of secular and ecclesiastical treasures covering over a thousand years of European history.
The same day, Aliyeva visited the Spanish Riding School at the Hofburg Palace.
Then, the Azerbaijani First Lady viewed St. Michael`s Church, one of the oldest churches in Vienna, and also one of its few remaining Romanesque buildings which is now used as a museum, located in the center of Vienna.
On May 14, President Aliyev met with the President of the Federation of Austrian Industries and leaders of the country`s major companies.
Georg Kapsch, President of the Federation, said he was pleased to meet the Azerbaijani leader.
President Aliyev made a speech at the meeting.
The heads of Austria`s leading companies briefed the Azerbaijani President on the activity of their companies. They also praised the ongoing development in Azerbaijan.
The heads of the companies pointed out that they were interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan on infrastructure, agriculture, pharmaceutics, energy, tourism, information and communication technologies.