By Nigar Orujova
London has hosted a regular meeting of the co-chairs of the Anglo-Azerbaijani Society.
Held at the London Royal Garden hotel, the meeting involved Professor Nargiz Pashayeva on behalf of Azerbaijan and Lord German, House of Lords member, on behalf of the UK.
The meeting was also attended by Azerbaijani Ambassador to the UK Tahir Taghizade, BP Regional President for Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia Gordon Birrell, members of the Anglo-Azerbaijani Society's Executive Committee, UK state and government officials, parliamentarians, and representatives of the Azerbaijani Diaspora.
In his opening remarks, Lord German praised the activities of the Society. He said the Anglo-Azerbaijani Society will enhance its efforts towards expanding cultural and business ties between the two countries.
German added he was happy to cooperate with Nargiz Pashayeva on this issue. Pashayeva paid tribute to the late co-chair of the Anglo-Azerbaijani Society Lord Fraser.
Pashayeva said she believes the efforts of the new co-chair Lord German will help the Society make further success, especially in the fields of charity, culture and education.
Credibility was the major source of pride for the Anglo-Azerbaijani Society, she added.
Describing both Azerbaijan and Britain as "beautiful" countries, Pashayeva said: "One of the most important factor that makes these countries so interesting is their people. People are guarantors of our future. I am confident that ties between our nations will rise to a new level through our experience."
The professor also stressed the importance of promoting Azerbaijani language in the world. She noted that about 5,000 students from Azerbaijan have received education in the UK over the last twenty years. "It is of great importance for the convergence of civil societies in Azerbaijan and the UK."
Pashayeva said that the greatest achievement of Azerbaijan is its independence restoration.
"We are proud that the relations between Azerbaijan and the UK have broadened, and we have such an important organization as the Anglo-Azerbaijani Society," she noted.
Following, she presented Lord German with the "Mysterious monuments of Azerbaijan" book.
Gordon Birrell highlighted the activities and plans of BP. He said the company supports development of Azerbaijan in all spheres.
Azerbaijani Ambassador Tahir Taghizade hailed Azerbaijani-UK relations. He lauded the Anglo-Azerbaijani Society's contribution to the development of cultural ties between the two countries.
The Embassy will further support the activities of the Society, he added.
The meeting also featured performance by young Azerbaijani violinist Nazrin Rashidova and pianist Murad Adigozalzade.
The Anglo-Azerbaijani Society is a principal organization aimed at promoting the cultural, charitable and other links between Azerbaijan and the UK.
Established in 1997, the society supports Azerbaijani-British relations in all spheres and assists charitable endeavors in Azerbaijan, as well as keeps members closely informed on the developments in Azerbaijan and increases public awareness about Azerbaijan in the UK.
The membership comprises major British companies in the oil, banking, insurance, engineering, services, communications, law and other sectors.
Azerbaijan and the UK have benefited from close bilateral partnership and cooperation since 1992 in the framework of international organizations such as the United Nations, OSCE, Council of Europe, and NATO.
In an interview with Azertag State News Agency, on the sidelines of the meeting, Pashayeva highlighted the history of the Anglo-Azerbaijani Society. "The society has won trust and authority in both countries."
"Our main goal is to strengthen independence - the greatest achievement and asset of Azerbaijan," she stressed.
She said charity, cross-cultural exchange and development of education are key priorities for the Society.
"The achievements of Europe are well-known in the world. So we need to take advantage of this. Our main goal is to promote the essence of Azerbaijan among ordinary people in the United Kingdom, promote Azerbaijan as a bearer of not only Eastern, but also Western values," the professor added.
Pashayeva also shared her views on the new co-chair of the Society Lord German, saying she was happy to cooperate with him and expressed her confidence that he will contribute to the work of the Society.