Vietnamese President meets Azerbaijani officials
By Sara Rajabova
Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang, who is on an official visit to Baku, hold talks at the Azerbaijani parliament following a meeting with Azerbaijani President and an Azerbaijani-Vietnamese business forum, on May 14.
President Tan Sang met with Speaker Ogtay Asadov and toured the conference halls of the parliament.
Asadov hailed the role of reciprocal visits of the two countries` presidents in expanding cooperation.
He highlighted the inter-parliamentary relations and huge projects implemented by Azerbaijan. He also stressed the importance of expanding economic cooperation between the two countries.
Touching upon the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Asadov stressed that 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands remains under military occupation, adding than over one million Azerbaijanis were made into refugees and IDPs in their own country as a result of the conflict.
He noted that despite four resolutions by the UN Security Council and other international organizations, the Armenian leadership has yet to abandon its aggressive stance.
The Vietnamese president, for his part, said his country was interested in strengthening its relations with Azerbaijan.
He hailed Azerbaijan`s assistance to Vietnam during the Soviet era, especially in the field of training of specialists in oil and gas industry.
The Vietnamese president also praised the two countries` cooperation within international organizations.
On the same day, Prime Minister Artur Rasizade met a Vietnamese delegation led by President Tan Sang.
Hailing relations between Azerbaijan and Vietnam, Rasizade highlighted the big energy projects which Azerbaijan implemented.
He noted that Azerbaijan also attaches great importance to the development of the non-oil sector.
Vietnamese president, in turn, praised Azerbaijan`s economic achievements in recent years, noting big potential for the development of cooperation between the two countries in a variety of fields.
The sides also discussed a number of issues of mutual interest.
During his Baku visit, the Vietnamese president also visited the Alley of Honors to lay a wreath at the tomb of Azerbaijan`s national leader, founder and architect of modern Azerbaijani state, Heydar Aliyev.
The Vietnamese president also visited the Alley of Martyrs and laid a wreath at the Eternal Flame monument.
The diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Vietnam were established on September 23, 1992.
In the last two years relations between the two countries were boosted with the establishment of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Vietnam in 2013 and the state visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Vietnam, on May 18-19, 2014.
The Azerbaijani State Customs Committee data showed that the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Vietnam amounted to $79.76 million as of 2014 or almost four times less compared to 2013. Thus, some $75.37 million accounted for the export of Azerbaijani goods to Vietnam in 2014.
Azerbaijan and Vietnam have set a common goal to increase their bilateral trade turnover to $1 billion in the near future.