By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The Foreign Ministries of Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic have held political consultations in Prague.
Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov headed a delegation of Azerbaijan, while Ales Chmelar, Deputy Foreign Minister for European Issues, headed the Czech delegation. Martin Povejsil, Czech Deputy Foreign Minister for Security and Multilateral Issues, also participated in consultations.
During the meeting, the parties discussed issues of bilateral relations in the field of politics, economics, military-technical cooperation between the two countries within the UN and other international and regional organizations.
They also discussed relations between Azerbaijan and the EU and the socio-economic development of the country.
Khalafov expressed satisfaction with the political and economic relations between the two countries. He noted that Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic are strategic partners, and mutual visits and meetings are a clear confirmation of this.
The deputy minister informed the Czech side about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He stressed the importance of intensifying the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group and the international community for a peaceful settlement of the conflict based on the norms and principles of international law and within the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan.
Khalafov thanked the Czech Republic for the decision No. 219 dated 2013 of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic. The decision condemned Armenia for the massacre of Khojaly inhabitants.
During the meeting, the parties expressed satisfaction with the work of the Azerbaijani-Czech Joint Commission on Economic, Scientific-Technical and Cultural Cooperation. They agreed to hold the next meeting of the Commission at the end of 2019 in Prague and pledged to carry out preliminary preparatory work.
Speaking about the importance of cooperation with Azerbaijan, the Czech side stressed that mutual visits gave impetus to the development of relations and created favorable conditions for the improvement of the legal framework.
The parties further exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest of bilateral and international nature. In conclusion, Khalaf Khalafov invited Ales Chmelar and Martin Povejsil to Azerbaijan.
The Czech Republic is a strategic partner of Azerbaijan. The presidents of the Czech Republic and Azerbaijan signed a memorandum on strategic partnership in 2015.
Relations are actively developing in the economic sphere. The Czech Republic annually imports oil from Azerbaijan for up to $1.5 billion.
The close relationship between the two countries is seen by the fact that the Czech Republic occupies the 9th place in terms of foreign investment in the Azerbaijani economy.
In addition, Czech companies operating in Azerbaijan are actively working to strengthen relations between the two countries.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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