Robert Fico: Azerbaijan is exemplary in terms of sovereignty


‘You (Azerbaijan – ed.) are a sovereign country, and when it comes to sovereignty, you are an exemplary nation,’ Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico said in a joint press conference with President Ilham Aliyev.

Stating that he always values such countries highly, the Prime Minister said: ‘You stand up against injustice. I will try to apply the same approach in Slovakia so that Slovakia can also conduct a sovereign foreign policy.’

Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency

Azerbaijani President, Slovak Prime Minister made joint statement-UPDATED-1

Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Robert Fico, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, made press statements, APA reports.

The President of Azerbaijan made the statement first.

Statement by President Ilham Aliyev

– Dear Mr. Prime Minister.

Dear guests, ladies, and gentlemen.

Today marks a significant day in the history of Slovakia-Azerbaijan relations. Honorable Prime Minister is visiting Azerbaijan, and a Joint Declaration on strategic partnership was signed within the framework of the visit. This is a very serious political document, a document that raises our relations to the highest level. The articles contained in the Declaration of strategic partnership reflect our intentions and, at the same time, define the prospects for future cooperation.

I believe that today marks the opening of a new chapter in Slovakia-Azerbaijani relations, and I am hopeful that our shared path will be highly successful.

Today, Mr. Prime Minister and I discussed many issues during the one-on-one m
eeting and also in the negotiations with the participation of our delegations. We reaffirmed the high level of our political relations. At the same time, we expressed our attitude to the work to be carried out in many areas.

As you may know, among the documents signed today are agreements related to defense and defense industry sectors. A broad exchange of ideas has taken place in these two areas, and concrete negotiations have already started on the establishment of joint production capacities in the field of defense industry.

Of course, cooperation in the energy sector has also been extensively discussed today. Azerbaijan currently exports its natural gas to eight countries, and I hope that Slovakia will be the ninth. In April of last year, a document called ‘Solidarity Ring’ was signed, ushering ample opportunities for transporting Azerbaijani gas to the Slovak market.

The Declaration of strategic partnership signed between the European Union and Azerbaijan in the field of gas and energy is being implem
ented. Azerbaijan transports its natural gas to Europe through reliable routes. Our supply to Europe will increase from 8 billion cubic meters in 2021 to up to 12 billion cubic meters this year. This accounts for 50 percent of Azerbaijan’s total gas exports. Our plans include delivering 20 billion cubic meters of gas solely to the European Union by the end of 2027, and I believe we will achieve this goal.

Gas production in Azerbaijan is growing, with new fields being discovered and production already underway from these fields. Simultaneously, we are actively implementing our large-scale green agenda. The construction of a number of wind and solar power plants will allow us the opportunity to save gas, and of course, the main direction and destination of this gas will be Europe.

Today, attention was also focused on efforts to increase trade between our countries. As you may know, the Slovakia-Azerbaijan business forum was held today, and dozens of Slovak business people are visiting Azerbaijan. Numerous inv
estment projects are also being discussed. These issues were discussed and received the green light from both sides, so to speak.

Another significant aspect of our cooperation is the involvement of a Slovak company in the liberated territories. The reconstruction of the Garvand village in the Aghdam district will be carried out by a Slovak company. This, of course, holds great symbolic meaning, showcasing the sincerity of our relations. At the same time, the work to be done by Slovak specialists based on the ‘smart city’ and ‘smart village’ advanced concepts in the liberated lands will undoubtedly bring joy to the returning residents.

In a nutshell, the agenda discussed today was quite extensive. This is my first personal meeting with Mr. Prime Minister. At the same time, we have exchanged views on many international issues, and there is no difference of opinion here either. Slovakia and Azerbaijan today pursue a policy based on sovereignty and dignity. I congratulated Mr. Fico on his re-election as Prime M
inister and said that this was a sign of great appreciation of his work by the Slovak people. It is not the first time that Mr. Fico has been elected Prime Minister, and his re-election is a sign of the Slovak people’s respect for independence, sovereignty and national dignity. And this choice makes us extremely happy as friends of the Slovak people. I can say that tangible steps were taken immediately after Mr. Fico resumed his duties as Prime Minister, with high-ranking officials from Slovakia and Azerbaijan exchanging visits. And today, we welcome our distinguished guest.

Once again, dear Prime Minister, you are welcome! I am confident that your visit will be pleasant and will open up new opportunities for our cooperation.

x x x

Then, the Prime Minister of Slovakia made the statement.

Statement by Prime Minister Robert Fico

– Mr. President.

Ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of the Slovak delegation, I would like to thank you for the hospitality extended to us. Your country is famous for its hospitalit
y.

Mr. President, I do hope that you will visit Slovakia with your delegation at a time that you consider convenient, so that we can continue our constructive and useful discussions we started today. I believe that today’s results have exceeded our expectations.

Mr. President, you have been elected a president for the fifth term. This is really an indication that you are a very important person for this country, and I congratulate you on your re-election. I can tell you clearly that our discussions in the one-on-one meeting confirmed what I think about your country and you personally. You are pursuing a sovereign foreign policy. You are a person who champions international law. You are a pragmatic person, and your foreign policy is not limited to one direction only. You know perfectly well how important territorial integrity is. At the same time, as a representative of a country that is a member of the European Union, I can say that the European Union likes to lecture others from time to time. In my politic
al experience, I prefer never to interfere in the internal affairs of any country.

Mr. President, I am disappointed by the discrimination, injustice and bias against small countries in some international institutions. Because we are considered a small country in terms of population. I have been listening to you very carefully, and I said this to the delegation that met me at the airport yesterday. We are ready to serve as a bridge between Azerbaijan and the European Union, we want to show the objective situation in Azerbaijan to the European Union. We must fight for justice. Slovakia in 2020-2023 was an example of how indifferent the European Union is. At that time, the country’s criminal code was used to fight the opposition. At that time, we were in the opposition, and today, due to what happened in that period, in 2020-2023, we adopted very important laws in our parliament. However, the attention of the European Union is on us precisely because of this. In other words, we have this experience with these i
nstitutions. I can also tell our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and parliament from here that we should cover the situation in Azerbaijan as objectively as possible.

Mr. President, we have made great progress. Of course, our turnover is quite low, but there are no obstacles here. We do not have disagreements in any area.

When I heard Mr. President’s position on Ukraine, I felt as though it echoed the position of the Slovak government. We talked about what was happening at the global level, about how things would evolve after the end of the conflict in Ukraine and China’s role in the world. That is, we have a very similar position. Unfortunately, our turnover is a little more than 70 million euros, and of course, the advantage here is on our side, because we export cars to Azerbaijan. There are numerous enterprises in this field in Slovakia. We need to expand our cooperation. If we have a strong president and a politically strong prime minister, we can take on several projects and implement them successfully.

Mr. President, I attach great importance to this cooperation, especially in the military field, and I highly appreciate it. The idea of establishing joint production capacities in Azerbaijan should be attractive to everyone. We have already discussed certain details of this, and our Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense KalinĂ¡k is very active in this field as well. He will do his best to make these projects successful. We are talking about production sites outside Slovakia.

Mr. President, I would also like to thank you for supporting our initiative in Karabakh. This is a ‘smart village’ project. It is a very interesting project. I would like to visit there as soon as possible, and I hope that you will soon visit us in Slovakia. There we can discuss this progress. At the same time, we are also interested in the construction of a small airport and we are also interested in cooperation in the field of energy.

Of course, the use of Slovakia’s transport infrastructure has become complicated due to the wa
r in Ukraine. There is a project to import Azerbaijani gas from the territory of Ukraine through a location on the Russian-Ukrainian border. If we are talking about a volume of 20 billion cubic meters, it should be interesting for everyone. Of course, I do not think that Azerbaijan is engaged in charity, we simply hope for fair prices and have full respect for your interests.

Mr. President, I am sure that we will create a positive atmosphere at the European level as well. You know that everyone in Europe likes to speculate. They try to see the worst. We not only want to buy gas from Azerbaijan, we also want to import gas from the territory of Ukraine to Slovakia, and I highly appreciate your constructive approach to this matter.

As the Prime Minister of Ukraine said, a certain agreement can be reached between Russia and Ukraine if there is Azerbaijani gas. It will be beneficial for everyone – for Slovakia, for you and for Ukraine because they will transit it. This can be an exemplary project and, Mr. Presid
ent, let me thank you for the information you provided in this regard.

Mr. President, I want to wish you personally the best of luck. I convey my best wishes to your country and people.

You are a sovereign country, a model country when it comes to sovereignty. I have always appreciated such countries when it comes to sovereign positions and ideas. You stand up to injustice. I will try to apply the same approach to Slovakia, so that Slovakia can conduct a sovereign foreign policy, and when sovereign countries like us come together, the results can be very good.

Mr. President, I convey my best wishes to you, Azerbaijan and the people of Azerbaijan, and wish you every success in your work. Thank you for your cooperation, and you have a great personal contribution to this matter. Thank you for your contribution to Slovak-Azerbaijani cooperation.

***13:30

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of the Robert Fico, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic made a joint statement to
the press, APA reports.

***13:07

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of the Robert Fico, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic are making a joint statement to the press, APA reports.

Source: Azeri-Press news agency

UN hails Azerbaijan’s preparation of its 4th national review on SDGs

BAKU: The UN congratulates Azerbaijan’s preparation for its 4th national review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Assistant Administrator, Director, Bureau for Policy and Program Services of the UN Development Program (UNDP) Marcos Neto said, Trend reports.

The official made the remark at the opening of the 4th SDG Dialogue, themed ‘Stakeholder Consultation on the 4th Voluntary National Review of Azerbaijan and Women’s Economic Empowerment for SDG 5 Acceleration.”

“Azerbaijan is one of the five countries that have prepared their fourth national review of the SDGs. In this regard, we congratulate Azerbaijan,” he pointed out.

According to Neto, women’s participation in the economy means an additional $12 trillion.

“The negative consequences of prohibiting women from participating in the economy are incredible,” the official emphasized.

He mentioned that the UN is ready to support the enhancement of women’s role in Azerbaijan’s economy and can develop financial programs.

“We support Azerbaijan’s
national priorities and share knowledge in fields such as demining, gender equality, and climate change.

We have established 17 women’s resource centers in Azerbaijan. Thus, more than 8,000 women have undergone various courses and have been provided with equipment. We provide them with psychological and financial support,” Neto said.

He stressed the need for reforms in professions that are off-limits to women globally.

“Azerbaijan has achieved outstanding success in this area. We would like the country to integrate gender equality into all spheres. Azerbaijan can also benefit from Brazil’s experience in this matter,” he added.

To note, the event is taking place in Baku.

Source: Trend News Agency

President Ilham Aliyev held one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister of Slovakia-UPDATED-1

Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, held a one-on-one meeting with Robert Fico, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, who is on an official visit to the country, APA reports.

President Ilham Aliyev welcomed Prime Minister Robert Fico.

They posed together for photographs.

***12:02

Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, held a one-on-one meeting with Robert Fico, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, who is on an official visit to the country, APA reports.

*** 11:03

On May 7, the one-on-one meeting of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev with the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Robert Fico commenced, APA reports.

Source: Azeri-Press news agency

Border pillars in Tavush ensure Armenia’s security – PM Pashinyan

BAKU: The border pillars in Tavush are a guarantee of Armenia’s security, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at a press conference, Trend reports.

‘Since the prior guarantees failed, the focus of current events in Armenia is on creating new security pledges,’ he emphasized.

Pashinyan pledged to exert maximum effort to enhance these assurances and expand the number of border pillars.

As part of efforts to clarify coordinates, geodetic measurements as of May 6, 2024, led to the installation of 40 border pillars along the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The collaborative efforts of expert groups from both countries are ongoing.

Source: Trend News Agency

Earthquake jolts border zone of Armenia and Azerbaijan

On May 7 at 20:40 in the border zone of Armenia and Azerbaijan, a seismological network of the Territorial Seismic Protection Service of Republic of Armenia Ministry of Internal Affairs registered an earthquake with magnitude 2.0 that occurred 19 km to the north of the village, 10 km deep, APA reports.

The intensity of the earthquake in the epicentral zone was 2-3 MSK.

Source: Azeri-Press news agency

Azerbaijan to expand responsibilities of its military servicemen

BAKU: Responsibilities of Azerbaijan’s military servicemen will be expanded according to the proposed amendment to the law “On approval of the Charter of the internal service of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan”, submitted for discussion at today’s meeting of the nation’s parliament, Trend reports.

The responsibilities include the study of international rules for the protection of cultural heritage during armed conflict and their observance.

By incorporating the provisions on cultural heritage protection envisioned in the Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict into national legislative acts, this draft law aspires to establish a legal basis for ensuring their implementation.

Under the proposed legislation, Azerbaijani military personnel would be obligated to familiarize themselves with and adhere to international protocols for the preservation of cultural artifacts in times of war. Additionally, the law would allow for the use of ve
hicles bearing a unique emblem to transfer cultural artifacts to secure locations during times of war.

Furthermore, the proposal expands the legal grounds for denying extradition, as well as the standards for awarding special or enhanced protective status to Azerbaijani national cultural and natural heritage artifacts.

The discussion was followed by the amendment’s put-up for a vote and adoption in the third reading.

Source: Trend News Agency

Training held to support preparation of Azerbaijan’s climate change Transparency Report

On May 6-7, 2024, within the framework of Azerbaijan’s COP29 presidency, experts of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held a training in Baku with the participation of relevant government organizations in order to support the preparation of the Biennial Transparency Report (BTR), which is the main component of the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) in accordance with the Paris Agreement, APA reports.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the event, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, COP29 Lead Negotiator Yalchin Rafiyev emphasized that the presentation of the BTRs of the party states, including Azerbaijan, is one of the priority directions of the COP29 presidency. In this regard, he called on the relevant state institutions of the country to contribute to the preparation of Azerbaijan’s BTRs soon. During the two-day training, the representatives of the UNFCCC secretariat informed the participants about the main elements of the ETF, modalities, procedures
and guidelines in this field, as well as the use of new electronic software in the process of preparation of BTRs.

Source: Azeri-Press news agency