“Times of Malta” newspaper has published an interview of Azerbaijani Ambassador to Italy Vagif Sadigov, who has got concurrent accreditation to Malta and San-Marino.
The Ambassador touched upon a number of issues, including Azerbaijan`s foreign policy priorities, the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, relations with Malta and the Azerbaijan-European Union cooperation.
He said: “An independent, active and agile foreign policy, which is the base for national interests and political, economic and social successes, is being conducted in Azerbaijan. Our bilateral and multilateral relations are the structure of the foreign policy, which we built within international legal norms and principles and according to international commitments. Azerbaijan builds strategic cooperation relations with other countries under the principle of good neighbourhood relations and within not interfere in internal affairs, equality, mutual respect and productive cooperation. In connection with geographical, historic, geopolitical factors, the foreign policy of Azerbaijan is not limited with only one region, and along with the South Caucasus covers Caspian region, Southeast Europe, Central Asia, the Islamic world, post soviet and Euro-Atlantic space. Thanks to this policy Azerbaijan is been recognized in whole world as a reliable partner, and a number of countries are keen on close cooperation with Azerbaijan.”
Mr. Sadigov noted that the very important issue for Azerbaijan was settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: “Indifferent regard of the international community to rough violation of Azerbaijan`s sovereignty resulted with the after 90th similar situations in Georgia, Moldova, and currently in Ukraine.”
According to the Diplomat protection of independence and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, halt of Armenian aggression, promotion of economic interests, energy and transportation strategy, deliver of truths about Azerbaijan to the world and relations with Azerbaijani diaspora abroad are the priorities of Azerbaijan`s foreign policy. He said: “From this point of view, Azerbaijan is also interested in strengthening of relations with Malta. There are good opportunities for future cooperation in a number of fields, including political, economic, financial, energy, cultural, educational and tourism ones.”
Highlighting relations with the European Union, Mr. Sadigov stressed the importance for bringing these relations to the level of strategic partnership which would be productive for the two countries: “Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat`s Azerbaijan trip at the end of the last year was an important event. Meetings of the Prime Minister with President Ilham Aliyev and his Azerbaijani counterpart were important from the point of discussion of current situation of and prospects for bilateral relations, as well as international issues in which the both countries are interested. The documents signed during the visit paved the way for our future cooperation.”
The diplomat stressed Azerbaijan became important partner for EU in political, security and economic fields, and projects being implemented by the initiative of Azerbaijan would be productive to whole Europe, including Malta. “From this point of view, TANAP and TAP projects should be specially stressed. These projects, which are expected to be launched until 2019 will change the energy landscape of Europe,” Mr. Sadigov underlined.
Speaking on the activity of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), the Ambassador noted that the Company was interested in participation in the projects being implemented in Malta. He stressed the importance of SOCAR`s participation as shareholder company in the project on construction of a new power station, which would provide Enemalta Corporation with electricity and liquefied gas for 18 years: “SOCAR is an interested side in realization of various projects over oil and gas industry. The strategy of the Company, which expands its activity in a number of countries, includes projects, which are expected to be realized in Malta.”