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26 Mar 2021

Kochanova: Big untapped potential for Belarus-Azerbaijan cooperation

Kochanova: Big untapped potential for Belarus-Azerbaijan cooperation

MINSK, 26 March (BelTA) - Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic Natalya Kochanova met with the Azerbaijan's Ambassador to Belarus Latif Gandilov in Minsk on 26 March, BelTA has learned.

"First of all, I would like to highlight the high level of political dialogue and the high dynamics of cooperation between our countries. This is commendable," Natalya Kochanova said. “Azerbaijan is a close friend. This is thanks to the good relations between the presidents of our states.”

The speaker noted that there is a big untapped potential for trade, economic and political cooperation and humanitarian relations. "We will do everything to continue developing our good relations," she said. “We are very pleased to note that the Belarus-Azerbaijan trade went up by 1.5 times in 2020 to total almost $450 million. For me, as a curator of the oil refining industry, it was important to secure the supplies of Azerbaijani oil to Belarusian oil refineries. The level of cooperation between our engineering companies is also commendable. I think there is a big untapped potential of our cooperation."

Natalya Kochanova noted the robust exchange of visits at the highest and high level. "Unfortunately, 2020 was affected by the pandemic. We had to   rely switch to online communication. But I think everything will be fine and we will continue our close cooperation and will be meeting more often. We will definitely support all initiatives of the MPs of Belarus and Azerbaijan and will help implement them. We are exploring the organization of a visit of Azerbaijan colleagues to Belarus. Now, work is in progress on the organization of a visit at the highest level. I assure you once again that we, for our part, will do everything to ensure that this cooperation is long-term, fruitful," Natalya Kochanova added.

The speaker urged the youth of the two countries to cooperate more actively. "The National Assembly of Belarus has Youth Parliament. And, of course, we would like to see our young people to cooperate more actively," Natalya Kochanova said.

Ambassador Latif Gandilov thanked the speaker for the opportunity to meet and for the high appreciation of the bilateral relations. "Over the past 25 years, our countries have developed very constructive, fruitful and efficient relations. The heads of state determined their nature. We are not only close friendly countries, but also strategic partners. This changes the nature of our relationship. During my years in Belarus, I worked to strengthen these strategic relations and to bring them to an even higher level. In 2016, Aleksandr Lukashenko visited Azerbaijan. 2018 saw a return state visit when the countries signed very good agreements to promote the relations," he said. "Change is all around us. We need to set new development objectives before our peoples and states."

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