President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by head of France-Caucasus Friendship Group in the Senate of France Alain Houpert.
Welcoming the delegation, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Welcome to Azerbaijan! You are welcome! I am sure that your visit will play an important role in the further development of French-Azerbaijani relations. While accepting the Ambassador’s credentials recently, I shared my opinion on French-Azerbaijani relations. I believe that in the previous period a lot of work was done to develop them, and French-Azerbaijani relations are successfully developing in various fields. Our political ties have always been at a high level. Many reciprocal visits have been made at the level of heads of state. Let me also note that the first foreign visit of Heydar Aliyev after his election as President was to France. My own first official visit after being elected President took place at the invitation of President Jacques Chirac to France. I want to take this opportunity to once again express my condolences on the passing of President Jacques Chirac.
French presidents have paid official visits to Azerbaijan, and a very warm meeting was held with President Macron as part of my visit to France last July. High-level visits have given a strong impetus to the development of interaction in all areas. It is no coincidence that our ties are successfully developing in many areas, including the field of energy, transport, space industry, agriculture, education, etc. Of course, inter-parliamentary relations have made a very important contribution to the development of our common ties. I am sure that your visit will also be a very successful and important step in this direction.
Head of France-Caucasus Friendship Group in the Senate of France Alain Houpert said:
- Mr. President, thank you for receiving us. It is an honor for us that the first person in the country receives our delegation accompanied by our Ambassador. The Ambassador has been appointed recently and has already begun work. On our own behalf and on behalf of France, we express our gratitude to you and your spouse for demonstrating your friendship in connection with the death of President Chirac. Friendship has no time limitations. You have proven that. If there is a word that characterizes our countries, then this word is friendship. There are strong ties between our countries because more than a century ago, your government was in exile in France. General de Gaulle was here back in 1944.
Alain Houpert especially emphasized the importance of Azerbaijan in the intercultural and interreligious dialogue and said that he cited Azerbaijan as an example during discussions on this topic in France.
Pointing out the position of Azerbaijan on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the head of state noted that this conflict should be resolved exclusively within the territorial integrity of the country.
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva’s special role in the development of friendship and cooperation between Azerbaijan and France was hailed at the meeting. The sides also exchanged views on issues of cooperation between the two countries in the field of scientific research, medicine and others.