Minister for Foreign Affairs in bilateral talks with Azerbaijani counterpart

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Apr 18, 2017

Minister for Foreign Affairs George W. Vella held bilateral discussions with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov who is presently in Malta on an official visit. In welcoming Minister Mammadyarov to Malta, Minister Vella stated that this visit is another milestone in the excellent relations between the two countries, following his own visit to Azerbaijan last year.

On his part, Minister Mammadyarov expressed his satisfaction at being in Malta and conveyed Azerbaijan’s interest to further cement ties of cooperation between the two countries. The two ministers agreed that there are common grounds and goals between both countries which have yielded fruitful results, with bilateral cooperation seeing steady progress in political, economic, trade, tourism, higher education, energy, and cultural sectors. Above all, the two sides agreed on the importance of further enhancing people-to-people dialogue through cultural events and student exchanges.

Reference was made to Azerbaijan’s willingness to consolidate relations with the EU. In this regard, the two sides exchanged views on Azerbaijan’s aspirations during upcoming negotiations on the new EU-Azerbaijan Framework Agreement which will be held in Baku next week. Preparations for the fifth Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit being held in Brussels on 24 November 2017 were discussed. Minister Vella underlined Malta’s commitment, also as the current Presidency of the Council of the European Union, to continue to build upon the momentum registered at the Riga Summit, with the underlying conviction that the EaP is not a zero-sum game vis-à-vis other important partners in the region.

Issues concerning stability and security were discussed at length between the two ministers, with exchanges focusing mainly on pressing regional issues, particularly the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Minister Vella underlined the decisive role that the OSCE has to play, and reiterated Malta’s support for the work of the Minsk Co-Chairs. Furthermore, reference was also made to the latest developments in Syria, Libya and Ukraine. Global cooperation within international organisations was also discussed.