SOFIA: Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev In Azerbaijan

Spasena Baramova

Sofia Echo, Bulgaria
Nov 13 2007

Photo: government.bgOn November 11 began the official visit of
Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev to Azerbaijan, a media
statement by the Council of Ministers said.

This was the first meeting at prime minister level between politicians
of the two countries since the proclaiming of Azerbaijan’s independence
in 1992.

Stanishev’s visit would include meetings with Azerbaijan’s prime
minister Artur Rasizade, president Ilham Aliyev, chairman of the
National Assembly (Melli Meclisi) Oqtay Asadov, economic development
minister Heydar Babayev and foreign minister Elmar Mammadyarov.

Bulgarian Prime Minister is accompanied by an official delegation
including Bulgaria’s ambassador to Azerbaijan Ivan Palchev, Deputy
Prime Minister and Minister for Disaster Management Emel Etem, chairman
of the Coalition for Bulgaria Parliamentary Group Mihail Mikov,
chairman of the Parliamentary Group for Friendship with Azerbaijan
Remzi Osman, Deputy Finance Ministers Kiril Zhelev, Deputy Economy
and Energy Ministers Yavor Kuyumdjiev, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister
Evgeniya Koldanova, president’s foreign policy secretary Emil Vulev,
counselors and experts from the Council of Ministers and the Foreign
Ministry and others.

A press release from the Council of Ministers said that on November
12 the prime ministers of Bulgaria and Azerbaijan negotiated a radical
improvement of the economic relations between the two countries.

The first step to improve business contacts between the two countries
would be to call a meeting of the intergovernmental commission for
economic and technical cooperation by the end of spring 2008.

Stanishev proposed that Sofia be host to a Bulgarian-Azerbaijani
business forum as well.

Bulgarian proposal to start negotiations on the cooperation of
Bulgaria’s and Azerbaijan’s gas companies Bulgargas and SOCAR was
accepted. Stanishev said that the Nabucco project would undoubtedly
be a part of the discussions. He reminded that since spring 2007 the
project was an infrastructure priority not only for the countries
that were directly involved with it, but for the EU as well.

An agreement on economic cooperation, an agreement to avoid double
taxation and other documents were signed.

Prime Minister Stanishev confirmed once again Bulgaria’s position to
find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

On November 13 Stanishev would hold a lecture in front of Baku Slavic
University students on the advantages and challenges of Bulgarian
membership in the EU.

Stanishev’s visit to Azerbaijan was part of his Southern Caucasus
republics tour. After Baku he would visit Yerevan and Tbilisi.

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