RIGA - On Monday, on Latvia’s initiative, political consultations in a video-conference format were held between Latvia and Azerbaijan.
The Republic of Latvia was represented by Janis Mazeiks, Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Republic of Azerbaijan was represented by Khalaf Khalafov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, LETA was informed by the Foreign Ministry.
Mazeiks praised the positive dynamics in the bilateral relations between Latvia and Azerbaijan and underlined the necessity of taking forward the political dialogue and the need for further intensification of business cooperation through joint projects in transit, logistics, IT, and environmental protection.
The diplomats discussed cooperation in culture and education, highlighting what Latvian higher education institutions have to offer to Azerbaijani students. It was noted that the Latvian-Azerbaijani Intergovernmental Commission has been playing an important role in strengthening bilateral cooperation in a number of areas. It was confirmed that the Latvian side is prepared to organize the next meeting of the commission in Riga in early 2021, the situation with the pandemic permitting.
Other topics discussed were the relations between the European Union and Azerbaijan as well as a perspective on the future and long-term goals of the Eastern Partnership. They also shared views on cooperation between Latvia and Azerbaijan in international organizations, issues on the global agenda, the state of play in the South Caucasus and developments in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Mazeiks underlined Latvia’s position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict pointing out that it can only be resolved by peaceful means and on the basis of universally recognized principles of international law in the framework of the OCSE Minsk Group.
Khalafov pointed out that Latvia and Azerbaijan are important strategic partners. Cooperation between the two countries holds potential both in the regional context and the EU format. The Azerbaijani side confirmed its interest in finalizing, in the near future, talks on a new EU-Azerbaijan strategic partnership and cooperation agreement as well as an aviation agreement.
The Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan expressed interest in transit and logistics opportunities offered by Latvia to promote trade cooperation with Latvia and the EU.
Khalafov noted that Azerbaijan is an important partner to the EU in the energy sector and underlined Azerbaijan’s significant contribution to the development of the Southern Gas Corridor and diversification of the EU’s energy supplies.