The Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Swiss Confederation hosted an official reception on the Republic Day of Azerbaijan and the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Switzerland. More than 300 guests attended the reception representing Swiss federal and cantonal authorities, diplomatic corps accredited in Bern, Swiss society, academia, business people as well Azerbaijani community of Switzerland.
In his speech Ambassador Akram Zeynalli talked about the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, the first republic on the Muslim Orient, which although short-lived, managed to carry out significant political and economic reforms and introduced women’s suffrage long before many European countries. He further stated that the modern Republic of Azerbaijan, which regained independence in 1991 as a successor of that Democratic Republic, faced with the aggression by neighbouring Armenia, which occupied part of its territories. In spite of this aggression worsened by political turmoil, economic hardships and humanitarian problems, the country managed to preserve its independence and attain political and economic stability thanks to a subtle domestic and foreign policy pursued by the national leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev. His successor, incumbent President Ilham Aliyev’s effective politics and leadership helped Azerbaijan to become a leading country of the region and reliable actor in the international arena.
Talking about Azerbaijani-Swiss relations, Ambassador Akram Zeynalli describe these relations as partnership based on friendship and mutual respect and confidence. He underlined that high-level political dialogue established between the two countries serves as a basis for the development of bilateral cooperation in various areas. The most outspoken sign of the high level of bilateral relations is the fact that the Presidents of the two countries have held 16 bilateral meetings in the past. Intensive political dialogue contributes significantly to the deepening of bilateral relations and strengthening of our economic cooperation.
Referring to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Ambassador praised the Swiss efforts to contribute to the settlement process and commended its hosting of the meeting of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia. He expressed his hope that the conflict would be solved on the basis of the norms and principles of international law sooner than later and the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan would be restored.
Speaking on behalf of the Swiss hosts, President of the Swiss-Azerbaijani Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group Filippo Lombardi emphasized that the Swiss regard Azerbaijan as a friendly country, which has many things in common. He stated that Switzerland is interested in Azerbaijan’s development and restoration of peace and stability in the region. He further assured that he personally would not spare his efforts to contribute to this end in the framework of parliamentary dimension of various international organisations to which he is a member. He said that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have been dealing with the conflict for long, and now it is time to yield results. At the same time, it is the duty of not just the Minsk Group, but of the entire international community including Switzerland to contribute to the settlement process.
At the reception, the videos on modern Azerbaijan were projected for the guests, who also had the opportunity to taste national culinary specialities.