On March 13, 2018, Mr. Filippo Lombardi, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Council of States and Chair of the Switzerland-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Friendship Group at the Swiss Parliament paid a visit to Baku, Azerbaijan.
Mr.Lombardi started his visit to Baku with the participation at the conference entitled “the Role of Parliamentarians in boosting economic cooperation and cultural ties along the Silk Road”, jointly organized by the Parliament of Azerbaijan and the “Silk Road Support Group” (SRSG) of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. In his address, Mr. Lombardi congratulated the Azerbaijani delegation for their efforts in founding SRSG and holding its first large conference in Baku, as well as expressed the active interest of Switzerland in the Silk Road.
Then, Filippo Lombardi met with Mr. Oktay Asadov, Chairman of the Parliament of Azerbaijan. During the meeting, Mr. Asadov described Azerbaijan and Switzerland as friendly and partner countries, mentioning that close relations between states and parliaments were constantly growing. According to him, there is a mutual political will to deepen this cooperation, which is evident in reciprocal visits of heads of state and high-level delegations.
Highlighting the role of parliaments in the evolution of bilateral relations, Mr. Asadov appreciated the activities of friendship groups established in both Parliaments. He noted that reciprocal visits of members of the friendship groups, as well as regular meetings in international organizations positively impact the development of inter-parliamentary relations. Moreover, Mr.Asadov stressed the positive dynamics observed in economic relations between Switzerland and Azerbaijan.
Mr.Lombardi, on his turn, mentioned that he is pleased with the participation at the SRSG Baku conference. He praised Azerbaijan for its efforts aimed at restoration of the ancient Silk Road.
Mr.Lombardi noted that Switzerland attaches great importance to the development of relations with Azerbaijan in various fields, including between parliaments. He emphasized that the Swiss Parliament intends to take necessary steps to further the relations with the Parliament of Azerbaijan.
The sides also exchanged views on prospects of expanding inter-parliamentary relations, deepening of political, economic, cultural, scientific and educational cooperation and resolution of regional conflicts.
Finally, Mr. Filippo Lombardi was received by Azerbaijan`s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
The sides exchanged views on the current level and prospects of cooperation between Switzerland and Azerbaijan in variety of areas, including at the parliamentary level. They stressed the role of parliamentary diplomacy in developing relations between the two countries.
FM Mammadyarov praised the active political dialogue between Azerbaijan and Switzerland, and briefed his interlocutor about political ties and ongoing economic projects between the two countries. Noting the successful activity of more than 70 Swiss companies in Azerbaijan, the minister underlined the existence of wide potential for the further expansion of mutually beneficial economic cooperation.
Mr. Lombardi noted the activities of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan in Switzerland with appreciation and highlighted the importance of direct contacts between business communities of both countries.
The sides also exchanged views on issues of mutual interest.