Raimonds Vejonis: Latvia does not recognize ‘referendum’ in Nagorno-Karabakh - INTERVIEW

APA's exclusive interview with President of Latvia Raimonds Vejonis

Q. During his recent visit to Azerbaijan, the Latvian FM said that Azerbaijan-EU relations must be based on strategic partnership. How could you contribute to boosting the process of the signing of the corresponding document? Could it be possible prior to the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit?


A. Latvia welcomes that the negotiations on the new Agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan have been launched. We hope that significant progress in the negotiations will be achieved by the Eastern Partnership Summit.


Q. When and where is the next Azerbaijani-Latvian ministerial meeting due to take place? Could you, along with your Azerbaijani counterpart, initiate a business forum for entrepreneurs from both countries?


A. Specific dates for the next session of Latvia and Azerbaijan Intergovernmental Commission have not been set at this point. Work on strengthening of Latvia and Azerbaijan economic ties is going on.


Q. How do you assess the role of Azerbaijan in promoting worldwide multiculturalism? What are your expectations from this event? Does it mean that the Global Baku Forum’s significance increases year after year? If so, why top European nations are reluctant to join it?


A. Multiculturalism is an important aspect in modern society. In recent years Azerbaijan has hosted various international events. The Baku Forum presents an excellent platform for exchanging of views and I look forward to discuss current challenges for international relations during the Baku forum.


Q. In your opinion, how promising are the energy and transport projects realized by Azerbaijan for Latvia and the European Union?


A. Azerbaijan is an important partner of the European Union in energy and transit sectors. We highly value the role of Azerbaijan in implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor, that will allow us to diversify energy supply sources and routes, as well as to improve energy security, which are all important goals of the EU Energy Union.


Q. What is the position of Latvia regarding the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict? How do you asses the so-called “constitutional referendum” recently held in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan? Could such steps harm negotiation process in the future?


A. Latvia believes that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be resolved only by using peaceful means, based on principles of international law.


Latvia is aware that so-called constitutional referendum took place in Nagorno-Karabakh on February 20, 2017. Latvia does not recognize the results of the referendum and stresses that its results cannot prejudge the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh or the outcome of the ongoing negotiations to bring a lasting and peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.


Q. What benefits could Latvia obtain for itself from the Azerbaijan-EU cooperation?


A. Latvia as a firm supporter of strengthening of the EU and Azerbaijan relations is interested in deepening of EU and Azerbaijan cooperation especially in such areas as trade, tourism, investment and transport. 

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