President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) of China Li Zhanshu, APA reports citing the Presidential press service.
Welcoming members of the delegation, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Dear Mr Chairman, dear guests. I am pleased to welcome you to Azerbaijan. Welcome to our country! We attach great importance to your visit. I am confident that the visit will be successful and will serve the further development and deepening of our bilateral ties. We are very pleased that the friendly relations between our countries develop successfully, cover new areas and have very good prospects for the future.
As you know, I have repeatedly paid state, official and working visits to your country. My last visit was in April of this year – as part of the event related to the "One Belt, One Road" conference. Within the framework of the event, I met with the Chairman, respected Mr Xi Jinping, as we discussed our relations in detail and outlined prospects for future cooperation. A high level of political relations creates a good basis for our relations to develop in other areas. We are pleased to see a significant increase in trade between our countries. We are glad that new contracts are being signed. During my last visit to your country, 10 agreements were signed. We are pleased that Chinese companies are interested in investment projects in Azerbaijan and work in various fields, implementing projects within the framework of signed contracts. We already have good results in the field of energy, transport and the humanitarian sphere. We are pleased that goods from the People's Republic of China are transported to world markets through Azerbaijan. Our trade is also growing – as I said, both Azerbaijani exports to your country and your exports to us.
I would also like to note that we are pleased that more and more tourists from the People's Republic of China visit Azerbaijan under the simplified visa regime. Of course, speaking about issues of cooperation in the transport sector, I would like to note that we in Azerbaijan have created a modern transport infrastructure capable of transporting large volumes of cargo. I would also like to note our active cooperation within the framework of international organizations. Mutual support provided by our countries to each other creates a good environment for the development of relations in all areas.
I would like to specifically note the relations within the framework of parliamentary diplomacy. Inter-parliamentary relations between our countries are of great importance, and your visit to our country underlines this again. I want to wish you a pleasant stay in Azerbaijan and, once again, I welcome you to our country.
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Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China Li Zhanshu said:
- First of all, let me convey the best regards and wishes from your old friend, Chairman Xi Jinping. In recent years, President Xi Jinping has held many meetings with you on bilateral and multilateral formats. Together you are guiding the high-quality development of Sino-Azerbaijani relations. And at the same time, you have established very good businesslike relations with each other, as well as strong personal friendship. It seems to me that it is precisely because of your foresight, as well as the strategic direction on the part of the leaders of the two states, that Sino-Azerbaijani relations today are undergoing sustainable, sound and stable development. Thus, our relations have already become a model of interstate relations. In April of this year, Chairman Xi Jinping invited you to the second “One Belt, One Road” summit. I want to emphasize that you are the only head of state from Transcaucasia invited to this summit. Your meeting with Chairman Xi Jinping took place on the sidelines of the summit. Together, you outlined major plans for the further development of Sino-Azerbaijani relations and together established a solid foundation for further cooperation between our countries.
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Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China Li Zhanshu noted that the foundation of modern Azerbaijani statehood was laid by the national leader of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev, and today’s political stability in the country is maintained under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev. He expressed his congratulations on the occasion of the great successes the country has achieved in the socioeconomic sphere.
During the meeting, the sides expressed confidence that Azerbaijan was a reliable partner of China and that bilateral cooperation would continue to develop dynamically. A wide exchange of views took place on increasing the trade between the two countries, developing cooperation in the field of transport, industry, information and communication technologies, agriculture, science, education and other areas. The cooperation between the two countries within the framework of the “One Belt, One Road” project initiated by China was also discussed. The creation of a modern transport infrastructure in Azerbaijan capable of transporting large volumes of goods and the transportation of Chinese goods to world markets through Azerbaijan were regarded as a good indicator of bilateral cooperation in the field of transport.