Switzerland stands ready to help with peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Irène Kälin says

Chair of Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova Meets Chair of National Council of Swiss Parliament

© APA | Chair of Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova Meets Chair of National Council of Swiss Parliament

# 10 May 2022 20:31 (UTC +04:00)

As part of her current official visit to the Swiss Confederation, the Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova has had a meeting with Chair of the National Council of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland Irène Kälin on 10 May, the Press and Public Relations Department of Azerbaijan's Milli Majlis told APA.

Mrs Kälin welcomed our delegation sincerely before telling them that Switzerland attached a special kind of importance to furthering her relations with Azerbaijan and expressing her satisfaction with our progress in that field. Those relations could be made stronger yet, especially as there is a considerable potential to tap to achieve that. Irène Kälin emphasised the importance of mutual economic investments and of the ties between business structures and enterprises.

Mrs Kälin spoke commandingly about the current lofty standards that are set by the two-way inter-parliamentary cooperation. She underscored the significance of the visits such as the arrival of the Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation in Switzerland, saying that they were immensely useful for the progress of inter-state and inter-parliamentary connexions alike. Also, Mrs Kälin spoke of the positive role played in the deepening of the bi-partite relations by the parliamentary friendship groups and their work, and the continuing inter-parliamentary dialogue.

Switzerland is forever interested in the maintenance of peace and stability in our region, and has supported the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan invariably, continued the head of the National Council of the Federal Assembly. What is more, Switzerland stands ready to help with peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova expressed her gratitude for the invitation to pay an official visit to Switzerland as well as for the hospitality extended to her and the delegation she leads. This, she remarked, was her first official visit to Switzerland as speaker of the Azerbaijani parliament and, she added confidently, it was going to make a contribution of its very own to the strengthening and broadening of the co-operation between our countries and their parliaments. Azerbaijan and Switzerland are friendly states and partners; the two-way ties continue progressing, according to Mrs Gafarova.

The significance of exchanged visits and meetings of high-level for the progress of the relations was highlit, too. The Chair of the Milli Majlis made a point of underlining the weight of reciprocal visits of the leaders of the two states, what with their tremendous input in the advancement of the bilateral connexions.

The fact that the Azerbaijani-Swiss political relations are at a high level bears favourably on the progress of the interaction in other fields, too. Our bilateral economic, trading, humanitarian and other ties continue their growth for all the obstacles and complications that the pandemic had made all the countries of the world come up against. Next, Mrs Gafarova informed Mrs Kälin of the beneficial investment and business environments created in our country, saying also that there were many Swiss companies active in Azerbaijan – including those that are engaged in the restoration work afoot in our de-occupied territories.

Besides, Mrs Kälin was made aware of the ambience of multiculturalism and tolerance ruling in our country. There are many similarities between the peoples of Azerbaijan and Switzerland in this sense, according to the Chair of the Milli Majlis. Multiculturalism is the Azerbaijani way; different religious communities and ethnic groups have coexisted peacefully and amicably in our country for centuries, Mrs Gafarova continued. There are monuments and shrines belonging to various creeds; Catholic and Orthodox churches, synagogues and mosques function side by side in Baku as well as upcountry. Having made multiculturalism her state policy course, Azerbaijan is thusly promoting inter-cultural dialogues, peace and cooperation in the world at large.

The connexions between the legislative assemblies of Azerbaijan and Switzerland make for a significant vector of our two-way and multilateral interaction, according to Sahiba Gafarova. The inter-parliamentary cooperation is efficient as it is rational. Mutual visits of the two parliaments’ leaders matter for the advancement of this collaboration. Our MPs keep up a sincere dialogue under the auspices of international organisations. Both legislatures have friendship groups in action. Regular contacts, dialogue and exchanges of opinions add up to a bridge that connects our parliaments, in the opinion of Mrs Gafarova.

She went further to talk about the big victory of Azerbaijan in the 44 days Patriotic War of 2020. She pointed out that Azerbaijan, having made its national territory whole again by delivering 20 per cent of its territory from the Armenian occupation of close to 30 years, had discovered that the occupiers had utterly pillaged, plundered and destroyed the whole wealth of our tangible cultural heritage and all our towns, villages and mosques that had stood in those provinces.

Right now, Azerbaijan is implementing large-scale restoration and rebuilding projects for the lands freed from the invaders and Azerbaijan is doing it relying on its own devices only. All the towns and villages situated there are being built anew. A ‘green energy’ zone is being created in both Garabagh and East Zangazur. The minefields made by Armenia represent the biggest hurdle in the way of the building efforts. The blasts of the mines planted by the Armenian side have been killing and wounding civilians and military personnel alike.

Speaker Sahiba Gafarova was saying that new realia and opportunities had emerged in the region with the settlement of the conflict, and the opportunities need proper and accurate assessment if lasting peace, security and cooperation are to be instituted across the region. The opening of the Zangazur Corridor and other regional communication facilities will make it possible to add greatly to the transport potential of this part of the world.

Mrs Gafarova recalled the proposals that Azerbaijan had put to Armenia with a view to establishing an inviolable peace. Signing a peace treaty will provide for the normalisation of the relations. The president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the president of the Council of the European Union Charles Michel and the prime minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan met in Brussels on 6 April this year and, judging by the outcomes of that encounter, Armenia is accepting the proposal of Azerbaijan. There have been telephone conversations between the ministers of foreign affairs of Azerbaijan and Armenia. Azerbaijan is ready to initiate peace-treaty signing negotiations by means of delegations. Armenia, in its turn, ought to honour what obligations constitute its part of the process – all in the name of the eventually normalised relations.

Other topics of interest to both sides were talked over as the conversation continued and, once the meeting had been over, the parliamentary delegation led by Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova was shown around the building of the Swiss Parliament.

Next, an official welcoming of the parliamentary delegation of Azerbaijan went at the rostrum of the plenary sittings chamber of the National Council.

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