Azerbaijan, Russia mark 20th anniversary of founding of diplomatic relations

The 20th anniversary of the founding of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Russia has been marked with a lavish reception at Azerbaijan`s embassy in Moscow. 
Speaking to the event, ambassador Polad Bulbuloglu highlighted the history of Azerbaijan-Russia relations. He said the two countries enjoyed friendly relationship, which had solid legal foundations and was based on rich experience. The ambassador pointed out to "difficult times in our relations", adding they "were elevated to a qualitatively new level with Azerbaijani national leader Heydar Aliyev`s coming to power". The Azerbaijani diplomat described Russian President Vladimir Putin`s 2001 visit to Baku as "an important milestone" in the history of the two countries` relationship. "The visit, which saw the signing of the Baku Declaration, contributed to ensuring rapid development of the Azerbaijan-Russia relations." The ambassador congratulated Mr. Putin on his election as Russia`s President.
Bulbuloglu also underlined the role of President Dmitry Medvedev in developing the bilateral relations. "The two heads of state have warm, friendly and partnership relations." The Azerbaijani Ambassador pointed out that Dmitry Medvedev took the most active part in promoting the negotiation process on the peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "He organized ten trilateral meetings with participation of the presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia. His presidency marked the launch of a humanitarian mission between Armenia and Azerbaijan."
The ambassador recalled Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov `s recent visit to Baku, expressing gratitude to the Russian Foreign Ministry for "close and fruitful" cooperation.
Bulbuloglu pointed out to "successful cooperation between our countries in trade, economic and humanitarian spheres". "The establishment of the Baku International Humanitarian Forum under the patronage of the Azerbaijani and Russian presidents marked the peak of the two countries` relationship."
The ambassador also talked about Azerbaijan`s election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, thanking the Russian government for supporting his country`s membership bid.
Bulbuloglu also hailed Russia`s 12 points for Azerbaijan at last year`s Eurovision song contest, saying "this contributed to our duo`s making triumph at the show".
Russian deputy foreign minister Alexander Grushko stressed the importance of strategic cooperation between the two countries. He said there were good prospects for developing the bilateral trade relations.
"We have prepared 150 documents and agreements, we have built an excellent political dialogue, our Economic Commission works successfully. We managed to have solved very tough border-related issues. We are moving in the right direction, and our relations will further develop."
Chairman of the State Duma of Russia`s Federal Assembly Sergey Naryshkin described the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Russia as "a turning point in the life of the two countries", which he described as strategic partners.
"The friendship between our peoples and countries has been proven through our common history, by our common victories and failures," Naryshkin added.
Other participants in the event included representative of Russia`s Presidential Administration Alexander Beglov, Rector of Moscow State University Viktor Sadovnichy, representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry, General Director of ITAR-TASS Vitaly Ignatenko, members of "Russia-Azerbaijan" Friendship Community, parliamentarians and public figures.



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