BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec. 3

Trend:

"We highly value the visit of Mehriban Arifovna Aliyeva to the Russian Federation, her contacts with President Putin, Prime Minister Medvedev, Chairperson of the Federation Council Matviyenko, her participation in the very important opening ceremony of the Azerbaijan pavilion at the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy, the participation in the Interregional Forum, and we will certainly implement the initiatives discussed during this visit," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

"They concern, among other things, the addition of a new topic to our intergovernmental economic cooperation - the theme of innovation and high technology," Lavrov said. "A special "road map" will be developed. And in just a few days, the intergovernmental commission will consider the state of affairs in this area."

"Thank you very much, dear Ilham Heydarovich," the Russian foreign minister noted. "Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you as part of my regular visit to friendly Azerbaijan. We really value our relations in a similar way. They are on the rise, are developing steadily in all areas, which is confirmed by your regular contacts with President Putin, as you mentioned. There was a detailed conversation in China, within the framework of your participation in the Valdai Forum in Sochi, where a very useful and bilateral meeting was held, and there was a very interesting multilateral discussion with your participation on key issues of world and regional politics."

"As you mentioned, the turnover is growing fast," Lavrov added. "It is already at $3 billion perhaps. Direct investments of the Russian Federation in the Azerbaijani economy amount to $1.5 billion. More than 70 constituent entities of the Russian Federation participate in cooperation with Azerbaijan, as well as more than 300 enterprises with the participation of Russian capital. In Russia, too, Azerbaijani capital is strengthening its positions."

"I think that another interesting and very important result of Mehriban Arifovna Aliyeva's visit to the Russian Federation is the agreement to make the Youth Forum of Russia and Azerbaijan more regular," the Russian foreign minister said. "This is fundamentally important from the point of view of continuity, from the point of view of preserving the historical memory and educating our young generations both in Russia and in Azerbaijan in the spirit of friendship, good neighborliness, which has always been inherent in our relations."

"And with regard to our cooperation in international organizations - regional, global and universal - we highly value our close interaction, the desire to always take into account each other's positions," Lavrov noted. "We will continue to help defend our common positions, defend the important issues that are of particular interest to Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation. This applies to the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement. We are interested in the agreements on confidence-building measures, humanitarian and media contacts that were reached at the Vienna summit and then at the ministerial meeting in Moscow this year to be reaffirmed so that they are implemented. They are being gradually implemented, and I hope that the upcoming meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia this week will consolidate these processes."

"At the same time, I agree with you that a lot remains to be done with regard to a political settlement, a long-term settlement, and I absolutely support your thesis that rhetoric that contradicts the fundamental principles approved by both parties, the principles that are enshrined in the UN Charter and in the Helsinki Final Act, must be avoided," the Russian foreign minister said.

"So once again, I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to talk with you, dear Ilham Heydarovich, and I hope that this visit, which will continue tomorrow, takes our relations to an even more trusting, even more productive level. Thank you very much!"

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