2018-09-06
President Ilham Aliyev’s official visit to Croatia September 5-6, 2018

`On 5 September 2018, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev arrived in the Republic of Croatia for an official visit. A guard of honor was arranged for President Ilham Aliyev at Franjo Tuđman Airport decorated with the national flags of the two countries in the city of Zagreb. President Ilham Aliyev was welcomed by Chief of Staff of the Office of the Croatian President Anamarija Kirinic and other officials.  On 6 September 2018, President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic welcomed President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. State anthems of Azerbaijan and Croatia were played. The chief of the guard of honor reported to President Ilham Aliyev. The presidents reviewed the guard of honor. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev saluted Croatian soldiers. Croatian state and government representatives were introduced to President Ilham Aliyev, while members of the Azerbaijani delegation were introduced to President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic held a one-on-one meeting. The presidents hailed the successful development of relations between Azerbaijan and Croatia in political, economic, humanitarian and other spheres. The importance of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's official visit to Croatia was emphasized in terms of the further strengthening of relations between the two countries. Other bilateral issues of mutual interest were also discussed during the meeting.

Following their one-on-one meeting, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic held a meeting in an expanded format with the participation of delegations.

Following the ceremony of signing documents, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic made statements for the press. “Croatia considers Azerbaijan to be an important strategic partner in accordance with the Declaration on Strategic Partnership between the two countries signed in 2013. Croatia will continue to be a sincere friend of Azerbaijan within the EU and it fully supports Azerbaijan’s decision to develop an individual relationship with the European Union”, President Grabar-Kitarović said after meeting with President Aliyev. The Croatian President said that she spoke with her Azerbaijani counterpart about a “great potential for cooperation in energy, economy, culture, science and technology, and education”. “I firmly believe that there is room for deepening the defence cooperation between our countries”, she said. President Grabar-Kitarović announced that Croatia will soon open an embassy in Azerbaijan, a country in the Caucasus and on the Caspian Sea known for its significant oil reserves. “I would particularly like to point out that we recently decided to close the temporary office in Azerbaijan and to open the embassy. I believe that we will soon appoint an ambassador who will certainly contribute to the further development of bilateral relations between the two countries”, President Grabar-Kitarović said. As part of President Aliyev’s visit, agreements were signed on cultural cooperation and cooperation in the field of agriculture, and the two presidents particularly emphasized the need to intensify trade, since the Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation was recently established, which should lead to new opportunities for the further development of relations between Croatia and Azerbaijan. “As far as Azerbaijan is concerned, we want to see an increase in trade. Neither the content nor the volume of trade is satisfactory from our perspective, so the Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation should continue this serious task and, put simply, increase trade and the number of bilateral projects”, President Aliyev noted. President Grabar-Kitarović said that Croatian companies can offer their cooperation, know-how and experience, and that great potential exists in many areas, such as pharmaceuticals and shipbuilding. “Today we discussed how to continue to expand cooperation in the pharmaceutical industry and President Aliyev has proposed the creation of 'joint ventures' between Croatian and Azerbaijani companies, which gives an opportunity for our pharmaceutical companies to enter the markets of Central Asia, the entire Caspian Basin and beyond, including countries with which Azerbaijan has free trade agreements”, the Croatian President said, adding that continued cooperation in shipbuilding, in a “new format”, is also a possibility. President Aliyev said that his country is conducting major energy projects that will enable the supply of enormous quantities of natural gas to European countries. “In the next two years Azerbaijan will be ready to deliver natural gas to European markets, which will be an important contribution to the energy security of Europe”, he said and added that “in the future, Azerbaijan will be able to show an even stronger potential”. “With respect to this, cooperation with Croatia is extremely important”, stressed President Aliyev. President Grabar-Kitarović said that Croatia, as one of Europe’s future natural gas hubs, is interested in cooperation in the field of energy. “Croatia wants to become a natural gas supplier for Central Europe through the Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline along the Adriatic coast. I also presented the LNG Terminal project on the island of Krk, which could be of interest to Azerbaijan as an entry point onto the energy markets of Central and South East Europe”, President Grabar-Kitarović underlined.

Following the expanded meeting, a ceremony of signing documents was held with the participation of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov and Minister of Culture of the Republic of Croatia Nina Obuljen Koržinek signed “The Program on Cultural Cooperation between the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia for 2018, 2019 and 2020.” Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Republic of Croatia Fakhraddin Gurbanov and State Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Croatia Marija Vučković signed “The Memorandum of Understating on Cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Croatia”.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev visited “Voice of Croatian Victims – Wall of Pain” monument in Zagreb. The head of state put a wreath at the memorial and paid tribute to the people who gave their lives for Croatia.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenkovic had a working lunch. The Croatian Prime Minister welcomed Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.The Azerbaijani President signed an honorary guest book at the state residence.

The development of strategic partnership ties and successful cooperation between the two countries in political, economic, energy and other areas was stressed at the meeting. The sides emphasized good opportunities for further expansion of economic relations. The prospects for cooperation in agricultural, pharmaceutical, transport and other fields were also discussed.

The successful cooperation between Azerbaijan and the European Union was highlighted. Azerbaijan’s role in energy security of Europe, the significance of the Southern Gas Corridor was hailed, and the sides also exchanged views over other issues of mutual interest.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met with Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Croatia Gordan Jandrokovic. Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic welcomed President Ilham Aliyev. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic posed together for photographs. The Azerbaijani President’s official visit to Croatia was hailed as successful, and the sides emphasized fruitful discussions held during the visit. The development of strategic partnership ties and successful cooperation between Azerbaijan and Croatia in political, economic, energy and other areas was stressed at the meeting. The importance of increasing trade turnover was underlined. Azerbaijan’s role in energy security of Europe, the importance of the Southern Gas Corridor was pointed out. It was said that high-level reciprocal visits play a special role in expanding the bilateral relations. The importance of Azerbaijan's participation in the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan was highlighted, and Azerbaijan`s successful cooperation with the European Union was hailed during the meeting. The sides emphasized good opportunities for cooperation between Azerbaijan and Croatia in transport, pharmaceutical and tourism spheres. The sides noted the importance of expanding inter-parliamentary relations, and emphasized that friendship groups can make a significant contribution to this. Other issues of mutual interest were discussed during the meeting.

President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic hosted an official reception in honor of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev completed his official visit to the Republic of Croatia.

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