President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has held an expanded meeting with Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria Kiril Petkov.
Speaking at the meeting, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Distinguished Prime Minister and members of the delegation. You are welcome again! Prime Minister and I have just had a very good discussion on many issues of mutual interest and identified many opportunities for strengthening our partnership. As we discussed earlier today, the strategic partnership between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan is a good basis for the development of our cooperation. We signed the Declaration on Strategic Partnership several years ago. I believe that the time has come to turn this document into very tangible results of our cooperation in economic, industrial development, trade, energy, transportation, tourism, high technologies and other fields. Of course, we have mainly discussed energy security issues and this discussion will be continued. However, at the same time, if we take into account the geographical location, the projects we have implemented together with our neighbors to connect the railway system of Europe and Azerbaijan, as well as the growing volume of cargo passing through Azerbaijan, there is a great potential in the field of transportation too. Transit across Azerbaijan has increased by more than 30 percent in five months of this year alone. We believe this is just the beginning, because there is tremendous potential here. In short, we have discussed wide-ranging issues. Prime Minister and I have been speaking to each other by phone for a long time. Now we have met in person. I am very glad to see you and wish you a pleasant visit to Baku.
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Prime Minister of Bulgaria Kiril Petkov said:
- Thank you, Mr. President. I am very pleased to meet you in person. I have already mentioned and want to reiterate that friends become friends when they solve problems together. Everyone is a friend when sitting at the table but when it comes to solving a problem together, friends should also be able to stand by each other. I want to note that you stood by Bulgaria in the time of need. Bulgaria will be by your side too. We have discussed many opportunities in the energy sector and beyond.
I support your approach that after signing the Strategic Partnership document and holding discussions, we now need to turn them into reality. Our government will probably remain in its current composition for the next few weeks but there are decisions underway, and we are sure that the next government will be our government as well. We have come to the conclusion that a lot can be done in areas such as technology, logistics, export to Europe, and distribution of energy.