Azerbaijan, Montenegro boost cooperation with new agreements

By: Sara Rajabova

Azerbaijan and Montenegro have strengthened the bonds with signing agreements on cooperation and mutual assistance in customs affairs and protection of environment.

The agreements between the Azerbaijani and Montenegrin governments were signed on October 27 as part of Montenegrin Premier Milo Dukanovic’s visit to Baku.

The agreement on customs cooperation and mutual assistance was signed by Azerbaijani Chairman of the State Customs Committee Aydin Aliyev and Montenegrin Economy Minister Vladimir Kavaric.

The intergovernmental agreement on the environment was signed by Azerbaijan’s Ecology and Natural Resources Minister Huseyngulu Bahirov and Montenegrin Sustainable Development and Tourism Minister Branimir Gvozdenović.

Prior to the signing ceremony, Azerbaijan`s Prime Minister Artur Rasizade hailed the relations between Azerbaijan and Montenegro, particularly political ties, AzerTac state news agency reported.

He noted the ongoing work to ensure further expansion of the economic cooperation.

Rasizade spoke of Azerbaijan`s economic development and the country`s strides in boosting the non-oil sector.

He also touched upon the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which emerged in 1988 after Armenia’s illegal territorial claims against Azerbaijan.

Rasizade said the dispute still remains unsolved because of the non-constructive position of Armenia, which “is not quitting its policy of aggression”.

Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor that had caused a lengthy war in the early 1990s.

The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenia’s withdrawal from the Azerbaijani territory, but they have not been enforced to this day.

Rasizade noted that the problem must be settled within international legal norms, the principles of the territorial integrity and inviolability of Azerbaijan’s borders.

Dukanovic, for his part, said his country attached huge emphasis to developing its ties with Azerbaijan.

He said Montenegro applauded Azerbaijan`s efforts towards ensuring peace and security globally and in the region.

Dukanovic also hailed Azerbaijan`s implementation of large scale projects in Montenegro, saying “these projects will push the development of our bilateral cooperation”.

Earlier in the day, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received the delegation led by Dukanovic. The sides hailed good friendly relations between the two countries.

Azerbaijan has recognized Montenegro’s independence on 24 July, 2006. Protocol about establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Montenegro was signed in 2008.

Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Montenegro started to develop faster recently.

Earlier in April 2014, Baku hosted a business meeting of Azerbaijan and Montenegro, which brought together businessmen from industry, agriculture, food industry, tourism and construction sectors to discuss the prospects of bilateral cooperation between the countries.

Azerbaijan’s state energy company SOCAR is going to build a modern resort and hotel complex in place of an abandoned navy base in the Bay of Kotor. For this purpose, Azerbaijan started the $500 million investment project in Montenegro in 2013, which is scheduled to be finished by 2016.