Chair of Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova Meets Lord Speaker of the House of Lords
Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova met Lord Speaker of the House of Lords John McFall as part of her official visit to the United Kingdom on 12 July.
Lord Speaker McFall greeted the leader of the Azerbaijani parliament cordially, expressed his pleasure with the progress of our inter-state and inter-parliamentary relations and said he was confident that the visit of the Chair of the Milli Majlis to the United Kingdom was going to help deepen the Azerbaijani-British relations.
Great Britain regards Azerbaijan as an important partner and gives a serious weight to furthering the relationship with it; the two countries have built the co-operation that embraces many areas whilst our energy interaction is a considerable driver of the overall progress of the bilateral relations, according to Lord McFall who proceeded to stress the need to promote the humanitarian links as well.
Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova thanked Lord McFall for the kind thoughts spoken of our country and the hospitality before touching upon the energetic evolution of the two friendly partner-states’ relations the currently high level of which is in many respects due to the visits of elevated status including the travels of President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan to the United Kingdom.
The relations encompass the economic, political, humanitarian, energy and other fields; meanwhile, the inter-parliamentary connexions constitute one of the essential components of the bilateral and multilateral relations, Sahiba Gafarova said further. We, members of parliaments, are interested in having the bilateral connexions progress further. The legislatures play a positive role in this process and close bonds have been made between them. Saying that her trip to Great Britain was the first parliamentary leadership visit in the context of our interaction, Mrs Gafarova said she hoped that this visit was going to make a substantial input to having weighty results from the developing inter-parliamentary connexions.
Speaking praisingly of the activities of the friendship groups in both legislative assemblies then, the leader of the Milli Majlis remarked that they could possibly take on an important role in promoting the inter-parliamentary ties further. The group of friendship with Azerbaijan in the British Parliament had paid many visits to our country and, during the latest one in November 2021, the group’s members also went to the de-occupied towns of Fuzuli and Shusha.
Then, Mrs Gafarova informed Lord McFall in great detail of Azerbaijan’s victory in the Patriotic War of 2020, the de-occupation of the Azerbaijani lands, the restoration of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the current situation in our region. It was said that the erstwhile conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan only remained on the pages of history, as it were, and that Azerbaijan looked into the future. Mrs Gafarova stressed Azerbaijan’s having offered Armenia the signing of a peace treaty that would envisage mutual recognition of sovereignty and territorial integrity, the beginning of delimitation and demarcation of the borders, reopening of all the regional communications and normalisation of the relations. Azerbaijan continues making efforts to secure a lasting peace and stability in the region. Alas, the invitation of the Azerbaijani side to start working on a peace treaty has remained unanswered so far. One is left to hope that Armenia will honour its obligations this once, will demonstrate a constructive approach and go for normalisation of the relations upon the said principles. After all, this is the only way to tangible peace and to true stability in the region, according to Mrs Gafarova.
The post-conflict period has brought to the South Caucasus the new realia and the new opportunities and using the latter would facilitate the achievement of peace, security and co-operation in the region. The North-South and East-West transport corridors go across Azerbaijan. The launch of the Zangazur Corridor and the reopening of all the regional communications would increase the transport potential of the region greatly. In this sense, our countries have at their fingertips the most substantial transport co-operation options, according to Sahiba Gafarova.
Other matters of shared interest were talked over during the conversation, too.
Then, the parliamentary delegation led by the Chair of the Milli Majlis were shown round the Palace of Westminster and watched a session of the House of Commons.
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