Milli Majlis Chair Sahiba Gafarova Meets with President of the National Assembly of People’s Power of the Republic of Cuba
Speaker of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova has met with President of the National Assembly of People’s Power of the Republic of Cuba Juan Esteban Lazo Hernández during her working visit to that country.
Mr Hernández welcomed the head of the Azerbaijani legislature warmly and thanked her for her participation in the G77+China Group Summit that had taken place in Cuba.
The friendly ties between Azerbaijan and Cuba were mentioned, as clearly evidenced by the cordiality with which Cuban Vice President Salvador Antonio Valdes Mesa was welcomed as he visited Azerbaijan this year. The number of official visits from Cuba to Azerbaijan has increased in recent years, and this year the diplomatic relations between the two countries turn 31 years. Azerbaijan and Cuba are united by traditional ties of friendship and have good political ties despite the geographical distance between them, according to Mr Hernández who highlighted his country's appreciation of Azerbaijan's support for Cuba in international organisations.
Mentioning the centenary of Heydar Aliyev celebrated in Azerbaijan this year, Mr Hernández recalled the friendly ties between the Great Leader and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Cuban students who studied in Azerbaijan in 1970-80s were mentioned as well as another token of the friendship between our peoples. The opening of Azerbaijan's embassy in Cuba was also mentioned; it had been welcomed by the Cuban side as a fact contributing to the progress of relations.
The Cuban Government is interested in developing relations with Azerbaijan, especially as there is a great potential here including fine opportunities for co-operation in health care, agriculture and other areas. The Cuban Parliament will spare no effort to support this interaction; steps will be taken to develop inter-parliamentary relations in this regard. Visits between parliamentary friendship groups and the expansion of ties – in general and between the committees of the two parliaments - are possible too.
Expressing gratitude for the hospitality she had received, Speaker of the Milli Majlis Speaker Sahiba Gafarova emphasised the importance of the summit held in Cuba, adding that the G77 is an important platform for promoting multilateral co-operation and mutual support among the member states of the Group. Mrs Gafarova also expressed confidence that her visit to Havana will serve to strengthen friendship between our countries and their peoples further.
Azerbaijan and Cuba always support each other in international organisations in general and in the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement in particular. For instance, Cuba has always voted for the initiatives of Azerbaijan as the NAM Chair. Also mentioning the Azerbaijani-Cuban collaboration in the NAM Parliamentary Network, Mrs Gafarova referred to the fact that Vice President of the National Assembly of Cuba took part in the first conference of the NAM PN in Baku last year.
President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel visited Azerbaijan in 2019 while Cuban Vice President Salvador Antonio Valdes Mesa did so in March this year. The visits of such a quite high level contribute to the progress of the bilateral relations, Mrs Gafarova said before recalling fondly her meeting with Mr Mesa during his stay in Azerbaijan.
Saying then that the parliaments, too, played a role of their own in the progress of our inter-state relations, Sahiba Gafarova added that the intensifying contacts between the friendship groups, reciprocal visits and a regular dialogue serve as a bridge between our legislative assemblies.
Mr Hernández was made aware of the current situation in our region, Azerbaijan’s peace initiatives and Armenia’s military-political provocations. The head of the Cuban Parliament remarked that they were aware of the situation in our region and that it was important to restore peace and stability to it.
It was said then that co-operation in culture, sciences and education was equally as important for the strengthening of the ties between our countries and promoting their contacts. The Speaker of the Milli Majlis remembered the Azerbaijani Culture Days in Cuba in 2010; the other side can continue this positive trend; besides, various joint cultural events can he held. According to Mrs Gafarova, our country aims to extend scholarships to students from CIS, Non-Aligned Movement and the Developing Small Island States via the Heydar Aliyev International Education Grants Programme in line with the presidential decree inked in July this year. Cuban students could take part in this programme as well.
Other matters of shared interest were also discussed at the meeting.
The Press and Public Relations Department
The Milli Majlis