ECO Secretary General visits Azerbaijan
President of Azerbaijan, H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev received ECO Secretary General, H.E. Mr. Askhat Orazbay, on 6 May in Baku. While warmly greeting ECO Secretary General, President of Azerbaijani stated that close cooperative relationship of Azerbaijan with other ECO members has helped the organization in promoting regional integration. He assured this interest would continue in future as well. The President also wished to further strengthen cooperation amongst ECO members within bilateral and multilateral frameworks considering Azerbaijanís special interests in development of energy and transport sectors.
H.E. Mr. Askhat Orazbay spoke of the contributions of the national leader of Azerbaijan and late President Heydar Aliyev due to his unforgettable role in the history of the region. ECO Secretary General informed the President about his discussions with the high level government official of Azerbaijan in which he had requested for their active participation in all ECO projects. ECO Secretary General expressed the hope that the President of Azerbaijan would be able to attend the forthcoming ECO Summit in Dushanbe.
ECO Secretary General also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov and expressed his gratitude for active support of Azerbaijan for the ECO activities. ECO Secretary General briefed the Foreign Minister about the preparatory work done for the forthcoming 8th ECO summit to be held in Dushanbe in September 2004. While appreciating the role of Azerbaijan in the framework of ECO, he hoped that the Azerbaijanís will soon join the ECO Trade Agreement and also newly founded ECO Educational Institute.
Foreign Minister noted that the ECO was the first international organization joined by Azerbaijan soon after its independence, which clearly indicates that Azerbaijan attaches special importance to regional integration processes within ECO. He further assured that Azerbaijan would continue to cooperate with ECO in all its endeavours. He hoped that the Organization will play its due role in the socio-economic development of its members. Touching upon the need to create an effective legal framework for promoting intra-regional trade & investment and to ensure enhance level of economic growth, he asked ECO Secretary General to assign due priority to these issues.
ECO Secretary General during his visit to Azerbaijan also met with the Prime-Minister of Azerbaijan Mr.A.Rasi-Zade, Minister of Economic Development Mr.F.Aliyev, Minister of Finance Mr.A.Alekberov.