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Azerbaijan, Austria sign accords


October 12, 2011

Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Heinz Fischer have attended the signing ceremony of a number of documents between Azerbaijan and Austria.

The president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), Rovnag Abdullayev, and the chief executive of Austrian energy company OMV, Gerhard Roiss, signed a memorandum of understanding on energy projects between SOCAR and OMV, APA reported.

Details of the memorandum have not been publicized, though it is the second MoU signed by the two companies this year.

OMV is one of the shareholders in the Nabucco pipeline project, one of three projects bidding to export gas from full field development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz deposit.

Azerbaijan's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation on innovation and information technology. The memorandum was signed by Azerbaijani Communications Minister Ali Abbasov and the director general of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, Andreas Reichhardt.

An agreement on cooperation between Krems University of Applied Sciences and the Azerbaijan Tourism Institute was signed by the executive director of Krems University, Heinz Boyer, and the rector of the Azerbaijan Tourism Institute, Jafar Jafarov.


Before the signing ceremony, the Austrian and Azerbaijani presidents held talks,APA reported.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said the Austrian leader's visit was of great importance for the development of relations between the countries.

"I am sure that the visit will produce very successful results. We are going to sign a number of important documents, discuss various issues. The agenda for bilateral relations is quite broad. We are ready to discuss resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, energy cooperation, economic activity. We are entering a new stage in developing bilateral relations," the president said.

"I know that there are mutual interests in the economic sphere. The business communities will hold meetings. We also have good achievements in the cultural sphere. I think we can be satisfied with the level of our cooperation. Of course, your visit strengthens these relations and I am sure that it will produce very good results."

Austrian President Heinz Fischer recalled the then Azerbaijani president, Heydar Aliyev’s, visit to Austria in 2000.

"Ten years have passed since then, much has changed. There is great progress. Your country has taken great steps in terms of the growth rate. This is praiseworthy. I extend my congratulations on this occasion. I am grateful to you for inviting me and the delegation accompanying me. I accepted your invitation with great pleasure. Our delegation does not include only politicians and diplomats; it also includes representatives of the business community, science and tourism."

Press conference

Addressing a joint press conference with the Austrian president, Ilham Aliyev said that economic ties between the two countries were developing well, with 40 Austrian companies working in Azerbaijan. 

Ne noted the importance of the Southern Gas Corridor declaration, signed with the EU earlier this year. Azerbaijan's recoverable gas reserves of 2.6 trillion cubic metres are an important part of cooperation with the EU, Ilham Aliyev continued.

He also noted the importance of cultural relations between Azerbaijan and Austria.

Heinz Fischer said Austria was very interested in developing relations with Azerbaijan.

Congratulating Ilham Aliyev on the 20th anniversary of Azerbaijan's independence, the Austrian leader said he was sure that anyone who visited Azerbaijan would be impressed by the country's progress.

On energy cooperation, he noted that the energy security of Europe was in safe hands. He said that projects under way in this sector created a firm foundation, while his talks showed that Azerbaijan made a major contribution to the development of relations in the sector.

Ilham Aliyev briefed his Austrian counterpart on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Heinz Fischer in turn stressed the importance of a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

President's wife visits mosque

The Austrian president's wife, Margit Fischer, visited the Taza Pir Mosque and the library of the Caucasus Muslims Department.

The head of the Caucasus Muslims Department, Sheikh ul-Islam Allashukur Pashazade, and Margit Fischer discussed issues of mutual interest.

The sheikh noted that relations between Austria and Azerbaijan had deep historic roots. Describing Azerbaijan as a tolerant country, the sheikh said that religious discrimination had never been allowed in the country.

Margit Fischer praised the development of Islam in Azerbaijan and noted the importance ascribed to inter-religious dialogue and tolerance.

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