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Italian newspaper “Il Messaggero” publishes article on Azerbaijan-Italy relations

Italian newspaper “İl Messaggero” has published an article on Azerbaijan-Italy relations as President Ilham Aliyev started Sunday his official trip to Italy. According to the author, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev`s Italy visit could be an indicator of existing relations between Azerbaijan and Italy. The sides will ink agreements between Rome and Baku which would play an important role in European energy strategy, and will hold negotiations on expansion of economic and cultural cooperation between the two states.

The article says, according to the first 3 months of the 2014, Italy is the first economic partner of Azerbaijan: the income of this bilateral exchange has been 7.4 billions of euros in 2013. In the result of import of the carbo-hydrogens the negative balance for Italy was 6.4 billions of euros. Azerbaijan is a country with highest development rate among the post-Soviet states. The increase of non-energy sectors was 9.5 percent and GDP was 74 billions of dollars in this country. The external debt of Azerbaijan is 9.1 percent, and the level of unemployment is 5.6 percent.

The newspaper says Ilham Aliyev was elected as President for the third time. He is professor in international relations, and in his 33 he was vice-president of SOCAR, as well as was elected to the Parliament and the leader of the New Azerbaijan Party. President Ilham Aliyev, who knows Russian, English, French and Turkish languages, pays special attention to modernization and establishment of balanced relations with neighboring countries. During his Italy trip, President Ilham Aliyev who is being accompanied by ministers of foreign affairs, culture and tourism and energy will meet Italian counterpart Giorgio Napolitano, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, President of Senate Pietro Grasso and Mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino.

The author says former Italian Premier Enrico Letta visited Baku in August of 2013. In October, the decision on transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe through the TAP pipeline was adopted. The 870 km-long pipeline, 117 km of which will lay underwater, will reach Salento coast bypassing Turkish, Greek and Albanian territories and will join Italian Snam Rete Gas network. In November, 2013, a delegation of Italian businessmen visited Baku. The Italian Institute for Foreign Trade (I.C.E), ANCE and FEDERPROGETTİ companies laid foundations of new cooperation in construction and health fields, as well as in construction of transport and railroad in Turkey, new port in the Caspian Sea.