Azerbaijan–Italy relations

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Azerbaijani–Italian relations
Map indicating locations of Azerbaijan and Italy

Azerbaijan

Italy

Azerbaijani–Italian relations refers to the bilateral ties between Azerbaijan and Italy. Azerbaijan has an embassy in Rome, while Italy has an embassy in Baku. Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

History[edit]

Azerbaijan Democratic Republic[edit]

Russo-Persian War resulted with the invasion of present-day Azerbaijan territory by Russian Empire. After the collapse of the Russian Empire, Azerbaijan Democratic Republic established the first democratic and secular state in the whole Muslim world. Italy was one of the countries that was able to establish diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan. Italy opened its consulate and military office in Baku. In that time, official visits of the Azerbaijani delegation to Italy and the Italian delegation to Azerbaijan were realized.

Recent political relations[edit]

Italy recognized the independence of Azerbaijan from Soviet Union on January 1, 1992. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on May 8, 1992. The first embassy of Italy among the Southern Caucasian republics was opened in Azerbaijan in 1997 and the embassy of Azerbaijan to Italy has been functioning since 2003.[citation needed]

Heydar Aliyev paid his first official visit to Italy on September 1997 and, between 1998-2003 government officials of Italy visited Azerbaijan, which resulted with signed agreements on cooperation in different spheres. Italian ambassadors to Azerbaijan have stated that visas might have lift in soon between two countries.[1] In April 1999, Italy opened a new building of the Italian Embassy in Baku.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict[edit]

Italy is notable for being the first chairman of OSCE Minsk Group's acting for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. During Ilham Aliyev's official visits to Italy the subject was touched on again. President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi reminded that the attempts of the Minsk Group of OSCE had not produced any results yet and stated that he would do his best to strengthen the activity of the Minsk Group. In June 2005, during his visit to Azerbaijan, the head of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Migration of the Senate of Italy, said that Italy will protect the just position of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict[2][3] to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Economic relations[edit]

Italy has become the biggest trade partner of Azerbaijan in importing crude oil and oil products. 51.9% of exportation from Azerbaijan has been directed to Italy since 2003. Italy mainly exports pipes for oil sector, tobacco, leather and furniture to Azerbaijan. The visits of the ministers of Economic Developments of both countries in 2007 resulted in signed agreements on the cooperation between Azerbaijan and Italy in the sector of natural gas.[4]

Co-operation in oil[edit]

In 2005 Azerbaijan exported 50% of its oil to Italy. The owner of a 5% share in the Contract of the Century, an Italian company Eni-Agip, is involved in the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. A number of other companies in Italy also participated in the construction of the pipeline on the basis of the contract. The official opening ceremony was held in July 2006. Eni-Agip is also active in the project Shahdeniz and in the oil field Kyurdashy. In June 2013, it was decided that the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will go from Azerbaijan through Turkey and Greece to southern Italy.[5]

Cooperation in the field of viticulture[edit]

Azerbaijan also plans to collaborate with the Italian Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo in the field of viticulture.[6] Italy's Manual Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo and, in order to exchange experience, has invited officials of the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan economy to Italy.[7]

Cultural relations[edit]

During the Soviet era, in 1972, city of Italy, Naples, and the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, were declared sister cities. Since that time, the cultural ties between Italy and Azerbaijan have become more intense but relations between two countries have a long history which can be seen from travelers visiting Azerbaijan in the Middle Ages (including Marco Polo) and Nasreddin Tusi's book "Interpretation of Euclid's "Elements" being translated into Latin and published in 1594 in Rome. There are different paintings by well-known Italian painters in museums of Azerbaijan, and many carpets and jewelry articles made in Azerbaijan are in different museums and private collections in Italy. Since the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th century in Baku, different buildings were built by famous Italian architects.[8] The works of Dante and Petrarch were translated into Azerbaijani and published in great quantities.[9] Some legendary singers of Azerbaijan such as Bulbul and Muslim Magomayev mastered the bases of opera art in Italy. Many cultural events have been held in both countries. Italy is among those countries who render humanitarian assistance to Azerbaijan. The agreement on the humanitarian aid between Azerbaijan and Italy, signed on June 1, 2005, is directed at easing the hard life of refugees and IDPs settled in Azerbaijan. The Italian government helped a number of medical and social institutions in Azerbaijan as well.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]