Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation led by the Deputy Speaker of the Georgian parliament and chairman of the Georgia-Azerbaijan Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group, Fridon Todua.
The President expressed satisfaction with the successful development of bilateral relations between Georgia and Azerbaijan in all the spheres. Emphasising that cooperation between the two countries in political and economic spheres and in the area of investment was at a high level, President Ilham Aliyev pointed to the importance of inter-parliamentary cooperation for the development of relations.
Expressing his satisfaction with the visit to Azerbaijan, Fridon Todua said it was his second visit to the country, and that he was witnessing major development in Azerbaijan over the past period.
Relations between Georgia and Azerbaijan are often described by leaders of the two countries as strategic. Azerbaijan depends on Georgia for the transit of its energy resources to European and international markets. The construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline has proven to be a visionary project which has given Azerbaijan economic independence and is a strategic asset for European energy security. On its part Georgia has benefited directly from oil and gas transit arrangements, but more importantly is now also the beneficiary of extensive amounts of Azerbaijani investments.
President Saakashvili and President Aliyev have sought to build good personal and official relations between them, regardless of many differences of approach and policy. A suggestion by President Saakashvili that Georgia and Azerbaijan should "unite" has been politely ignored by Baku. Azerbaijani officials often express concerns about the conditions of the large Azerbaijani minority in Georgia, but for the moment larger considerations prevail.
photo: The President of Azerbaijan at a meeting with a visiting Parliamentary Delegation from georgia in Baku on 17 January 2012. (picture courtesy of the Press Service of the President of Azerbaijan)