site.btaUPDATED Visiting Azerbaijani Milli Majlis Chair Holds Talks with Bulgarian Host
Azerbaijani Milli Majlis Chair Sahiba Gafarova and National Assembly Chair Rossen Zhelyazkov held a one-to-one meeting Tuesday in the historic parliamentary building at 2 Nardodno Sabranie Square. Gafarova signed the official guest book, the National Assembly’s press office said.
Gafarova is paying an official visit at the invitation of her Bulgarian counterpart Zhelyazkov.
The talks between the sides continued longer than expected. On the agenda were the opportunities for deepening and broadening the bilateral parliamentary dialogue.
Zhelyazkov said that Bulgaria and Azerbaijan have excellent relations at the level of strategic partnership; there is also active political dialogue. He expressed the hope that the Milli Majlis Chair’s visit will contribute significantly to the deepening of parliamentary exchange.
The strategic bilateral dialogue established in 2015 and the excellent bilateral relations are a precondition for broadening the spheres of cooperation. Interaction in the energy sector has a main role in the ties between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan, Zhelyazkov also said. In the past year, the launch of the Greece-Bulgaria intersystem gas connection allowed Bulgaria to start receiving the full amount of Azeri gas quantities agreed upon. In spring 2023, the gas system operators of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Azerbaijan signed a memorandum of cooperation for doubling the export of gas from Azerbaijan to the EU, he recalled.
Gafarova said that the bilateral relations are not only friendly: they were promoted to the level of strategic partnership in 2015, which turned a new page in the ties between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan. Thanks to that, Bulgaria had the opportunity to becoming a country transiting Azeri gas.
The parliaments of Azerbaijan and Bulgaria can contribute to a broader and more active bilateral cooperation in other areas of mutual interest as well, Garafova said, listing the fields of economy, trade, education and culture. She called for dialogue being established between the various parliamentary committees in the two legislative institutions.
Also on Tuesday, Gafarova and the delegation she leads visited the Center for Azerbaijani Language and Culture at the Center for Eastern Languages and Culture of the St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, the university said.
The event was attended by the Vice-Rector of Sofia University Prof. Maria Stoycheva, the Dean of the Faculty of Classical and New Philologies, Prof. Madlen Danova, the Director of the Centre for Eastern Languages and Cultures, Prof. Ivo Panov, the Head of the Department of Turkic and Altaic Studies, Prof. Irina Saraivanova, the Director of the Centre for Azerbaijani Language and Culture Sofia Shigaeva-Mitreska, students and guests.
Prof. Stoycheva and Prof. Danova expressed their satisfaction with the meeting and the good cooperation between the two countries in the field of education.
Professor. Saraivanova recalled that the Center has been working for ten years and many students of the Faculty of Classical and New Philologies are interested in the language and culture of Azerbaijan. She expressed her gratitude to Shigaeva-Mitreska for her dedicated work in developing the activities of the centre.
The Director of the Centre for Azerbaijani Language and Culture described the activities and curriculum, and the work with students. She recalled that r the visit of the Rector of Baku Slavic University, Anar Nagiyev, took place in April this year and that the corner of national leader Heydar Aliyev, whose 100th birth anniversary is celebrated this year, was unveiled at the visit.
Gafarova and the accompanying delegation toured the Centre and saw the exhibition presented by the centre on the 105th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the first secular parliamentary republic in the Turkic and Islamic world. The exhibition features photographs of the opening and sessions of the first Azerbaijani parliament, the parliament building, and the Azerbaijani delegation that participated in the Paris Peace Conference.
The Azerbaijani Milli Majlis Chair expressed her satisfaction with the work at the Centre and thanked all colleagues for their contribution and support in its work, wished further success and signed the guest book.
She donated to the Centre three volumes with historical transcripts of parliamentary sessions led by Heydar Aliyev for three months and 18 days in the most difficult times for Azerbaijan in 1993 and recounted his services to the Azerbaijani people, a plaque depicting the Milli Majlis building, and books on Azerbaijani literature and culture.