As you know, Foreign Minister of France Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian is paying the official visit to Azerbaijan.
Today, we discussed issues of cooperation in political, economic, energy, transport, cultural and commercial spheres between our countries. Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian has met with the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, H.E Mr. Ilham Aliyev this morning and held about two hours of talks. In general, it is first official visit of French Foreign Minister since 1997.
As you know, the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic is solemnly celebrated and France has also played role in this. Thus, de facto recognition of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was carried out on January 11, 1920 at Paris Peace Conference. By the decision of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic 100 young people were sent abroad to study. Nearly 50 students from Azerbaijan were trained in various French universities. Azerbaijani students in the University of Paris, Nancy University, Lyon University, Toulouse Higher Technical School, and Nancy Higher Weaving School studied different specialties such as shipbuilding, medicine, physics and chemistry, geology and others.
Today, Azerbaijan and France enjoy successful cooperation in the field of education. In this regard, the establishment of the Joint Azerbaijan-French University is of great importance.
Together with my colleague, we also discussed the establishment of production units in Azerbaijan’s industrial parks and neighborhoods based on Azerbaijan's preferential regime with the participation of French companies. More than 50 French companies are currently operating in Azerbaijan.
First and foremost among them is the energy company “Total”. “ARIANA SPACE” company took part in launch of Azerbaijan's first space satellite. Other companies, for example, French-made “The BakuBus” Company buses are operating in Azerbaijan.
I also discussed the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with my colleague, at both private and expanded meeting today. We hope that France, together with other OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries will seek to resolve the conflict as soon as possible and to strive for sustainable peace and security in the region.
We held discussions on the European Union. As you know, Azerbaijan is discussing a Cooperation Agreement and there is considerable progress in these negotiations. Of course, as an EU member state, I expressed my hope for the support of France in the development of our relations with EU institutions.