Speaker of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova has had a meeting with the delegation visiting in Azerbaijan and led by Speaker of the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia Daiga Mieriņa, the press service reported.

First, the Speaker of the Latvian Parliament was shown round the plenary sittings chamber of the Milli Majlis.

Then, the guests went to the Heydar Aliyev Museum at the Milli Majlis. Daiga Mieriņa made an entry in the commemorative book.

The similarity between the historic paths negotiated by Azerbaijan and Latvia both of which had their centenaries in 2018 and are friendly states and partners was talked of at the meeting. Today’s close political co-operation between our countries is having a positive impact on the on-going expansion of the economic, cultural, scientific, technical and humanitarian ties. Mutual high-level visits of the Heads of State, meetings, regular contacts as well as documents signed with regards to various fields serve to further strengthen ties between the two countries, it was remarked during the talk.

Sahiba Gafarova said she trusted that the current visit was going to foster a continued strengthening of our inter-state and inter-parliamentary connexions.

Remembering fondly her meetings and conversations during the official visit to Latvia two years ago, the Speaker of the Milli Majlis accentuated the role of inter-parliamentary bonds in the progress of the bilateral relations. The immense importance of reciprocal visits and periodical meetings of the Presidents of Parliament and working groups was underscored as well; it was further said that it was necessary to deepen the ties between specialist committees and commissions of the two legislative assemblies.

Telling the guest of the new situation settled in the region following the restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty then, Speaker of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova said that the 30 years of our lands’ occupation and the once-stalled conflict were both due to the demonstration of double standards with respect to our country. The four well-known resolutions of the UN SC and the documents passed by other international organisations had not been acted upon during those years.  

As she was sharing the impressions from the second meeting with the Speaker of the parliament of Armenia in Geneva three days ago, the Speaker of the Milli Majlis reiterated Azerbaijan’s unwavering commitment to the peace agenda. There are sound opportunities to promote the peace agenda; the delimitation and demarcation of the border dividing the two states continue, too, according to Mrs Gafarova.

The large-scale restoration and reclamation work under way in the liberated territories of our country as well as the progress of the ‘smart town’ and ‘smart village’ projects were described in detail as well. It was said also that the mine terror was one of the major factors slowing down the former IDP’s return to their native lands.

The Speaker of the Parliament of Latvia mentioned her first official visit to Azerbaijan coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between our countries and described the arrival in our country as remarkable. Mr Mieriņa went on to tell of her meeting with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan earlier today; she said that that meeting had seen an exchange of views upon deepening the co-operation that embraces diverse segments of the bilateral relations. The guest also expressed her gratitude for Azerbaijan’s unequivocal backing in the issue of Latvia’s non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council in 2026-2027.

Bringing up her trip to the Garabagh Province in the course of her visit to Azerbaijan next, the Speaker of the Latvian Parliament turned to her impressions gleaned from what she had seen in the towns of Fuzuli and Shusha. She said it was important to meet the people living in that area to form a perception of what is going on in the province as well as to learn of the difficult pages of the Azerbaijani history.

Mrs Mieriņa stressed Latvia’s permanent support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

It was said then that the history of cultural ties between our peoples is older than those three decades that had passed since the bilateral diplomatic relations were established. The Speaker of the Saeima mentioned the Latvian artist Jūlijs Straume who had lived and worked in Shusha, and assembled a collection of Azerbaijani carpets there more than 100 years ago. She emphasised the special significance of this fact for the Latvian side.

Daiga Mieriņa said that she had also witnessed the large-scale restoration and building conducted by the Azerbaijani State during her trip to Garabagh. She underlined Azerbaijan’s role in making solid peace in the region, pressing forth with the delimitation and demarcation work, and the big reclamation that our country is carrying out in the region. According to Mrs Mieriņa, Latvian companies, too, will eventually be able to take part in the work apace in Garabagh.

The two Speakers of Parliament exchanged views upon the forthcoming hosting by Azerbaijan of the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – COP29. Sahiba Gafarova mentioned the intention of the Milli Majlis to become energetically engaged in the activities of the COP29 on the margins of which the Parliament of Azerbaijan will organise a Parliamentary Meeting together with the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

The guest congratulated our country on hosting such a prestigious international assembly and said that Latvia stood by to give Azerbaijan close support with the running of the COP29.

Also, the meeting saw opinions exchanged as to other matters of interest to both sides.