25th anniversary of relations between Belgium and Azerbaijan
Today Belgium celebrates the 25th anniversary of its relations with Azerbaijan. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders welcomes this celebration, confirming a bilateral relationship that has diversified over the years. He also salutes the friendship between our two peoples and conveys the Azerbaijani people all his wishes for concord and prosperity.
Between 1992 and 1993, Belgium established bilateral relations with several countries following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Azerbaijan, having gained its independence, was the first among these countries to establish diplomatic ties with our country on 20 February 1992.
Since then, our bilateral relationship has been enhanced with high-level political contacts such as the visits to Baku of Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene in 1998, of Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht in 2006 and of Didier Reynders in 2015. President Aliyev paid an official visit to Belgium in 2004 and 2006 and met Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy in Brussels in 2009 and King Philippe in 2017. Regular meetings also took place at parliamentary level as well as various cultural exchanges.
Economic exchanges between our two countries have been particularly reinforced since 1992. Many missions, led by the Belgian Agency for Foreign Trade (BDBH / OBCE) and afterwards by the regional authorities helped to better display the commercial strengths of both parties, particularly in the field of chemicals and machinery and equipment. The nomination of itinerant Ambassadors in charge of the Caucasus from 2004, then the opening of a Belgian Embassy in Baku in 2007 have increased this potential and allowed Belgian companies to settle in Azerbaijan. The latter have contributed to the implementation of projects such as the construction of a solar plant in Nakhichevan or the SOFAZ tower in Baku, the “Trans Adriatic Pipeline” or the “New International Port in Baku”. In recent years, our economic exchanges were on average EUR 90 million per year.
Belgium therefore welcomes this jubilee and stands ready to deepen its relations with Azerbaijan, with respect for values such as the rule of law and the free market, and to strengthen the multilateral cooperation on peace and security.