President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received the United Kingdom’s Permanent Under Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Simon McDonald.
President Ilham Aliyev said Simon McDonald`s visit to Azerbaijan created a good opportunity for discussing cooperation and regional issues between the two countries. The head of state said the agenda of cooperation issues is very comprehensive, pointing out the expansion of the bilateral relations. President Ilham Aliyev said the two countries enjoy very good relations in energy area, adding that Azerbaijan-BP cooperation spans over 25 years. President Ilham Aliyev described BP as the main strategic partner of Azerbaijan in the field of energy, expressing his confidence that this cooperation will successfully continue. President Ilham Aliyev said British companies have become more interested in Azerbaijan`s non-oil sector recently, adding that this is in line with Azerbaijan`s economic diversification policy and will enhance business relations between the two countries.
Simon McDonald said this is his first visit to Azerbaijan. He hailed Baku as a modern city, saying he is deeply impressed with the new architectural samples. Simon McDonald said he will familiarize himself with the world famous Heydar Aliyev Center. He said a lot of British companies invest in Azerbaijan under agreements signed between the two countries.
The reforms carried out in Azerbaijan in recent years, attention to education, measures to reduce unemployment and poverty and address social issues in Azerbaijan were highlighted at the meeting. They discussed the impact of the fall in oil prices on the speed-up of diversification, Azerbaijan`s international standing and the country`s rating by international organizations.