On September 25, a conference called “100th anniversary of establishing the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan and strategic partnership relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Italian Republic” took place in Palazzo Giustiniani in Rome.
First Vice-president of the Republic of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva and President of the Italian Senate Mrs Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati attended the opening ceremony.
Opening the conference, head of the Italia-Azerbaijan Interparliamentary Friendship Group Mrs Rosanna Boldi talked about the significance of this event, held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of establishing the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan. She underscored the significance of bilateral strategic cooperation, emphasizing that the Azerbaijan-Italy relations have been advancing at a very high level. Saying that relations between the two countries have developed in all areas, Rossana Boldi particularly noted Mehriban Aliyeva’s role in the advancement of the relations between Azerbaijan and Italy. She said the projects implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Italy have been of significance in terms of preserving her country’s cultural heritage.
Emphasizing the importance of such a significant conference in Italy, President of the Italian Senate Mrs Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati said: “We have been honoured to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan”. The fact that this event is held here is of great importance, as the Italian Constitution was signed in this building. This year, we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of signing the Constitution.”
Underscoring that the first elections took place 100 years before in the parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and that women were granted full election rights, the President of the Senate said this was an important step in the region’s history. Moreover, representation of a number of nationalities in the Azerbaijani parliament in such a complicated period left a significant footprint in the country’s history.
Touching upon the Azerbaijan-Italy relations, Maria Casellati said the relations between our countries had an ancient history.
Talking about the projects implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in connection with restoration of historical and cultural monuments that were of special significance to Italy, the Senate President thanked Mehriban Aliyeva for her role in advancing the cultural relations between the two countries.
Saying that Azerbaijan’s pavilion in the international exhibition “Milan Expo 2015” was one of the most visited and highly valued pavilions, Maria Casellati noted: “Today, as one of the Caucasian countries, Azerbaijan plays a great role in the lives of the Mediterranean countries, both in economic and political terms. Italy is one of the first countries to have imported energy from Azerbaijan. Today, Italy plays a very important role in the diversification of the Azerbaijani economy, especially prompting the advancement of the oil industry”.
The Senate President expressed confidence that Italian companies would expand their activities in Azerbaijan further. Talking about Azerbaijan’s role in Europe’s energy security, Maria Casellati mentioned that very good relations have been formed also between the youth of the two countries, and the relations between universities and other cultural centres are deepening.
Talking about the significance of strengthening the relations between countries and peoples in an era when terror and extremist acts occur, Maria Casellati specifically emphasized the role of Azerbaijan, which plays the role of a bridge between the West and the East, saying that it is a significant partner of the European Union, and a friend of Italy.
Then, the conference continued its work in panel sessions. The event’s significance was particularly underscored in the speeches. Progressive steps taken by the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan were talked about comprehensively, mentioning that it had played a significant role in the formation of statehood traditions in the country. Representation of different nationalities in the Azerbaijani Parliament, which was formed a hundred years before, was appreciated as a significant step.
In the speeches, development of relations between Italy and Azerbaijan in various spheres were noted. Azerbaijan’s role in Europe’s energy security was emphasized. The contribution of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation to the advancement of the bilateral relations was underscored.
At the end, a brief documentary was shown about the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan.