Vaqif Sadiqov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Luxembourg; Credit:

On Thursday 21 December 2023, Vaqif Sadiqov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Luxembourg, made a courtesy visit to Claude Wiseler, President of the Chamber des Deputés.

The meeting covered the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Luxembourg and was the first such bilateral meeting since the national elections that were held in Luxembourg in October.

In talking with, the ambassador said he was honoured to be received by the speaker of the Luxembourg parliament; he mentioned that Claude Wiseler had been in Azerbaijan a number of years ago in his previous capacity as Luxembourg's Minister for Transport.

Abbassador Sadiqov mentioned that he was exploring ways of more parliamentary collaboration between the two countries and was looking into the possibility of welcoming Luxembourg government ministers to Azerbaijan and has started discussions in this regard. He stressed that Azerbaijan and Luxembourg have known each other many years from meeting at the OSCE, etc. He stressed that parliamentary cooperation is a very important step in ensuring ties between the two countries become closer.

In general terms, the discussion addressed joint initiatives and inter-parliamentary formats where they meet (on the fringes of OSCE meetings, etc.), using these opportunities to initiate bilateral meetings.

He mentioned that Azerbaijan will hold its next presidential election on 7 February 2024 when a number of Luxembourg parliamentarians are expected to visit Azerbaijan as OSCE observers. Ambassador Sadiqov explained that these will be the first elections to cover the entire territory of Azerbaijan, including the Nargono-Karabakh region and the adjacent seven districts, covering 16,000 km2. On the issue of this territory, he said that the Azerbaijan government has invested more than US$7 billion over the past three years for restoration of the territory after the war. He also mentioned the presence of circa 1.5 anti-personnel and anti-tank landmines which were left by the retreating Armenian soldiers.

In Luxembourg, he confirmed that there are around 350 Azerbaijani nationals living in the Grand Duchy, some of whom have also acquired Luxembourgish nationality. He said that many are employed in the finance sector here and the Azerbaijan community actively participates in the annual International Bazaar.

Ambassador Sadiqov referenced the Azerbaijan Cultural Centre which was open for a number of years in Luxembourg city, but it now closed; however, he hopes that a new cultural centre could be opened in the future, with the main challenge being a suitable location. He also referenced supporting a number of other cultural areas, e.g. concerts and exhibitions, in the year ahead.

On bilateral relations, he mentioned that Luxembourg has appointed a roving ambassador to Azerbaijan, Alain De Muyser, whom he also met earlier in the day.

On economic ties between the two countries, he mentioned collaboration in the space sector, and also mentioned that Cargolux planes are regularly in Baku, carrying both imports into the country, and exports to South Asia and the Middle East.