Elchin Amirbayov, Representative of the President of Azerbaijan for Special Assignments; Credit: Chronicle.lu

Chronicle.lu sat down with Elchin Amirbayov, the Representative of the President of Azerbaijan for Special Assignments, on the occasion of his working visit to Luxembourg on Wednesday 14 February 2024.

The visit coincided with that of the Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs, although Mr Amirbayov assured this was “pure coincidence”. The latter explained that he was in Luxembourg meeting representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister’s office.

Bilateral relations

The purpose of such meetings, Elchin Amirbayov said, was to ensure a “regular channel of communications with our Luxembourg friends”, to “brief” them on regional developments and to discuss bilateral cooperation. He described the accreditation of a Luxembourg Ambassador to Azerbaijan (Alain de Muyser) for the first time in January 2024 as an important step in bilateral relations.

He spoke about the value of “good” executive and business relations but also political exchanges. Reflecting on his previous visit to Luxembourg, in April 2023, when he had met with the then President of the Chamber of Deputies (parliament), Mr Amirbayov stressed the importance of “regular political and parliamentary” contact between the two countries.

In terms of potential areas of cooperation, Elchin Amirbayov mentioned ICT and green finance (an area of expertise for Luxembourg) as well as the health and pharmaceutical industries. He noted that Cargolux, the Luxembourgish flag carrier cargo airline, already uses Baku as a “regional hub”. He also advocated more cultural exchanges and tourism opportunities (which would be facilitated by direct flights) to allow the people of both countries to get to know each other. According to STATEC, there were 286 Azerbaijani nationals residing in the Grand Duchy as of 1 January 2023.

Azerbaijan-EU relations

Concerning the current state of relations between Azerbaijan and the European Union, Elchin Amirbayov said the EU “remains our most important trading partner”. He also described Azerbaijan as the EU’s “strategic partner for energy security”, referring to the fact that the country exports natural gas to Europe. He added that Azerbaijan is located strategically in the South Caucasus, “an important geo-economic crossroads”, linking the Chinese and European markets.


With Baku set to host the 2024 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP29) in November, Elchin Amirbayov noted that the goal was to “keep hands on the pulse”, particularly with regards to climate finance. He referred to the recent announcement that the United Arab Emirates (UAE; COP28 host), Azerbaijan (COP29) and Brazil (COP30) are forming a “troika” to ensure continuity and raise climate ambitions. Mr Amirbayov said it was also about showing how climate change affects every country and it is everyone’s responsibility to take concrete action.


2024 is a busy year also in terms of elections being held around the world. Azerbaijan held its presidential elections just last week (on 7 February): President Ilham Aliyev was re-elected for a fifth term, having secured more than 90% of the votes. He took the oath on Wednesday (14 February) and will form a new government in the coming days. When asked about recent reports by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that there had been no real political competition and that the election had taken place in a “restrictive” environment, Elchin Amirbayov said that these “preliminary conclusions” did not make the result any less legitimate. He described President Aliyev as “extremely popular” among the people of Azerbaijan who had “paid [him] back with their loyalty and support” for “restoring [the country’s] territorial integrity”. He was alluding to the events of (and following) September 2023 when Azerbaijan launched a military offensive to reassert control over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. He added that the main challenge now was to “revitalise the areas after almost 30 years of conflict”.

Mr Amirbayov said this marked the beginning of a new era, one of “post-conflict peace”, and assured that Azerbaijan “very much want to” sign a peace agreement with Armenia. This contrasts with comments made previously by the Armenian Ambassador to Luxembourg and Belgium, Tigran Balayan, among others, who had argued that Azerbaijan was trying to delay the peace process.

Reflecting on the main takeaways from his recent Luxembourg visit, Elchin Amirbayov remarked that he felt everyone he had met had “appreciated the openness of Azerbaijan to exchanges” and to having “received the information firsthand.” Concerning the fact that the Armenian foreign minister was in Luxembourg that same day, Mr Amirbayov described this as an opportunity to “give our hosts a chance to hear two different prospects”.

The Luxembourg visits of both the Representative of the President of Azerbaijan for Special Assignments and the Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs came at a time when tensions between the two countries remain high, according to international media reports.