Parliament Speaker back home after concluding official visit to Azerbaijan Ghanem met Azeri president, attended 100th anniversary celebration
KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem returned home yesterday following a three-day official visit to Azerbaijan. Ghanem was received by Information Minister and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Mohammed Al-Jabri, National Assembly supervisor Naif Al-Mirdas and Parliament Secretary General Allam Al-Kanderi.Al-Ghanem, whose entourage included MPs Dr Mohammad Al-Huwailah and Abdullah Nasser Al-Dosari in addition to Kuwait’s International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) Chairman Dr Abdullah Al-Maatouq, attended the 100th anniversary of the founding of Azerbaijan parliament.
Ghanem said on Friday that although Kuwait and Azerbaijan already have strong bilateral ties, there was more room to bolster relations between the two nations. Ghanem’s statement came during a celebration marking the 100 anniversary of the Azerbaijani parliament, where he was invited to deliver his speech by Azeri parliament Speaker Ogtay Asadov. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev attended the ceremony.
“Azerbaijan is an important country with an extraordinary location and it is on the verge of achieving its goals on the cultural and economic scales,” Ghanem said in his speech. “The fact that more than 20,000 Kuwaitis have visited Azerbaijan is relieving, and we seek to double those numbers to raise the commercial and cultural cooperation between the two countries in addition to opening new horizons for youth in the field of sports as well,” Ghanem added.
“We will not forget Azerbaijan’s stand towards us 28 years ago when Iraq invaded Kuwait, and its support whenever we needed assistance especially the last time when Azerbaijan voted for Kuwait for the membership of the United Nations Security Council,” Ghanem continued. “I say to my Friend Ogtay Asadov that we hope to see you in Kuwait soon, and to consider my speech as an invitation for you to visit us anytime you find convenient,” Ghanem added.
Ghanem and his Azerbaijani counterpart held broad talks on boosting parliamentary ties, in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku. The meeting stressed the depth of relations between the two nations, Al-Ghanem told reporters in remarks after the talks. He stated that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah had previously decorated the Azerbaijani President with the ‘Mubarak Al-Kabeer’ medal, one of Kuwait’s highest decorations, and the Azerbaijani President decorated His Highness the Amir with the supreme medal in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
“During the talks, we touched upon means of strengthening bilateral relations amongst parliamentarians,” Ghanem told reporters. The two sides agreed on coordination regarding several common issues in the upcoming international arenas, he noted. There would be an important meeting in Antalya city on October 8 between the Asian and European parliaments, he revealed. The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference will be held in mid-October, he pointed out, referring that it will include many issues and files, most of which have been agreed upon. There will be great coordination between the Arab group and the group of countries surrounding Azerbaijan, he stressed. He affirmed his keenness that the Kuwaiti and Azerbaijani parliaments will be a link between the two groups.
Meanwhile, MP Huwaila said that Kuwait and Azerbaijan have distinguished bilateral ties. He emphasized that the parliamentary diplomacy seeks to enhance relation between the Kuwaiti and Azerbaijani legislatures. Asadov and the Kuwaiti-Azerbaijani friendship committee will visit the State of Kuwait soon, he said, according to Parliament’s news network ‘Al-Dostur’. Kuwait’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Saud Al-Roumi said that the meeting was good, and regional and international issues were discussed, according to the network. He described Ghanem’s visit to Azerbaijan as ‘successful’ on both political and diplomatic levels.
Speaker meets Azerbaijan’s President
Ghanem had also met on Friday with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. “I conveyed to President Ilham Aliyev the greetings of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and his wishes for Azerbaijan’s success and progress,” Ghanem said in a press statement after the meeting. Ghanem added, “I have learned from his Excellency his keenness to strengthen the Kuwaiti-Azerbaijani relations and his desire to take them to greater horizons.”
Ghanem went on to say “I have assured President Aliyev of keenness of His Highness the Amir on continuing cooperation and coordination relations between Kuwait and Azerbaijan, both in terms of bilateral aspect or in terms of coordination with regard to dealing with regional and international files.”