Historical background to the document of "Joint press conference of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev and the Prime Minister of Belgium Jean Luc Dehane" (April 13, 1998)

Azerbaijan cooperates with the kingdom of Belgium, as a contry where situates the administrative center of the European Union, bilaterally too. Belgium recognized the independence of Azerbaijan on December 31, 1991. Diplomatic relations were established between the two countries on June 17, 1992.

Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev visited Brussels both on the occasion of cooperation issues with European Union and Belgium several times (May 3-5, 1994; April, 1995; April 22-23, 1996). (www.mfa.gov.az/www.azembassy.be)

The first agreements regulating cooperation activities between the kingdom of Belgium and the Republic of Azerbaijan were signed during the visit of the Prime Minister of that country Jean Luc Dehane to Azerbaijan on April of 1998. At that time, the head of the state of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev and Jean Luc Dehane signed a Joint Declaration and the agreements in the spheres of the economy and air transportation were signed between the two governments too. (http://www.mfa.gov.az/)

Both of the heads of state gave a press conference on the occasion of the visit on April 13, 1998. In his opening speech of the press conference, Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev declared he attached a great importance to the relations and cooperation with Belgium and noted that Azerbaijan took the route of integration in the European structures.

Jean Luc Dehane affirmed that Belgium struggles for the energy cooperation involving Azerbaijan. He said the act of the Belgium parliament on the fictitious "armenian genocide" issue wouldn`t affect the relations with Azerbaijan.

Heydar Aliyev pointed the visit of the Belgium Prime Minister to Azerbaijan efficient and historic at the press conference: "We have conducted very fruitful negotiations and it`s for the first time that documents were signed between Belgium and Azerbaijan.

Further agreements on the cooperation in the spheres of taxes, customs and investment were signed between Azerbaijan and Belgium in 2004-2006. (http://www.diplomatie.be/) Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met with the leaders of the European Union and at the same time with the Belgian Prime Minister Gui Verhofsdatd, Foreign Minister Karl de Gucht and discussed bilateral cooperation issues with them on his Belgium visit on November of 2006.

The Belgian Foreign Minister Karl de Gucht attended as an OSCE chairman the following meeting of the presidents Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Robert Kocharyan of Armenia for the peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict, held in Minsk at the end of the same month. ("Azerbaijan" newspaper, November 9, 29, 2006)

Historical background was compiled on December 5, 2006.