The recent visit of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to Poland created a very good opportunity to emphasize the 25th anniversary of relations between the two countries, but primarily this created an opportunity to determine new goals in a rapidly changing world, Ambassador of Poland to Azerbaijan Marek Całka told APA
"It should be emphasized that the future of our relations is economy. This approach was confirmed during the visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Warsaw, where economic cooperation became the main topic of the conversation,” he said.
The diplomat noted that in 2016 Poland’s GDP accounted for about 467 billion dollars.
"The economy of Poland is very diverse. Poland is the 5th in Europe and 21st worldwide in terms of exports,” he added.
He said that Poland, which a member of NATO, the EU and many other European organizations, will be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2018.
Touching upon the signing by the presidents Azerbaijan and Poland of the joint declaration on the Road Map on Strategic Partnership and Economic Cooperation, the ambassador said that this document first and foremost is about dynamic economic relations.
"As President Andrzej Duda noted, the trade turnover of 100 million US dollars does not reflect the economic potential of our countries. Thus, in order for our relations to reach the level of the strategic partnership, it is necessary that our trade turnover be significantly high. The remaining documents, in a certain sense, constitute the complementary part of the Road Map, as they designate the main areas of economic cooperation,” he added.
Poland views Azerbaijan as a key partner in the South Caucasus region, the diplomat stressed.
The ambassador said Eastern Partnership remains the most complex policy of the EU towards neighbors in the East.
As for Poland’s stance on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Mr. Tsalka said that as is known, there are two Minsk Groups, which deal with the resolution of two acute conflicts.
"No constructive results have been yielded in both cases. Thus, no one has devised a better scheme. Two countries, including Azerbaijan and Ukraine are the victims of these conflicts. What’s interesting is that these countries do behave in a balanced way,” he said.
The diplomat also touched upon last year’s escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.
"It is not accidental that Ilham Aliyev managed to stop all this after his return from New York. This was a responsible step taken for the fate of his people. You should be proud of the heroism of your soldiers as they coped with their task. We should honor the memory of the victims from both sides. It is very difficult to find an objective way out of such conflicts in a time when political blackmailing and thinking of modern imperialism exist. The conflict would be easy to solve if such thinking vanished away,” he said.
He noted that Poland alone or together with the Visegrad Four will always try to influence the international peace process with regard to the two abovementioned conflicts.
"We are committed to the principles of peaceful cooperation and the peaceful resolution of all problems in accordance with the UN Charter. This directly relates to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem and the occupied territories. Our nation has experienced a lot of dramatic events and we do not want anyone else like that,” said the diplomat.
He stressed that Poland understands Azerbaijan very well and wants Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity to be restored peacefully.
The ambassador said that Poland cannot have a direct impact on the settlement process as it is not a member of the OSCE Minsk Group.
"However, from 2018 on, Poland will be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and the issue of territorial integrity will be our greatest challenge and the greatest duty. During the Cold War and at a time it was impossible to define the new world, Azerbaijan was the first country which had faced a military violation of its territorial integrity,” he added.
The Polish diplomat reiterated his country’s support to Azerbaijan’s stance on the settlement of the conflict.