On September 28, 2009 the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Romania was signed.
The adoption of this Declaration determined a long-term program for successful development of bilateral relation in various fields, including political, economic, humanitarian, as well as in such strategic areas as energy and transport.
It’s important to point out that among members of European Union Romania is the first to sign this document with Azerbaijan and today Azerbaijan remains the only strategic partner of Romania in South Caucasus.
The relations between Azerbaijan and Romania are based on continuity, aspiration to maintain and increase the potential of friendship and cooperation created by peoples of two countries. Historical facts indicate that the basics of Azerbaijani-Romanian relations were laid in the XV (15th) century.
In 1473 the ruler of Azerbaijani state Aghgoyunlu – Uzun Hasan and Moldavian duke Stefan the Great signed the Agreement on military cooperation. These ties continued to develop in the period of Azerbaijani Safavid dynasty rule. There is a hypothesis that the first print edition in Azerbaijani language appeared with participation of the Romanian duke Dmitry Cantemir. So the duke, accompanying Peter I in his Caspian campaign (1722), prepared the text of appeal of Peter I to the local population in Azerbaijani (Tatar) language. It is also known that the Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918-1920) General S.Mehmandarov was honored with the highest military award of Romania during his military service.
It is important to highlight that Romania is the first country among EU countries to officially recognize the state independence of Azerbaijan on December 11, 1991. Diplomatic relations between two countries were established on June 19, 1992. The Embassy of Romania in Azerbaijan was opened in 1998, and the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Romania in 2001. In July 1995 the National Leader of Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev paid an official visit to Romania. In turn, the President of Romania Ion Iliescu paid an official visit to Azerbaijan in March 1996. During these visits a number of agreements that laid a ground for further development of bilateral relations and strategic cooperation in various fields were signed.
The ongoing high level political dialogue of the countries’ leadership, as well as regular contacts at ministerial level as well as inter-parliamentary ties indicate the dynamic development of relations between our countries.
In this regard the best example is the visit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to Romania on September 28-29, 2009, during which the Joint Declaration on establishing a strategic partnership between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Romania was signed together with the President of Romania Trajan Basescu. Later in 2011, the Joint Action Plan on implementation of Strategic Partnership was signed. According to this plan the specific actions were taken in a wide range of areas: from political dialogue and economic cooperation, investments, cooperation in the field of energy to humanitarian and cultural cooperation.
The joint intergovernmental commission on trade-economic relations and scientific-technical cooperation between Azerbaijan and Romania is the main means of determining the priorities and prospects of intergovernmental dialogue and general economic cooperation. Currently, there is an active cooperation in the implementation of “Black Sea – Caspian Sea International Transport Route” project between Azerbaijan and Romania together with other project participants – Georgia and Turkmenistan.
Azerbaijan and Romania also closely cooperate in the framework of international organizations. As for Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Romania supports fair position of Azerbaijan within territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The successful cooperation has been established in the field of education. The number of students intending to study in Romanian universities in the framework of students exchange program under the Cooperation Agreement between the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of National Education of Romania increase.
Azerbaijan and Romania are also linked by cultural and humanitarian ties. The book “Renaissance of Azerbaijan” written by famous Romanian journalist Minodor Mitrik and dedicated to the history of Azerbaijan, country’s achievements in the period of independence, life and political activity of Heydar Aliyev was published. The writings of the great Azerbaijani classic poet Muhammad Fizuli, as well as such writers as Anar, Chingiz Abdullayev, Elchin and B.Vahabzada’s poems were translated into Romanian.
The monument of the National Leader of Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev built in Bucharest and the monument of the founder of the modern Romanian national composer school, violinist, pianist, conductor George Enescu built in Baku are another vivid evidence of strong and friendly relations between our countries.
Dr. Huseyn N. Najafov
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Romania