Azerbaijan–Northern Ireland relations

Press Release: The burgeoning development of Azerbaijan–Northern Ireland relations has been outlined during a meeting at the Northern Ireland Assembly in Stormont, Belfast. Around 60 people attended the meeting, organised by The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS), including 10 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs). Following an introduction by Michael Copeland MLA, who facilitated the meeting, H.E. Ambassador Fakhraddin Gurbanov, Azerbaijani Ambassador to the UK, said: “Azerbaijan only gained its independence from the Soviet Union 22 years ago this year, and was one of the first former Soviet republics to declare its independence. Our economy is quickly developing, thanks to our natural resources, but we are also looking for further investment in the non-oil sector. I look forward to the growth of bilateral relations between our countries.”

Peter Robinson, First Minister, Northern Ireland, continued: “Northern Ireland has been in a state of conflict for centuries, but we are now working hard to develop a peaceful, stable society. Issues of identity are an issue, and I am certain that our Azerbaijani friends can empathise with this. Despite this, investment has increased, and we now have more prosperity than before. We have very low taxation, and a considerable level of change is happening on the ground. We look forward to future reciprocal visits.”

Emil Agazade, Head of Media, TEAS, said: “I was born in Azerbaijan, and expected to experience some conflict when I first visited Northern Ireland some years ago, but this was not the case. I have friends from Ulster in London, and I know that we share the same outlook. Azerbaijan looks forward to developing a successful relationship with Northern Ireland.”

Local businessman Michael Doran, Executive Director, Action Renewables, focused on his personal experiences in Azerbaijan: “I have worked in Baku and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR). I undertook training of the local population, and discovered that the local population was bright, hardworking and inspiring.”