Azerbaijan and Mexico to foster cooperation in 2019 - Mexican Ambassador to Azerbaijan Rodrigo Labardini - PHOTOS | Eurasia Diary -

17 July, Wednesday

Azerbaijan and Mexico to foster cooperation in 2019 - Mexican Ambassador to Azerbaijan Rodrigo Labardini - PHOTOS

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By Anastasia Lavrina, Eurasia Diary

“The significant geographical distance between the United Mexican States and Azerbaijan, over 12,000 km, does not hinder bilateral cooperation, but on the contrary opens a wide range of opportunities for cooperation in various sectors” - Ambassador of the United Mexican States to Azerbaijan Rodrigo Labardini stated in his interview to Eurasia Diary.

The Ambassador said that Mexico considers the cooperation with Azerbaijan as very important.  

“Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus, 75% of region’s GDP belongs to Azerbaijan, 60% of the population is also here. Azerbaijan is not only the door between East and West but also the door to the Caspian Sea and to the Central Asian region.

The Mexican Embassy in Azerbaijan was opened in 2014 and since 2015 the bilateral relations were developed and strengthened. The trade between our countries grew more than 8 times and reached US$ 25 million in 2018. The tourism industry grew by 4 times. The signing of an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the fields of education, science, youth, culture, and sports between Mexico and Azerbaijan in 2017 undoubtedly opened new ways for cooperation in numerous areas.”

Rodrigo Labardini highlighted that there are many similarities in people, culture and even in the food between Mexico and Azerbaijan.

When I came to Azerbaijan in 2015 I discovered a new country, especially people. Azerbaijan showed me that we are all similar, we are all humans and we even eat the same things cooked or called differently. For example, I saw you have tarragon and we have estragon. The same in literature, you have “Leyli and Majnun” and “Ali and Nino” while in Mexico we have “The Rich Also Cry” and “Simply María”. So, we heard about each other but it is a matter of learning each other again.”

Labardini said that in the past two decades Mexico has grown in several areas.

“Mexico became the 3rd largest producers of cell phones in the world and the 7th largest producer of automobiles. 19 world famous automobiles brands are being produced in Mexico. Mexico is also the largest producers of flat screen TVs. 1 out of 3 avocados produced in the world are coming from Mexico. One out of two tomatoes in the U.S. market is Mexican. Moreover, Mexico has free trade agreements with 45 countries representing 60% of the world GDP. It is also contributed by air connectivity. City airport receives 50 mln passengers per year. Mexico still works on the construction of the airport desired to receive 120 mln passengers and to be the 3rd largest in the world. Mexico has over 11,000 km of coastline with 119 ports. In the Gulf of Mexico, there is a port Veracruz, which is currently managing 20 mln tons of containers per year and it is supposed to be expanded to 99 mln tons.”

Labardini also stated that there is a big potential for strengthening the relations between two countries in 2019.

“It is very important to make Mexico better known here in Azerbaijan. We are planning to bring more products from Mexico, such as fruits, sweets, tequila, beer and etc. In the end of April, we will try to bring a commercial mission of tequila producers from Mexico to seat together with Azerbaijani companies dealing with import and distribution to try to make ways for cooperation. We are also planning to make some supermarkets to have a Mexican corner where the consumers can find different Mexican souses, chili, sweets with chili, chocolate, tequila, beer and etc.”

The Ambassador also mentioned energy cooperation, tourism development, and partnership in education as prior directions for 2019.

“We will try to make the Mexican Institute of Oil have a stand at the Oil and Gas Conference to be held in Baku in May or June. The participation of some high officials from the Ministry of Energy is also expected. At the same time, we are trying to make the links between educational institutions to find ways for developing scholarships and exchange programs for students or teachers, and as well as joining research projects”.

Mexico has repeatedly stated that it respects international law, in particular, the principle of territorial integrity. In 2011 the Mexican Senate adopted the documents condemning the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia and recognizing the Khojaly genocide.

Talking about Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabagh conflict, the Ambassador stated that the conflict itself is an obstacle for the development of a whole region and that it has to be resolved peacefully in accordance with the four resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council.

“I think the adoption of that document by the Mexican Senate was very important. It is very clear for me that the conflict should be resolved within Azerbaijan's territorial integrity. For me it is also clear, when somebody talks about occupied territories it means that those territories are not of the occupier” - Rodrigo Labardini said.  

Interviewed by Anastasia Lavrina 


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