CONCETTA FIERRAVANTI-WELLS: It is wonderful to be here as Australia's first minister to visit Azerbaijan and to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations between our two countries. As Professor [Samad Seyidov, Chair of the Parliamentary Committee for International Relations and Interparliamentary Ties] said, we might be a big continent and a smaller country, but they say that opposites attract. So here we have two countries on opposite sides of the world, but who have found commonality in diversity - this is a beautiful country, it is a very multicultural country and we share so many things together. Can I particularly say that Australia has been a strong supporter of the sovereignty and integrity of Azerbaijan, and over this period of time we have worked very, very well with Azerbaijan in a number of international fora. But it is important to respect Azerbaijan's integrity and we have done so publically and so consistently over the years. We are obviously looking at greater investment between our two countries. Whilst the presence here in Azerbaijan, of Australians is not a notable one, we really do think that there is scope for so much more. Can I particularly commend the parliamentarians from Azerbaijan Parliament who have joined us today, and who have been the backbone of the relationship and the parliamentary exchanges that have happened between our two countries. Again, it is wonderful to be here today, I had the opportunity to visit parts of your beautiful old city and visit the Maiden Tower, which I had been wanting to do. Also, I shall leave Baku, Professor, with some beautiful carpets, which every time I walk in my house will grace my floor and I will remember Azerbaijan.

REPORTER: This is the first time we have had a minister from Australia here, and our relations are developing in different fields. We also have friendship groups in our parliament to build serious relations between our countries. Australia has always supported our sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. On behalf of the friendship group, I would like to express my thanks, and thank you for coming. I hope this is the beginning and that our relationship will develop further.

CONCETTA FIERRAVANTI-WELLS: Yes, Australia has been a very strong and consistent supporter of the sovereignty and integrity of Azerbaijan as the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, so we have consistently supported the integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan over that territory. We would encourage all parties to resolve the dispute and ensure that Azerbaijan's integrity is maintained and respected.

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