A webinar on "Spain – Azerbaijan Relations. Regional and International Developments " was organized by the Center of Analysis of International Relations and the Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (FESEI) of Spain. In his opening speech, Dr. Farid Shafiyev, Chairman of the AIR Center, said that Azerbaijan expects more open support from Spain for the security process in the South Caucasus. According to him, Spain's support for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity is important for Spain, as a country suffering from separatism itself. "We would like to see Spain, like Italy and Hungary, show openness and participate in the restoration of the liberated territories," Dr. Shafiyev said.
Speaking next, Mr. José María Álvarez de Eulate, president of the FESEI, spoke about the important role of Azerbaijan in the region, noting that there are many areas for joint cooperation between the two countries. He expressed hope for further strengthening of relations in the future.
Speaking on security issues during the panel discussions, AIR Center’s Board member Dr. Esmira Jafarova said that the goodwill steps taken by Azerbaijan towards Armenia to establish peace in the region after the war were not reciprocated by Armenia. According to her, such cases slow down the process of peace restoration in the region. Speaking on the same topic, FESEI researcher Mr. Alberto Anton mentioned organized crime, cyber security and its growing global scale as a threat to Spain's security. He stressed the importance of expanding cooperation between the two countries on such global security issues.
Speaking about Azerbaijan's relations with Europe and Spain, Dr. Vasif Huseynov, Senior Advisor at the AIR Center, said that Azerbaijan was already facing double standards in the territorial dispute. He noted that Azerbaijan is a country that provides diversification of energy sources, noting the importance of the European market for Azerbaijan in general from the economic point of view, and spoke about the prospects for future cooperation.
Looking at bilateral relations, Spanish Chargé d'Affaires Mr. Ignacio Sanchez Taboada said there were no visits at the level of heads of state, and that the opening of the Spanish Embassy in Baku was desirable. He noted that there are no agreements on taxes and foreign trade, and stressed the importance of these issues to promote trade and investment.
Speaking about trade relations between Spain and Azerbaijan, Mr. Orkhan Baghirov, Leading Advisor at the AIR Center, highlighted the non-oil sector, especially agriculture, textiles, light industry and tourism for developing Spain’s participation in business and investment in Azerbaijan. According to him, for Azerbaijan, there are investment prospects in Spain in the field of cars, finance, real estate and manufacturing.
FESEI researcher Mr. Jose Ventura Ballester said that Spain has the potential to assist Azerbaijan in the diversification of energy resources, development and production of alternative energy sources. He also noted the possibility of Spain's cooperation with Azerbaijan in the application of new technologies in public administration.
The webinar continued with a Q&A session.