Azerbaijan’s Controversial President to Visit Croatia

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, September 5, 2018 – Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev will officially visit Croatia on Wednesday and talk with his Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović about economic cooperation, energy and bilateral relations, according to sources in the Office of the Croatian President.

This is Aliyev’s return visit to Croatia which will begin with a reception in the Office of the Croatian President and tete-a-tete talks between the two head of states.

Aliyev will also hold talks with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković.

The two countries’ economic cooperation is proceeding without outstanding issues, however, the two sides agree that the current results do not match the bilateral cooperation potential and expect cooperation to grow.

Trade in 2017 amounted to 226.1 million euro, up 3.4% compared to the year before. Croatia’s exports to Azerbaijan in 2017 amounted to only 698,000 euro, down 53% on the year, while imports from Azerbaijan was 225.4 million euro, up 3.9% on the year. Croatia’s trade deficit amounted to 224.6 million euro.

In order to step up bilateral cooperation, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović in May decided to open Croatia’s embassy in Baku. Azerbaijan opened its embassy in Zagreb in 2011.

In October 2016, Grabar-Kitarović visited the former Soviet republic with huge energy reserves and strategic location on the Caspian Sea, which make it an important alternative for Europe to Russian oil and gas.

lham Aliyev, considered by many as a controversial politician, won a fourth term as president of Azerbaijan in April 2018 in an election boycotted by major opposition parties, who accused him of authoritarian rule and suppressing political dissent.

Aliyev was first elected in October 2003, two months before the death of his father, Heydar Aliyev, who ruled for 10 years. He cemented his position with two referendums, one in 2009 that scrapped a two-term presidential limit and another in 2016 that extended the presidential term to seven years from five.

Aliyev refutes in the strongest terms all allegations of corruption and misuse of office.


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