by H.E. Mr. Eldar Hasanov, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Romania
Any beginning has the end, thus my mission in Romania has come to end. It is not easy at all to bid farewell to friendly Romania where I spent more or less my 12 years, as well as, its candid people. The warm welcome of high-rank officials from Romanian Foreign Ministry meeting me at the Bucharest airport in 2001 in my first arrival is still echoed in my ear. It was that particular moment when I witnessed the hospitality, sincerity and affection of Romanian people. As a first ambassador my tasks were primarily to develop all the vectors of cooperation, consolidate legal base and build cultural bridge between our nations. Definitely, former Romanian Presidents Ion Iliescu, Emil Constantinescu and Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev had laid down reliable solid footings for the development of our relations until then.As years passed I noticed the growing mutual will of both countries to advance comprehensive and multifaceted cooperation. Moreover, Romania’s NATO membership in 2004, as well as, its accession to EU as full-fledged member in 2007 offered favourable conditions to raise the quality of our relations. Significant role of Romania as a gate of Azerbaijan to Europe, as well as, integration to Euro-Atlantic structures grew steadily. Finally, in September 2009, Presidents H.E. Mr.Traian Basescu and H.E. Mr.Ilham Aliyev signed the Joint-Declaration on the Agreement of establishing Strategic Partnership proceeded by signing of Joint Action Plan on the implementation of Strategic Partnership in April, 2011. It is worth to mention that today Azerbaijan is the only strategic partner of Romania amongst CIS countries. Energy cooperation has occupied the significant component of strategic partnership. Azerbaijan has been making robust efforts for realization of vast European energy projects supported by Romania.
Furthermore, as a solemn regional project AGRI envisages the future delivery of Azerbaijani natural gas to European partners through Romania. Azerbaijan supports the involvement of Romanian companies in “Shahdeniz – 2” gas extraction phase. Romania has sided Azerbaijan in its principal issues within UN, NATO and EU structures and even more lobbied it at most cases. I express my deep appreciation for friendly position and justly call of Romania supported by international law in respect to the issues awaiting solution in the South Caucasus region.In my 12 years of inexhaustible tenure the merits of the organizations related with Azerbaijan has been of paramount importance in accomplishing a giant leap in bilateral relations. Romanian Representation of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Romania-Azerbaijan Friendship Association, Romania-Azerbaijan bilateral Chamber of Commerce, as well as, Romania – Azerbaijan Youth and Culture Association manifested the noble, virtuous and friendly nature of both nations. Above all, 110 thousand Turkic-tatar communities and Iranian Azerbaijanis residing in Romania have been my genuine backers with whom I never felt myself in solitude. Adhering to the message of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr.Ilham Aliyev “One nation shouldn’t have two diasporas” I counted on the support of my cognates. Thanks to them we never remained alone. Therefore, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to my compatriots, cognates and diaspora who has demonstrated a sheer example of Azerbaijani-turkic solidarity with their cohesive activities. I always encouraged them to love Romania as much as a Romanian does, also motivated them to be actively involved in the development of the country and widening bilateral relations.
Eventually, staffs play a crucial role in the success of a leader. The inimitable merits of my diplomats whom I worked shoulder-to-shoulder throughout 12 years are irrefutable. We shared our joy and sorrow together like a family in these years and became confidants. Wherever they are currently, I extend my sincere gratitude to those who have worked with me so far and take great pride of the piece of my life that I spent with them.I fell in so deep love with Romania’s rich culture, language and history that I committed my impressions to the book “Heartfelt diplomacy in Romania”. The pride of Romania is embodied in Carpathians, multiculturalism in Peles Castle, historical wealth in Sibiu, cultural-religious tolerance in Cluj and Dobrogea region, humbleness in the Danube delta. Witnessing and feeling all these throughout 12 years have implanted unforgettable precious memories in the very bottom of my mind which I will cherish forever.