Pakistan, Azerbaijan vow to boost bilateral trade, connectivity

Dar emphasizes importance of parliamentary and cultural exchanges

APP May 30, 2024
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar and Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov meet to discuss bilateral relations PHOTO:APP


Pakistan and Azerbaijan resolved on Thursday to enhance cooperation in multiple sectors including trade, investment, energy and connectivity to exploit bilateral potential further.

This commitment was discussed during a meeting between Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar and Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov.

In a joint press conference, Dar announced plans to bolster cooperation in trade, investment, connectivity, energy, and defence. He highlighted ongoing efforts to boost bilateral investments, particularly in the energy sector, with a joint working group on energy playing a crucial role.

FM Bayramov noted that there were six direct flights between the two countries and highlighted that 55,000 Pakistanis visited Azerbaijan last year. He added that the upcoming COP29 meeting would present additional opportunities for collaboration across the energy sector and in matters relating to climate change.

Dar also emphasized the importance of parliamentary and cultural exchanges to foster business-to-business and academic linkages, alongside promoting renewable energy cooperation. He extended good wishes for Azerbaijan's hosting of the COP29 and assured Pakistan’s support.

Both leaders also discussed the situation in Gaza, calling for an immediate cessation of Israeli hostilities and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Quds Al Sharif as its capital. Dar expressed gratitude for Azerbaijan's steadfast support on the Kashmir issue and reiterated Pakistan’s support for Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Bayramov outlined their discussion on strengthening cooperation and strategic partnership to elevate the bilateral relationship. He noted the untapped potential for economic and trade cooperation, advocating for joint economic projects in energy, tourism, transport, information technology, pharmaceuticals, and transport.

The Azeri foreign minister also mentioned that the 8th Pakistan-Azerbaijan Inter-Governmental Commission, set to convene in Islamabad later this year, would further drive economic cooperation.

He invited Pakistani businesses to capitalize on favourable business conditions in Azerbaijan and connectivity projects, noting the increase in direct flights and Pakistani visitors to Azerbaijan. The upcoming COP29 meeting was highlighted as an opportunity for cooperation in energy and climate change that would help to create employment opportunities across the sectors.

Bayramov appreciated Pakistan’s support on the Karabakh conflict and reiterated Azerbaijan’s position on the Kashmir dispute, advocating for a peaceful resolution in line with UN Security Council resolutions.

Read COAS visits Azerbaijan to bolster military ties

Addressing climate change, he mentioned Azerbaijan’s efforts to secure resources for developing countries to support adaptation and capacity-building projects, particularly noting Pakistan’s $34 billion loss from recent floods which has battered the economy as rehabilitation efforts continue.

Dar further emphasized that energy security and connectivity are top priorities for the Pakistani government, highlighting the country's strategic location for connectivity with eastern China, South Asian countries, and beyond.

Earlier, both leaders held delegation-level talks to review bilateral relations and exchange views on regional and global developments, expressing a strong commitment to enhance strategic relations and broaden cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including trade, investment, energy, defence, education, climate action, and regional connectivity.

Bayramov arrived in Pakistan on a two-day official visit on May 29.

He was warmly received by Additional Foreign Secretary for Afghanistan and West Asia Ahmed Naseem Warraich at the Islamabad International Airport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted on X account.

FM Bayramov called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and held extensive discussions with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar.

In April, Azerbaijan emphasised that Pakistan should resume imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Central Asian nation to meet its growing domestic consumption needs.

Earlier, during the tenure of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government, the two sides signed an agreement for import of at least one LNG cargo per month.


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