Columbia seeks to foster bonds with Azerbaijan

By Sara Rajabova

Colombia, the 4th largest country in South America, is keen on developing the cooperation with South Caucasus’ energy-rich country Azerbaijan, located in favorable geographical position linking Europe to Asia.

Enjoying good relations with Azerbaijan, Colombia is interested in further fostering the economic ties.

Assad Jose Jater Pena, Charge d’Affaires of the Colombian embassy in Baku, said his country is seeking to increase the trade turnover with Azerbaijan. He stressed the importance of holding mutual business forums to promote the relations in the trade field.

Pena made the remarks during his meeting with journalists in Baku on January 7 over the completion of his diplomatic mission.

The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in September 1994. The diplomat stressed the necessity of expanding cooperation between the two countries in the fields of energy, agriculture, tourism, and engineering.

Emphasizing the importance of developing relations between the regions of Azerbaijan and Colombia, Pena said a strong base exits for deepening ties in the field of tourism.

“Azerbaijani citizens are not required to get visas to visit Colombia,” the diplomat added.

He further voiced pleasure with the hospitality he was shown over the two years of his stay in Baku.

The Columbian embassy launched its activity in Azerbaijan's capital Baku in February 2014. Pena has been heading the embassy since then.

The diplomat voiced a belief that bilateral ties will continue to develop in the future, adding that the embassy attached special importance to the areas of culture and education in 2015.

“We would like to bring together Colombian and Azerbaijani scientists so that they can achieve academic innovations. We also think it’s necessary to strengthen cooperation between the regions of Azerbaijan and Colombia. Although there is a solid cooperation in this area, we do hope it would be better in the future,” Pena said.

The diplomat also announced the name of his successor. The newly-appointed Charge d'Affaires, Martha Galindo, will arrive in Baku in coming days, according to Pena.

The relations between the two countries successfully develop in various areas, as well as in political sphere. Colombia supports the position of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Recall that Colombia became the second Latin American country after Mexico, whose parliament recognized the Khojaly tragedy as genocide.

In April 2012, the Colombian Senate has passed a decision on Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territories and recognized the crimes committed by Armenians in Khojaly in 1992 during the Karabakh war as genocide. The decision was taken unanimously after 102 votes required for its adoption were successfully collected.

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Sara Rajabova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SaraRajabova

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