President Aliyev embarks on official visit to UAE - UPDATE

By Aynur Karimova

President Ilham Aliyev embarked on an official visit to the United Arab Emirates on February 1.

At the Abu Dhabi airport decorated with the national flags of Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates, the head of state was welcomed by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and other officials.

An official welcoming ceremony for President Aliyev was held at the Abu Dhabi airport, and a guard of honor was arranged here.

The national anthems of Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates were played. The chief of the guard of honor reported to the Azerbaijani president.

Following the official welcoming ceremony, President Aliyev and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met in an expanded format.

Prior to the meeting, state and government officials of the United Arab Emirates were introduced to President Aliyev, and members of the Azerbaijani delegation were introduced to Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

President Aliyev thanked Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for inviting him to the UAE.

The sides hailed the development of bilateral relations between the two countries, and discussed the issues of further expansion of cooperation in the political, economic, trade, investment and other fields.

They also stressed existence of good opportunities for developing cooperation in tourism field.

President Aliyev hailed the increase in the number of tourists from Azerbaijan to the UAE and vice versa.

The Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was among the discussed issues as well. The head of state said that 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories were occupied by the Armenian armed forces, with more than one million Azerbaijanis becoming refugees and IDPs. President Aliyev stressed the importance of settling the conflict in compliance with the international law and within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

The President thanked the UAE for supporting the adoption of the resolution on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at the UN General Assembly, saying Azerbaijan also backed the UAE' position within the UN and other international organizations.

The sides expressed their confidence that cooperation will be further developed.

The head of state invited Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan.

President Aliyev later visited Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

The President visited the grave of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which is located on the grounds beside the mosque.

It is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. On Fridays and during holidays the mosque is visited by 40,000 people.

After the head of state toured the mosque, a picture was taken. President Aliyev signed the guest book of the mosque.

Later, President Aliyev arrived in Dubai from Abu Dhabi and viewed the building of famous Burj Khalifa.

The head of state was informed that the construction of Burj Khalifa was carried out in 2004-2009.

The building opened in 2010 as part of the new development. Measuring 828 metres in height, it was previously called Burj Dubai. It has 165 floors. Located above the occupied reinforced concrete portion of the building is the structural steel spire.

Burj Khalifa boasts the world's tallest elevators, which have the world's longest travel distance from lowest to highest stop.

In addition to its aesthetic and functional advantages, the spiraling “Y” shaped plan was utilized to shape the structural core of Burj Khalifa. This design helps to reduce the wind forces on the tower. It also has world's highest observation deck, the world's highest mosque, and the world's highest swimming pool.

Azerbaijan and UAE enjoy fruitful cooperation in various fields and their mutual relations are developing both in the political, economic and cultural fields with ascending line. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1992.

The Azerbaijan State Customs Committee statistics show that in January-September 2015 the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $46.78 million, $42.2 million of which fell on import to Azerbaijan.

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Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova

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