By Rashid Shirinov
Pakistan, as always, is ready to support the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Pakistani Ambassador to Azerbaijan Saeed Khan Mohmand said at a press conference in Baku titled “Black Day of Kashmir.”
“Pakistan has repeatedly declared its support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and recognized the tragedy in Khojaly as genocide. We very much appreciate Azerbaijan’s support for the issue of Kashmir,” he said.
Pakistan backed Azerbaijan during and after the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh war, and it is the only country that does not recognize Armenia as a state. Pakistan also adopted a resolution strongly condemning the genocide against the civilian population of Khojaly, which was committed by the Armenian armed forces.
Mohmand also said at the conference that Azerbaijan and Pakistan have been successfully cooperating for the past 25 years.
“We see the strengthening of bilateral relations in trade, defense sectors,” the diplomat said.
Mohmand further told Trend that the number of people in Azerbaijan who learn about Pakistan increases, as well as the number of Pakistani citizens getting acquainted with Azerbaijan, who wish to visit the country.
“This year the number of Pakistani citizens visiting Azerbaijan was between 20,000 - 25,000 people, and this number may increase. I hope more and more people will come,” the ambassador said.
He noted that the airways work to gain profit, so the establishment of joint direct flights between Baku and Islamabad depends on tourist flow, which he believes will increase in future.
“Our job is to provide the opportunity, to increase the mutual tourist flow between our countries,” Mohmand added.
Pakistan became the second country after Turkey which recognized the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991. The diplomatic relations between two countries were established on June 9, 1992.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Pakistan amounted to $7.3 million in 2016, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee. Pakistan has already developed a 5-year trade plan on the increase of the export volume to Azerbaijan up to $500 million.
The military cooperation takes a special place in Azerbaijan-Pakistan relations. Back in November 2016, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry and Pakistan’s Joint Staff Headquarters signed a plan of bilateral military cooperation in Islamabad. The sides agreed to continue cooperation in carrying out joint military exercises and discussed detailed cooperation in defense sector and joint military production.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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