By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijan and Pakistan have faced extreme security challenges since independence. Azerbaijan has been drawn into territorial conflict with neighboring Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, and Pakistan’s with India because of Kashmir.
Two countries support each other in resolving these conflicts.
As a result of Armenian aggressive policy, Azerbaijanis are still suffering from Armenian terror and atrocities, said Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Azerbaijan to Pakistan Ali Alizade.
He became a guest of the ‘‘Diplomatic Enclave’’ telecast on the state PTV channel, which is widely broadcast around the world and in Pakistan.
Alizade noted that February 26 marks the 27th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide committed by the Armenian occupiers, which is a clear example of the Armenian brutal policies who completely destroyed the ancient city of Khojaly overnight.
The Ambassador stressed that Pakistan is one of the first countries to recognize the Khojaly genocide, and the resolutions adopted by Islamabad are a humane step to restore justice. He noted that Pakistan’s support for Azerbaijan is perceived with enthusiasm.
Commenting on questions about the form of governance, culture, science, health care system, the economy of Azerbaijan, Alizade said that as a result of the country's successful policy, reforms, as well as a favorable business environment, Azerbaijan is actively developing, the country has been able to minimize its dependence on oil, and to ensure the pace of economic growth in the non-oil sector.
He stressed that Baku achieved all these successes despite the consequences of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the occupation policy of Armenia against Azerbaijan.
Ambassador noted that this year Azerbaijani diplomacy celebrates its 100th anniversary.
He said that in the period of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, and after the restoration of independence, Azerbaijan has always pursued a foreign policy based on friendship, cooperation and mutual respect.
The ambassador stressed that an independent, pragmatic and multi-vector foreign policy led to the formation of a favorable environment around Azerbaijan. He informed that, with the exception of the occupier-Armenia, Azerbaijan had strong and close friendly relations with all countries of the world.
Alizade noted that the friendly and fraternal relations established between Azerbaijan and Pakistan, as well as strategic partnership, are another indicator of this policy.
He said that the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev pays special attention to relations with Pakistan and that Azerbaijan always supports Pakistan in all international and regional issues.
Noting that Azerbaijan is also interested in strengthening trade and economic cooperation with Pakistan, the ambassador spoke about the potential and opportunities in this area. He said that there is an opportunity for mutual investments, and in the case of the opening of direct flights between the countries, it will be easier to visit each other.
Speaking about the relations are developing in the humanitarian and social spheres, Alizade said the events held in Pakistan with the support and initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and its President Mehriban Aliyeva are highly appreciated. He recalled that Azerbaian's First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva was awarded the highest award of Pakistan for her merits.
The ambassador said similar projects will continue in the future.
Alizade, in response to questions from the presenter, shared his views on the efforts and contribution of Azerbaijan to the process of restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s activities in the fight against terrorism, Azerbaijan’s position on the issue of Kashmir and other issues.
Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Pakistan were established on June 9, 1992.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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