By Nigar Abbasova
Azerbaijan and Egypt, the two countries with similar religious, cultural, traditional and social links, are keen to expand bilateral cooperation.
The issues of the Baku-Cairo cooperation and ways to deepen the ties will be mulled in Egypt as Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov visits the country. The minister’s agenda includes meetings with government officials.
Mammadyarov, talking to Egyptian Middle East News Agency (MENA) ahead of his visit, stated that the two countries have a huge potential for the expansion of ties, particularly in pharmaceuticals, tourism, textile-garment, ICT, agriculture and manufacturing, mentioning that relations in the bilateral and multilateral areas, particularly the cooperation in the energy field will be on the agenda during the visit.
The minister stressed that Azerbaijan's energy giant SOCAR and Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) have achieved tangible progress in energy dimension of cooperation.
Cooperation between the countries currently extends to almost every sphere, ranging from political relations to economics, tourism, energy, and education, cultural and humanitarian issues.
Mammadyarov underlined that the bilateral trade between the two countries is far below than real potential. Both countries are keen to further enhance the bilateral economic and commercial relations with special focus on improving transport connections.
The minister also mentioned that direct air routes between the countries would also contribute to promoting the trade.
Tourism has traditionally played one of the most important places in the economy of Egypt. Last year, more than 3,000 Azerbaijani tourists visited Egypt, while the number is expected to increase in the future.
Moreover, Egypt, which has rich and ancient medicine traditions, earlier expressed its interest in opening the plant for the production of medical equipment and drugs in Azerbaijan.
The minister went on to say that intergovernmental relations between the countries are developing steadily. He said that the joint inter-governmental commission provides the platform to review and streamline all aspects of relations, while the countries are looking forward to the next meeting of the inter-governmental commission, which is expected to be held in November.
“With more than 40 signed agreements the legislative base of our relations is substantially wide and it provides the legal framework for consolidating our cooperation,” he said.
Moreover, the two countries support each other in all international organizations and share similar stances on the fundamental issues on the international agenda.
Mammadyarov underlined that mutually beneficial cooperation will continue to grow for the benefit of our countries and peoples, through joint efforts.
Since Azerbaijan has gained its independence in 1991, the two countries have started building relations in the political, economic, cultural and educational spheres.
Egypt opened its embassy in Baku in 1993, while Azerbaijan’s first ever embassy in the African continent was established in Cairo in 1994.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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