By Rashid Shirinov
India is interested in developing cooperation in tourism, education, transport, energy and other spheres with Azerbaijan, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on April 4.
She made the remarks at the press conference following the meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku.
Swaraj stressed the holding of fruitful discussions within her visit and said that relations between the two countries in various spheres will further develop. She also noted that the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and India reached $1.7 billion.
Mammadyarov, in turn, said that the issues in politics, economy, energy, transport, trade, tourism and other spheres were touched upon during the meeting with his Indian counterpart.
He added that at the suggestion of the Indian side, another meeting of the Azerbaijani-Indian intergovernmental commission is planned to be held in May.
The Azerbaijani FM noted that during the meeting with the Indian side an agreement was signed between the Azerbaijani and Indian governments on the exemption of people having diplomatic, official and service passports from visa requirements. Moreover, the ADA University of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Service Institute of the Indian Foreign Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding.
Mammadyarov further stressed that India supports Azerbaijan’s position in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He noted that during the meeting, Swaraj was informed about the conflict.
“I can say that India supports Azerbaijan’s position both in documents signed within the Non-Aligned Movement and in other documents,” the Azerbaijani FM said.
Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and India were established in February 1992. Presently, the countries cooperate in a number of areas. The bilateral trade between Azerbaijan and India has been growing steadily in recent years.
Data of Azerbaijani State Customs Committee shows that of $462.5 million trade turnover last year, export from Azerbaijan to India amounted to $365.5 million. As for India’s export to Azerbaijan, it rose by more than 60 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. The items of imports from India are mainly clothes and textiles, information technologies, food items and heavy machinery.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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