Azerbaijan, Bahrain interested in further development of cooperation
By Kamila Aliyeva
Azerbaijan continues taking consistent steps towards strengthening relations and expanding cooperation in various spheres with Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, including Bahrain.
In this regard, political talks between the foreign ministries of Azerbaijan and Bahrain were held on April 10.
During the meeting, the sides expressed satisfaction with the current cooperation between the two countries, and exchanged views on the cooperation prospects.
Welcoming the delegation of Bahrain, Azerbaijan's Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov spoke about the successes achieved in many areas, the economic reforms implemented in the country in recent years, as well as the work done to develop the oil and gas sector, regional and global projects.
He went on to say that Azerbaijan attaches special importance to the development of relations with the countries of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, emphasizing that Azerbaijan is interested in further development of relations with Bahrain.
Speaking about diversification of the Azerbaijani economy, Khalafov noted that there are great opportunities for cooperation between Azerbaijan and Bahrain in the trade and economic sphere, investment, agriculture, oil and gas, industrial, tourism, banking, information technologies and others.
During the meeting, Khalafov informed the guest about large-scale transport and energy projects implemented upon the initiative and with the participation of Azerbaijan, further adding that the North-South and East-West transport routes will create favorable opportunities for the companies of Bahrain.
Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Undersecretary for International Affairs, expressed deep gratitude for the detailed information and noted that there is a great potential for expanding the bilateral trade and economic ties.
He expressed interest in developing all-round cooperation with Azerbaijan and thanked the Azerbaijani government for organizing high-level ministerial conference of the Non-Aligned Movement and hospitality.
In this regard, he said that Azerbaijan’s holding of a number of large-scale events within the framework of international organizations deserves a positive assessment.
Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa noted that the existence of direct air communication and the possibility of Azerbaijani citizens' obtaining a visa at the airport of Manama using a simplified visa regime are a clear example of the development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Bahrain on an ascending line.
He underlined that Bahrain supports the speedy settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of respect for sovereignty of Azerbaijan and its territorial integrity and that this position is stable and unchanged.
Khalafov highly appreciated Bahrain's support for Azerbaijan's fair position in the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which is the main obstacle to peace and stability, integration process, and development of the region as a whole.
The sides also exchanged views on cooperation within the framework of international organizations, creation of a joint intergovernmental commission for the development of trade and economic relations and on other issues of mutual interest.
Tourism can be considered the main sphere of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the Arab countries, which established their diplomatic relations in 1996. This can be explained by the fact that Azerbaijan has lately turned into the most favorite place for travel of many Arab tourists.
In all international airports of Azerbaijan, a simplified visa processing system was introduced, which caused a growth of the tourist flow mainly from Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and other countries.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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