By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan and Qatar have held the first round of political consultations between the two countries’ foreign ministries in Doha on December 1.
The meeting was attended by Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Ramiz Hasanov and Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sultan bin Sad Al-Mureyhi, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry reported.
A number of issues on bilateral cooperation between the two countries were discussed during the meeting, including an exchange of views on the prospects for the cooperation development in various fields, including politics, economy, agriculture, tourism, science, education and culture.
Speaking at the meeting, Ramiz Hasanov noted the high level of political relations exist between Azerbaijan and Qatar. He also touched upon the role of political consultations in the development of bilateral relations and the strengthening of diplomatic ties.
Hasanov also informed about the steps taken towards diversification of the Azerbaijan’s economy and ongoing reforms.
He noted that the aggressive policy pursued by Armenia is a serious threat to security in the region. Hasanov recalled the history of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the current situation and the negotiation process for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. He expressed gratitude to Qatar for supporting the fair settlement of the problem within the framework of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan.
For his part, Al-Mureyhi noted that Qatar attaches great importance to the comprehensive development of relations with Azerbaijan.
Al-Mureyhi once again expressed Qatar’s full support in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of UN Security Council resolutions. He noted that the conflict is a threat to peace and stability not only in Azerbaijan, but throughout the entire region. Al-Mureyhi said that Qatar has always been and will continue supporting Azerbaijan regarding the conflict.
The parties also exchanged views around cooperation within the framework of international organizations, as well as on a number of regional and international issues of mutual interest. It was agreed to annually hold political consultations.
The diplomatic relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Azerbaijan established on September 14, 1994.
Despite the high level of political cooperation, the trade turnover between the two countries is not big although there are more opportunities to expand trade ties.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Qatar reached $3.6 million in 2018. Almost the entire amount of trade turnover accounted for the export of Azerbaijani products to Qatar. Currently, Azerbaijan is mainly exporting food and agricultural products to Qatar.
In 2016, Joint Economic, Commercial and Technical Commission was established between the governments of Azerbaijan and Qatar. The first meeting of the Commission was held in Azerbaijan in January 2017, and the second one was held in Qatar in February 2019.
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