By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has said that negotiations are underway to open direct passenger flights between Baku and Amsterdam.
"The simplification of Azerbaijan’s visa system, which makes it possible to receive visas within just a few hours, is particularly appreciated by Dutch people, who can easily and effortlessly travel to Azerbaijan. The direct cargo flights have been operational between Maastricht and Baku since 2016 and negotiations are underway to open direct passenger flights between Baku and Amsterdam," Mammadyarov told the Hague-based Diplomat Magazine.
Mammadyarov noted that foreign trade turnover between the two countries in 2018 was $181.83 million, of which $77.9 million was export of Azerbaijani products to the Netherlands and 103.8 million was import of Dutch products to Azerbaijan.
He called the Netherlands as one of traditional partners for Azerbaijan since the country regained independence. Two countries, he added, enjoy full-fledged agenda of mutually beneficial cooperation.
"So, the development of mutually beneficial cooperation with the Netherlands as one of the founding countries of the EU fully fits into the paradigm of a balanced foreign policy of Azerbaijan," said in a statement.
Mammadyarov stressed the Netherlands continues to remain as one of the top investors in the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan.
"Dutch companies implement large-scale projects in fields such as logistics, transport, environmental protection and agriculture. Among the successfully implemented projects, we can name the planning, design, engineering and construction of Baku International Sea Trade Port, providing environmental solutions to pollution of lakes by oil spills and urbanisation in Absheron peninsula, construction of a model farm in Azerbaijan based on Dutch agricultural experience and know-how," Mammaydarov said.
Speaking about the foreign policy priorities of Azerbaijan, Mammadyarov highlighted strengthening of sovereignty and independence of the country, elimination of consequences of military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan and restoration of its territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders, as well as, the continuation of large-scale infrastructure projects implemented with the initiative and participation of Azerbaijan, further development of mutually beneficial cooperation with all international actors, including states, associations and international organizations.
"And on the way to the realization of these constructive goals, we hope to continue a true partnership with our largest economic partners represented by the EU countries, including the Netherlands," he concluded.
Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and the Netherlands were established on April 1, 1992.
So far, up to 130 Dutch companies operating in services, construction, transport, industry, trade, communications, banking and insurance are registered in Azerbaijan.
The Netherlands attaches great importance to the Southern Gas Corridor project, envisaging transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, as the Netherlands is extremely interested to support the energy security in the EU as a whole.
In recent years the expansion of bilateral economic relations, the organization of economic missions, business forums, as well as other activities opened a new phase in practical cooperation between the two countries.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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