By Akbar Mammadov
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov held discussions on bilateral relations and the Lapis-Lazuli transit corridor with his Afghan counterpart Mohammad Hanif Atmar on May 31.
During the online meeting, the parties discussed the existing opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in political, economic, trade and transport spheres.
Thus, the ministers noted the strategic significance of the Lapis-Lazuli transport corridor and stressed the importance of discussions at the level of relevant Working Groups to strengthen cooperation in this context. In this regard, the sides also underlined the fact that the construction of a Fiber Optic cable line along the bottom of the Caspian Sea could be a new component of support for the Lapis-Lazuli project.
Given the possibility of expanding economic and trade cooperation, Azerbaijani and Afghan ministers touched upon the existing opportunities to ensure the sustainability of mutual trade relations.
At the meeting, the Afghan minister noted with satisfaction Azerbaijan's support for international efforts to ensure security in Afghanistan, as well as the participation of Azerbaijani peacekeepers in the framework of the "Resolute Support" Mission, and expressed his gratitude to the Azerbaijani side for its contribution.
Congratulating his Azerbaijani counterpart for the successful chairmanship in the Non-Aligned Movement, Mohammad Atmar noted that his country is interested in expanding relations with Azerbaijan and stressed the importance of cooperation in bilateral, trilateral and multilateral formats in order to develop relations between the two countries.
On his behalf, Mammadyarov emphasized that Azerbaijani is interested in developing cooperation with Afghanistan on both bilateral and multilateral platforms. Noting the online Summit-level meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group with the initiative of the President of Azerbaijan under the theme of "We are together against COVID-19" on May 4, 2020, Mammadyarov touched upon the proposal of Azerbaijan on holding a special session of the UN General Assembly under the same theme.
At the same time, the ministers noted that the chairmanship of Azerbaijan aimed at strengthening solidarity within NAM and increasing the role of the Movement continues in accordance with the identified priorities and taking into consideration the current global issues.
The Azerbaijani and Afghan ministers also underlined the importance of strengthening the legal and treaty basis of the relations between the two countries.
The parties also exchanged the invitations for mutual visits after the end of the global pandemic.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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