By Akbar Mammadov
Along with purchase of defence industry products, Baku and Ankara are also negotiating over joint production of defence products, Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Turkey Khazar Ibrahim said in an interview with Turkish media on June 16.
“Not only are purchases from Turkey are discussed, but also issues of joint production. Turkey and Azerbaijan will cooperate on this issue. Negotiations on how to cooperate in the field of the defence industry are in the progress,” the ambassador said.
The ambassador reminded that Turkey and Azerbaijan signed the Military Financial Cooperation agreement on February 25, according to which Turkey pledged to provide Azerbaijan with a grant of 200 million TL ($29, 2 million) for the purchase of defence industry products.
He also sited Azerbaijani media reports of last week, accordig to which Azerbaijan plans to purchase military equipment, including helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles from Turkey.
Furthermore, the ambassador said that the volume of transportation through the Baku-Tbilisi-Gars railway has increased approximately 4 times since the beginning of the pandemic.
The ambassador also pointed out that Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company SOCAR’s Petkim and Star refineries manufactured the necessary products for Turkey’s health industry since the outbreak of pandemic.
“Turkey was not forced to import these materials. With the raw materials produced by Star Refinery and Petkim and sold at a very affordable price, significant health products are produced in Turkey and these products can be both sent to many countries as aid and sold," he added.
The ambassador reminded that Azerbaijan has the largest share in the natural gas imports of Turkey. According to him, Azerbaijan’s relations with Turkey in the energy sector is not just trade, but it is also support for Turkey’s energy security.
Ibrahim added that the price of the gas has never been an issue between two countries.
“I can confidently say that the natural gas, oil and price in other issues have never been an issue in Turkey-Azerbaijan relations. Even if there was any problem, the share of Azerbaijan’s gas would not be ranked the first in Turkey’s domestic consumption", he said.
Furthermore, in his speech, the ambassador also touched upon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and said that the current Armenian leadership continue to repeat the mistakes of the previous Armenian authorities in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“From to the time Azerbaijan gained its independence in 1991 by now, Turkey has supported Azerbaijan on the basis of international law on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh occupied by Armenia. We want a full settlement of this issue on the basis of international law. The decisions of the UN Security Council are clear, the territory of Azerbaijan is under occupation and this occupation must be stopped,” Ibrahim said.
Speaking about the negotiations held by the OSCE Minsk group, Ibrahim said: “Personally, I do not expect any new developments in the meetings held within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group”.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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