By Nigar Orujova
Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia are looking to develop cooperation in all spheres. This was signified by an official visit of the Azerbaijani president to the Kingdom.
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady, Mehriban Aliyeva visited Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to attend high-level meetings.
President Aliyev was received by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King of Saudi Arabia Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
The parties expressed satisfaction with the level of bilateral relations between the two countries. The significance of developing mutual understanding and fruitful cooperation between Islamic countries was also underlined.
The sides noted the fact that the two countries were actively cooperating and supporting each other in international organizations. Prospects for expanding cooperation in the fields of economy, particularly oil and gas, tourism, agriculture as well as between business communities were discussed.
The chiefs of states also exchanged views over mutual investment making.
Touching a crucial issue for Azerbaijan, it was especially noted that Saudi Arabia supports a peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
A dialog among religions, cultures and different political forces play an important role today, amid the global political and economic crises. Azerbaijan is always open for dialog.
The advantageous position of the country - intersection of economic and political interests of all major political players in the world, place Azerbaijan as a mediator in view of such dialogue.
The amicable country has good relations with all countries of the region and may also become a springboard for Arab countries both in terms of economic cooperation with other countries in the region and investment making.
As part of his visit, President Aliyev met with the Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers, Abdulrahman Al Zamil, the Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Ali Al-Naimi, to discuss developments on the oil and gas market in the world and the countries.
The head of state also met Minister of Finance, Ibrahim Al-Assaf to discuss the realization of different projects in social area, irrigation, agriculture, etc.
Following, President Aliyev and the first lady headed to Jeddah.
Here, the president met with the President of the Islamic Development Bank Group, Ahmad Mohamed Ali, and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Iyad bin Amin Madani. Prospects for bilateral ties were discussed at the meetings.
“Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan are brothers and friends. We have always supported and will support each other in all international institutions,” President Aliyev said at the meeting with the OIC’s secretary general. “We must raise our economic partnership to the level of political cooperation.”
The president also noted that a large delegation of businessmen from Saudi Arabia will visit Azerbaijan next month, while the Azerbaijani delegation will come to the kingdom in November. “I think it will create a very productive format for economic cooperation.”
President Aliyev expressed confidence that this visit will further strengthen fraternal relations between the countries.
As part of the visit, President Aliyev, his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva and family members performed the Umrah pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca. They arrived at the Masjid al-Haram.
The president and his entourage circumambulated the Kaaba, and performed a prayer in the mosque. Then they started a pilgrimage to Al-Safa and Al-Marwah mountains. Following, they entered the Kaaba and prayed there.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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