By Amina Nazarli
An Azerbaijani delegation headed by Defense Industry Minister Yaver Jamalov paid a visit to Pakistan on April 26-27 to participate in the 6th session of Azerbaijan-Pakistan Intergovernmental Commission on economic cooperation.
During the two-day visit, featuring bilateral meetings aimed at developing political, economic, military and humanitarian relations, Azerbaijan's minister was received by Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
During the meeting, President Mamnoon Hussain stated that greater cooperation between the two friendly countries in energy, defense and communication sectors contributes for the mutual benefit of the two states. He said the two countries should make coordinated efforts to increase the bilateral trade.
Hussain added that the current trade volume between the two countries was below potential and emphasized the need to enhance it through joint efforts.
He voiced hope that the 6th session of the Azerbaijani-Pakistani Intergovernmental Commission would be helpful in enhancing bilateral trade.
At a meeting with the Pakistani prime minister, Jamalov said Azerbaijan was keen to explore new opportunities to import defense products and raw material from Pakistan.
He extended invitation for Pakistan's participation in the International Defense Exhibition to be organized by Azerbaijan in September, with special reference to the JF-17 Thunder.
The military cooperation is one of the main components of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Pakistan. The countries signed a defense agreement in 2013. Later, the naval forces of both countries held consultations on military-technical issues.
Pakistan and Azerbaijan enjoy good relations in various spheres. Pakistan supported Azerbaijan during and after the Nagorno-Karabakh War and it is the only country that does not recognize Armenia.
Azerbaijan’s expanded military budget has lifted it to the top among its neighbors in the South Caucasus.
The country manufactures the Istiglal sniper rifle, Mubariz rifle, Orbiter-2M unmanned intelligence drones, Gurza armored patrol car, "Matador" and "Marauder" armored vehicles, anti-tank mines, etc.
Last year, the Defense Industry Ministry accomplished work over the creation of night vision devices, prismatic binoculars with a compass, mine fuses of different types and organized their production.
Azerbaijan, which is in war with neighboring Armenia over the latter's territorial claims during more than 20 years, keeps in focus the armament, working closely with leading companies and firms in various fields of military industry.
The country purchased numerous weapons from foreign countries including Turkey, Russia and Israel, to modernize and upgrade its armed forces, and signed military contracts with over 20 countries which envisage a large-scale weapons supply.