By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
Azerbaijan and Turkey increased the period of visa-free stay for citizens of the two countries from 30 to 90 days, Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Erkan Ozoral has said.
“Currently, citizens of Azerbaijan and Turkey can travel to both countries as tourists for up to 30 days without a visa. We will extend this period to 90 days,” the diplomat stated.
The relevant agreement was signed on the sidelines of the VIII Meeting of the Azerbaijan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council, held with the participation of the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Baku on February 25.
Within the framework of the Council, Azerbaijani Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov and Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Chavusoghlu signed the “Agreement on Mutual Visa Exemption between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the Republic of Turkey”.
The ambassador noted that increasing visa-free travel between Azerbaijan and Turkey would facilitate mutual visits.
“Restrictions were causing complaints of citizens both in Azerbaijan and Turkey and led to some grievances. Agreements will come into force when approved. It will be beneficial in terms of preventing such problems and it has been an agreement that will encourage mutual trips of our citizens,” Ozoral informed.
Moreover, the Ambassador stated that one of the inked agreements between two countries was Preferential Trade Agreement, which will stimulate trade: “Turkey and Azerbaijan were implementing mutual trade and customs duties, which occurred in the reduction of Turkey and Azerbaijan competitiveness of products in some sectors and therefore this agreement was signed to end this negative situation”.
Futhermore, Ozoral touched upon the significance of other document - Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on building a railroad that will connect Nakhchivan with the Kars border city in Turkey.
“This was actually on our agenda since the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway project started to be discussed. There is an extension of a railway line from Kars to Nakhchivan. Regarding this, it was decided to speed up the works. Thus, it is aimed to further strengthen Nakhchivan's connection with the world and to diversify its connection” he urged.
Ozoral added that the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Ighdır to Nakhichevan was also discussed at the meeting.
In general, 14 agreements and 1 joint statement were signed to enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields, including trade, defense, energy, investments, sports and so on.
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