ISLAMABAD: Pakistan-Azerbaijan bilateral relations transcend geographical boundaries and distance, characterized by shared values and common outlook on various regional and global issues based on confidence, mutual trust and respect.
Both share common regional and global challenges and threats in the current geopolitical trends and need greater cooperation to maximize each other’s potential to overcome them.
Both countries need to increase people-to-people contacts through tourism and initiating direct flights.
Delegates from Azerbaijan and Pakistan pledged this at the International Seminar on “Current Geopolitical Trends in the Region and Prospects for Deeper Relations between Pakistan and Azerbaijan”.
Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI), in collaboration with the Azerbaijan Center for Strategic Studies (Strateji Araşdırmalar Mərkəziis-SAM) organized the seminar.
The further said, Pakistan-Azerbaijan trade was miniscule compared to its potential and needed to be improved through greater interaction between their Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
“Terrorism and drug trafficking is a common challenge. Pakistan and Azerbaijan should develop joint mechanisms to deal with these mutual threats”, they added.
Ambassador of Azerbaijan Ali Alizada stressed that research exploration is an important part of Azerbaijan-Pakistan relations, which present numerous opportunities to both countries, especially for their think tanks to work together and increase knowledge about each other.
“Pakistan is a strategic, brotherly country and the government and people of Azerbaijan are always ready to improve and strengthen relations,” he said.
Ambassador Alizada shared that there has been a 23% increase in trade between both countries, and visa procedures for Pakistanis had been eased to facilitate travel and tourism, and in the near future, direct flights between both countries are also being planned.
He also highlighted that energy projects and scholarship programmes for Pakistani students were also being implemented.
Delivering his keynote address, Dr CavidVeliyev, Head of Foreign Policy Analysis Department, SAM Azerbaijan said that “Azerbaijan’s landlocked geography has had a deep impact on its economic and social development as well as identity.
Located between the East and West, North and South, Azerbaijan is fast becoming an important transport and trade hub.
”He pointed out that Azerbaijan has a “multilateral, balanced, proactive and independent foreign policy.”This is why the country is member of the Non-Aligned Movement and not a part of any military forum.
“Given its balanced foreign policy, Azerbaijan’s trilateral relations with Pakistan, Turkey are equally important which are project-oriented; and also help to discuss and resolve regional problems through diplomacy and peaceful means,” he concluded.
In the working session which was chaired by Ambassador (R) Fauzia Nasreen, Advisor COMSATS Secretariat, Mr Fuad Chiragov, Research Fellow, Azerbaijan Center for Strategic Studies expressed his gratitude to Pakistan for its support and solidarity when Azerbaijan faced Armenian aggression.
Mahir Humbatov, Research Fellow from SAM highlighted Azerbaijan’s development as a transit country and shared details about its infrastructure and logistics projects.
“Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Azerbaijan is becoming an important transport and logistics centre of the region.”
He discussed the important work that has been carried out in his country to improve the transport, railways, port, sea shipment and airways infrastructure, which plays a significant role in the development of the economy, in particular, the non-oil sector.
Dr. Nazir Hussain and Dr. Fazal-ur-Rahman and IPRI’s Acting President Brig. (R) Mehboob Qadir also spoke on the occasion.