Azerbaijan, Afghanistan mull expansion of economic ties

By: Aynur Jafarova

The remarks were made by Azerbaijan’s Economy and Industry Minister Shahin Mustafayev at a meeting with an Afghan delegation that visited Baku to attend the seventh Caspian Oil and Gas Trading and Transportation Conference on April 28.

Mustafayev noted the two countries should form a solid legal base and sign an agreement on mutual protection and promotion of investment.

He also stressed cooperation between Azerbaijan and Afghanistan is based on the principles of mutual respect and beneficial cooperation.

Mustafayev also mentioned the importance of the negotiations and meetings held to develop bilateral cooperation.

“Afghanistan fully supports Azerbaijan’s fair position in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” the minister added.

Mustafayev went on to say that trade relations between the two countries are developing as well.

Azerbaijan has great experience in education, healthcare, oil and gas industry, and preparation of entrepreneurs, and may provide its support to Afghanistan in these fields, Mustafayev said.

Azerbaijan is the political, economic and cultural center of the region, where political and macroeconomic stability is ensured, he added.

Afghan Economy and Manpower Minister Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal and Commerce and Industries Minister Mohammad Shaker Kargar, in turn, said Afghanistan is interested in cooperation and expansion of bilateral ties with the dynamically developing Azerbaijan.

They noted holding joint business forums will play a significant role in developing economic relations.

The seventh Caspian Oil and Gas Trading and Transportation Conference is being held by the British Confidence Capital company and Azerbaijan’s State Oil Academy.

Afghanistan recognized Azerbaijan’s independence in 1991, and diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1994.

Azerbaijan is among the eight partner countries that have confirmed their presence in Afghanistan after 2014. The peacekeepers of the country will stay in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country by the end of 2014. However, Azerbaijan will reduce its presence in Afghanistan after 2014.