Azerbaijan, Sudan to develop ties

By: Sara Rajabova

Azerbaijani and Sudanese officials have voiced readiness to further expand cooperation between the two countries.

President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation led by Ali Ahmed Karti, Sudanese Foreign Minister on March 18.

The head of the state expressed confidence that the visit of the Sudanese delegation will be fruitful and open good opportunities to develop friendly relations between the two countries.

President Aliyev praised partnership and successful cooperation between Azerbaijan and Sudan in international organizations.

Touching upon the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he thanked Sudan for taking a fair stand on the dispute and also for recognizing the Khojaly tragedy as genocide.

The Sudanese parliament passed last year a bill recognizing the Khojaly genocide, committed by the Armenian armed forces in the early 1990s.

Sudan also supports Azerbaijan’s position in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which emerged in 1988 after Armenia made illegitimate territorial claims against Azerbaijan.

Karti greeted President Aliyev on behalf of Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir. He said he witnessed rapid development processes in Azerbaijan since his last visit to the country and congratulated the head of state on these achievements.

He noted the importance of cooperation in international organizations, reiterating that Sudan’s fair stand on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will remain unchanged.

The sides further noted the importance of cooperation and exchange of experience in the field of economy, particularly energy sector.

Elmar Mammadyarov, Azerbaijan’s foreign minister met with Sudanese foreign minister on the same day.

During the meeting, Azerbaijan’s top diplomat said Islamic counties should jointly resolve their problems, noting that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation is a good platform for this.

Mammadyarov added that the two sides have agreed on further cooperation in this regard.

Political relations between Azerbaijan and Sudan are excellent, both bilaterally and in the international arena, according to Mammadyarov. He further noted the two countries have always supported each other in the international arena.

Azerbaijan is interested in the development of economic ties with Sudan, which is rich in oil and gold.

Mammadyarov said there are several projects for further cooperation that will be considered, adding that the two countries also intend to expand the legal framework of their bilateral ties.

Later, the two ministers signed a protocol on cooperation between their respective foreign ministries.

Karti, for his part, said the purpose of his visit is to develop cooperation, noting that the two countries have great opportunities in the energy sector.

Sudan intends to benefit from Azerbaijan’s experience in this sphere, said Karti, adding that his country is also interested in organizing the education of Sudanese students in Azerbaijani universities.

He also invited Azerbaijani businessmen to invest in Sudanese economy, in particular, in the spheres of energy, gold production and others.

Karti said Sudan’s government is ready to support Azerbaijani investments, adding that work is underway on the drafting of agreements on mutual investment protection and exemption from double taxation.

Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Sudan were established in February 16, 1993.

As a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Sudan opened its embassy in Azerbaijan in 1993. However, Sudan had to suspend the activity of its diplomatic mission in Baku in 1999 due to financial difficulties.

SOURCE: Azer News