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Azerbaijan greatly values ties with Pakistan: Hikmat Hajiyev

By Ansar M Bhatti in Baku

BAKU, MAY 01 (DNA) – Hikmat Hajiyev Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department, office of the President of Azerbaijan has said Azerbaijan accords immense importance to its relations with brotherly country Pakistan.

He said Pakistan in fact was the third country after Turkey and Romania that recognized Azerbaijan therefore our relations are deep-rooted and have historical perspective.

He expressed these remarks while meeting with a delegation of senior Pakistani journalists, who are in Baku to attend 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue starting from May 02.

He said due to drastic steps taken but the incumbent government the level of poverty has decreased to only four percent while ratio of unemployment has also reduced considerably.

He said owing to economic and social reforms of the government Azerbaijan now happens to be the high income countries of the world.

He said much emphasis has also been laid on improvement and development of infrastructure in the country and country now stands out as one of the most development states not only in the region but in the world also.

Hikmat Hajiyev further said Azerbaijan is keen to enhance and strengthen trade and economic relations with Pakistan. Azerbaijan is also taking keen interest in Gwadar port adding Gwadar can really be beneficial.

Apart from political relations, Azerbaijan and Pakistan have potential to cooperate in defence field also.

To a question about direct air links he said there was a direct flight between the two countries however it had to be stopped because according the airline it was not economically viable.

While agreeing with the preposition that direct air links were a sine qua non for strengthening of trade and economic relations, he said both sides have to find ways and means in order to resolve connectivity issues.

While identifying various avenues of mutual cooperation he said Pakistan is good in textile and Azerbaijan would like to encourage Pakistani exporters to export textile related products. This can certainly cement bilateral relations between two countries.

Likewise, Pakistani mangoes are also very popular in Azerbaijan. Similarly Pakistani oranges are also very popular and Azerbaijan imports citrus from other countries. It can be yet another area which can bring both countries closer in terms of trade and economic relations.

He also underlined the need for deeper cooperation in tourism sector also. Both countries are blessed with a plethora of touristic attractions therefore tourists from both countries can be encouraged to visit these places.

Giving a historical perspective of Nagorno-Karabakh issue he said Azerbaijan is thankful to Pakistan for its unflinching support on the issue adding Armenia’s intransigence was a main hurdle in the way of settlement of the issue.

He also said Azerbaijan supports Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir. =DNA

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