Baku (Azerbaijan): Pakistan and Azerbaijan have agreed to enhance cooperation in energy, trade, and aviation, reflecting the long-standing relationship between the two nations.
During a meeting at Zugulba Palace between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, bilateral relations were extensively discussed. Prime Minister Shehbaz, accompanied by a high-level delegation, is on a two-day official visit to Baku at the invitation of President Aliyev.
Following their bilateral meeting, the two leaders held a joint press conference where they announced the introduction of Azerbaijan Airlines flights between Islamabad and Baku. They also expressed their intention to increase military exercises and explore cooperation in energy, investment, and education.
Prime Minister Shehbaz praised President Ilham Aliyev’s leadership in developing Baku’s infrastructure and horticulture, and requested Azerbaijan’s expertise in horticulture and waste management for Islamabad.
The prime minister emphasized the need for cooperation in the energy sector, as Pakistan relies on costly imported fuels. He expressed gratitude to President Aliyev for abolishing duties on Pakistani rice, facilitating its export to Azerbaijan. The prime minister welcomed Azerbaijan Airlines to operate flights to Islamabad and invited Azerbaijan’s aviation minister to discuss Baku-Karachi flights to promote bilateral tourism.
Prime Minister Shehbaz thanked Azerbaijan for its unwavering support for the rights of Kashmiris and highlighted Indian acts of terror and atrocities in the occupied Valley. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and praised the bravery of its forces.
Highlighting the opportunities offered by the Gwadar Port, the prime minister suggested enhancing trade cooperation between the two countries. He emphasized that Pakistan-Azerbaijan defense cooperation aimed at regional peace, not aggression.
President Ilham Aliyev welcomed Prime Minister Shehbaz and his delegation, stating that both countries had agreed to enhance cooperation in energy, defense, and education. He expressed the hope to host more Pakistani students, noting that Azeri students studying in Pakistani universities have contributed to strengthening bilateral relations.
The president announced an increase in military exercises, highlighting the importance of strong military capabilities for independence and territorial integrity. He commended Prime Minister Shehbaz’s leadership and congratulated the people of Pakistan for having a visionary leader committed to the country’s development.
Both leaders extended invitations for reciprocal visits and expressed eagerness for delegations of economic, aviation, and energy ministers to discuss further cooperation in the petroleum and solar energy sectors. AGENCIES