Azerbaijan, Baku, August 25 / Trend, S. Agayeva/
Trend interviews Azerbaijani Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Kuwait Tural Rzayev
Trend: Mr. Tural, you have been recently appointed Azerbaijani Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Kuwait. How do you assess the current state of bilateral relations between the two countries, and what will be your activity's main priorities in this country?
Rzayev: I'm grateful to Kuwaiti President Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for the fact that he received me within six days after my arrival in Kuwait. I see it as an attention to Azerbaijan, as a desire to develop relations with our country, because here, as I was informed, some ambassadors of the major states wait for audience with the Emir for two or three months. But the Emir received the Azerbaijani ambassador within the week.
I conveyed to the Emir the Azerbaijani side's interest in the development of relations with Kuwait and their deepening. The Kuwaiti head, in turn, reaffirmed his country's interest in expanding relations with Azerbaijan.
The two countries have much in common, first, we share the same religion, and, secondly, the position that our states took in the region. Kuwait, like Azerbaijan, occupies a key position in its region. Kuwait is also the presiding member of the Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. As a rich organization, it brings together the countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar. Kuwait will preside over the organization by late 2010. We are naturally interested in improving relations with this organization, which includes powerful states, who are highly influential in the Arab world.
Regarding our bilateral relations, political relations are developing at a high level. This is evidenced by the Kuwaiti side's statements, supporting Azerbaijan in the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Kuwait's position on this issue is unequivocal - the country supports Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and inviolability of borders.
Also, we support each other in international organizations such as UN, OIC.
Q: How do you assess the level of trade and economic relations between our countries?
A: One of the major tasks facing us today, besides maintenance of political relations is deepening of economic ties between the two countries.
We have already established economic ties with the Kuwaiti side, the Kuwaiti businessmen have repeatedly visited Azerbaijan.
A small group of the Azerbaijani businessmen work in Kuwait. We will do out best for the further development of economic relations between the two countries.
At present, we are actively working to expand the contractual-legal basis between the two countries in various spheres of economy to create more favorable conditions for expansion of economic relations.
Also a number of agreements are worked out in detail in the spheres such as education, culture, and, in general, the amount of works is large enough.
Q: Are there favorable conditions for development of the bilateral cooperation in the political sphere, in particular in support of Azerbaijan in addressing the country's key problems - the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict - within the Organization of Islamic Conference?
A: Kuwait has always supported our just position in this matter during its relationship with Azerbaijan. During a meeting with the Kuwaiti Emir, I conveyed the Azerbaijani side's gratitude for support. Kuwait holds the same opinion in the international arena and supports Azerbaijan's position in the UN and the OIC.
Kuwait also was victim of occupation not long ago, the country is aware of the refugees' problems. They understand our pain and Azerbaijan's position, which they support.
Q: When you presented your credentials to the Kuwaiti Emir he expressed the intention to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan at President Ilham Aliyev's invitation. Are preliminary dates of the Emir's visit known?
A: The Emir expressed his desire to visit Azerbaijan during our conversation. He said: "I'm in sympathy with your country and want to pay a visit to Azerbaijan". I hope we will realize this important visit.
Also we plant to organize a number of visits of Kuwait's senior officials to Azerbaijan.
Many countries affected by the global crisis are interested in establishing economic relations with states that didn't particularly feel the crisis in their economy, and approach them as "rescue circles". Kuwait is one of those countries that have managed to preserve its economic power in such a difficult time.
Today, many heads of states and governments pay visits to Kuwait, and therefore the schedule of this country's officials is dense enough. But they have a great desire to visit Azerbaijan, and hopefully we will be able to organize the Kuwaiti officials' similar visits to Azerbaijan.
We also plan to hold the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Commission, headed by the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait Muhammad Sabah Al Salim Al-Sabah. We hope to coordinate the schedule of both countries' foreign ministers and organize the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov's visit to Kuwait. The exact date of the visit is still unknown; we will try to realize it before the end of this year or early next year.
Our countries have a great potential for cooperation in economic and humanitarian spheres. During my stay in Kuwait, I held meeting in many ministries, public and youth organizations, where I observed a great love for Azerbaijan and interest in development cooperation.
Many people in Kuwait who have visited our country love Azerbaijan, they like our nature, culture. The embassy plans to organize Culture Days of Azerbaijan in Kuwait jointly with the Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture and Tourism to acquaint the Kuwaitis with our culture.