President Ilham Aliyev's visit to Cairo in spotlight in Arab world - Azerbaijan, Egypt soar to new heights

Politics Materials 8 June 2024 19:05 (UTC +04:00)
President Ilham Aliyev's visit to Cairo in spotlight in Arab world - Azerbaijan, Egypt soar to new heights
Maryana Ahmadova
Maryana Ahmadova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 8. Azerbaijan has been steadily strengthening its relations with the Arab world for many years. Our country shares not only strong historical and cultural ties with the Gulf countries but also maintains high-level political connections. High-level visits between Azerbaijan and Arab countries are common, resulting in various bilateral agreements in areas such as trade, investment, tourism, and cultural exchange.

Today's visit by President Ilham Aliyev to Cairo was no exception. The leaders of both countries reaffirmed their support for each other's political agendas, mutual efforts to boost economic potential, and other key issues on the global stage.

Azerbaijan and Egypt have consistently worked to develop their cooperation within international organizations over the past decades, including the UN, the Non-Aligned Movement, which Azerbaijan chaired for 4 years, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. And, as President Ilham Aliyev rightly pointed out, it became clear that the two countries do not have any differences of opinion. "Our opinions overlap on all international matters," the head of state said at a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart.

On January 27-28 last year, President of Egypt Abdel Fattah El-Sisi visited Azerbaijan. During his extended meeting with President Ilham Aliyev, several agreements were signed between the two countries.

Today, the number of agreements between the two countries has increased by another 7 documents. These accords cover a broad spectrum of cooperation, ranging from cultural and humanitarian ties to expanding investment opportunities, collaboration in energy and IT sectors, and comprehensive exchange of economic expertise. As a result, the contractual foundation between Baku and Cairo now consists of approximately 70 documents.

Based on the most recent statistics, trade between Azerbaijan and Egypt for the first four months of 2024 reached $17.4 million, marking an almost fivefold increase compared to the previous year. This significant growth is noteworthy, particularly when considering that the total for the entire year of 2023 was only $13.6 million. In this regard, President Ilham Aliyev noted that the documents signed today and the agreements reached will help proceed in this direction as well. "I am sure that, first of all, it will be possible to achieve good results in the fields of energy, production of renewable energy, oil industry, pharmaceuticals, aluminum industry and other fields".

For instance, the energy sector partnership between the two countries is extensive and poised for further expansion. Both the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) and the State Oil Company of Egypt have plans to deepen their cooperation, indicating promising prospects for growth.

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, on his part, commended the robust activity of the joint intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation and stressed the importance of scheduling its next meeting. "We decided to hold the next meeting of the commission shortly, so that our relations in the economic and commercial sphere could further develop," he remarked. The Egyptian leader expressed Cairo's keen interest in bolstering collaboration with Azerbaijan, particularly in the fields of construction, transportation, pharmaceuticals, oil, and infrastructure.

Azerbaijan and Cairo also discussed their collaboration in the transport sector. The leaders exchanged ideas about new transport routes. Given that both the East-West and North-South transport corridors traverse Azerbaijan, significant opportunities are emerging. As President Ilham Aliyev rightly pointed out, the entire infrastructure has been put in place in the territory of Azerbaijan. "Thus great opportunities for cooperation in the field of transport and logistics are opening up". The geopolitical dynamics of the Middle East and the South Caucasus present both challenges and opportunities for Azerbaijan's relations with Arab countries. Azerbaijan's strategic position and its balanced foreign policy enable it to navigate intricate regional dynamics and cultivate beneficial relationships with Arab states.

The Azerbaijan-Egypt relations have entered a new phase of development today, aligning with the national interests of both nations. There's considerable potential for enhancing ties between the two countries, and mutual visits offer ample opportunities for expanding productive cooperation.

The world's major players are eager to invest in promising projects in Azerbaijan and deepen overall cooperation, and Egypt is certainly not exempt from this trend. Stability, a favorable business and investment climate, along with the strong political commitment demonstrated by the country's leadership, are the cornerstones of Azerbaijan's economic success and its fruitful bilateral relationships with its partners.