India-Azerbaijan Dostluq Year launched in Baku with Indian Food Festival
India-Azerbaijan Dostluq Year was launched in Baku on Sunday, 25 September with Indian Food Festival in Hyatt Regency attended by over 2000 visitors. The Festival organised by the Indian Association in Azerbaijan, featured dishes from different parts of India, cultural performances and fashion show.
On this occasion, Ambassador of India Sanjay Rana and Dr. Jala Aliyeva, Member of the Milli Majlis Azerbaijan India Friendship Group unveiled the logo of India-Azerbaijan Dostluq Year. They also launched a bilingual book of popular Indian recipes Hindustani Khana in Azerbaijani and English languages, published by Indian Association Azerbaijan.
Ambassador Rana said that the Dostluq Festival marked an important milestone of 25 years of diplomatic relations between India and Azerbaijan. 2016 is a momentous year for both countries as India is celebrating 70 years of independence while Azerbaijan is celebrating 25 years of its independence. Several India related cultural events will be held over the next 12 months in Azerbaijan to underline the close links of culture, cuisine and customs.
Speaking at the function, MP Dr. Jala Aliyeva congratulated the Indian Association Azerbaijan for holding the Food Festival and said India was loved in Azerbaijan and was known for its historic personalities like Mahatma Gandhi and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Azerbaijan and India have old links as seen in Ateshgah and their bilateral relations have been developing in every sphere in recent years.
India and Azerbaijan have growing bilateral cooperation in oil as well as non-oil sectors. Indian company ONGC-Videsh is a partner in the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oil fields and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. Indian companies are interested in developing mutually beneficial partnership in Azerbaijan, particularly in agriculture, IT and communications, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and education. India and Azerbaijan are also cooperating in development of International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) which will give big boost to trade and commercial exchanges in the region. The 4th meeting of India-Azerbaijan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation is scheduled to be held in October 2016 in Baku that would further provide a solid framework for their bilateral cooperation.