INDIAN AMBASSADOR: INDIA WANTS FAIR SOLUTION FOR NAGORNO-KARABAKH (INTERVIEW)
Jan 25 2010
Trend News: Mr. Ambassador, what is your estimation of the current
level of bilateral relations between India and Azerbaijan. What are
the major priorities of your activities in the country?
Show: The current level of bilateral relations unfortunately does
not correspond with the existing potential. Over the past few years,
namely after 2007, there was decline in bilateral relations. There
were no official visit or contacts. We decided to change the situation.
Last year New Dehli hosted the fist meeting of an intergovernmental
commission on trade and economic, scientific and technical cooperation
between Azerbaijan and India. The co-chair of the intergovernmental
commission from Azerbaijan is Ecology and Natural Resources Minister
Huseyngulu Bagirov. The commission includes representatives from
different ministries and departments in Azerbaijan.
Such meetings contribute in the development of bilateral ties in the
fields of trade, economy, tourism, and culture.
Cooperation between our two countries in the economic field has
intensified in recent years.
Since India has launched oil imports from Azerbaijan, our trade
relations have developed. Despite the global financial crisis in 2009,
stability was observed in our trade and economic relations. Regular
visits by businessmen from both our countries testifies to this fact.
This year we, as an embassy, initiated expanding bilateral ties,
and the results will be seen in subsequent years.
Q: What is the level of trade and economic relations between our two
countries? What could India offer Azerbaijan as a trade and economic
A: Trade relations between out countries considering our geographical
position are realized via other countries. We purchase chemical
products from Azerbaijan, including iodine.
In the near future, Azerbaijan will build a new plant to produce
chemical products, which India is hoping to import.
Presently, India exports to Azerbaijan tea, medical supplies, textiles,
and meat. The list is still growing. India has also supplied Azerbaijan
with manufacturing equipment and electric appliances.
India and Azerbaijan can successfully cooperate in the IT sector.
Several India companies are now involved in creating software solutions
for Azerbaijani banks.
India is also interested in Azerbaijan’s experience in the
development of the oil and gas sector. Even in the 1950s-1960s,
Azerbaijani engineers took part in the exploration of India’s oil
and gas resources. I believe we will be able to continue successful
cooperation in this field in the future.
In 2005-2006, goods turnover between Azerbaijan and India was low.
Since 2006, growth has been observed. For instance, goods turnover
in the oil sector has reached $100 million per year.
After the exploitation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in 2006,
India began importing Azeri Light oil. Indian imports were $2 billion
in 2008, and the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee reported that
year that India was fourth among the country’s trade partners.
A definite decline was observed in the goods turnover between our
countries last year. Indian companies are presently implementing
plans to purchase Azerbaijani oil on the basis of long-term contracts,
which will have a positive impact on the amount of our goods turnover.
Q: Is Azerbaijani business represented in India?
A:I cannot say that Azerbaijani business operates in India directly.
Basically, this is done through the local Azerbaijani embassy.
However, the number of the Azerbaijani citizens who have received
a business visa to India has increased. One Azerbaijani company has
opened a representative office engaged in dairy production in India.
Azerbaijani businessmen should get more familiar with the Indian
Q:You have proven yourself as a very active person from the early days
of your activity in Azerbaijan. Of course, you also have future plans.
Can you tell uus about them?
A: From the first days of my activities in Azerbaijan, I tried to
revive the old projects, which previously had been agreed upon,
but which, for some reason, had not materialized. For example, an
intergovernmental commission on trade-economic and scientific-technical
cooperation was established in 2007, but no meetings were held. We
managed to hold its first meeting last year.
I regard the development of political dialogue as a second activity.
Last year, we were able to organize political consultations. There are
areas in which cooperation depends on the availability of the legal
framework between the two countries. We have already begun work on
expanding the legal framework.
Presently, work on two draft agreements on consultations between the
foreign ministries of both our countries and the activities of the
intergovernmental commission are underway.
Draft agreements on consular activities and the provision of legal
assistance to the citizens of our countries in the territory of
Azerbaijan and India is also under development.
Regarding the economic sphere, we are developing a draft agreement on
the avoidance of double taxation, which is already nearing completion.
We also plan to develop cooperation in such fields as tourism,
agriculture, education and others. Recently, the Azerbaijani State
University of Languages opened the Indian Language Center. We are
working to facilitate cooperation between our respective centers for
In 2009, our countries significantly stepped up cooperation in the
cultural sphere. A dance troupe from India visited Azerbaijan and an
Indian singer participated in the world Mugam festival.
We have great plans and we hope to implement them.
Q: How do you think, are there favorable conditions for cooperation
between the two countries in the political sphere, particularly,
in solving Azerbaijan’s main problem – the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
What does Delhi think about the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani
A: India supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and
resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and this position
remains unchanged. India has repeatedly presented its position at
the international level.