Azerbaijan and Afghanistan will sign five documents for cooperation on various areas during the upcoming meeting of the two countries’ presidents, Afghan Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohammad Taqi Khalili said on Monday while addressing a press conference in Baku.
The agreements include Economic and Trade Cooperation, agreement on Air Services, agreement on Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments, agreement on Cooperation in the sphere of Education, and agreement in the field of Security and Law Enforcement Activity.
The ambassador said that President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani will also take part in the "Heart of Asia" – Istanbul Process 7th Ministerial Conference to be held in Baku on December 1.
“Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process 7th Ministerial Conference will be attended by our participating and supporting countries as well as several international organizations. Several ministers of foreign affairs, several state ministers, including Turkish minister Movlut Chavusoglu, Indian Minister for External Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan and Minister of State of United Arab Emirates will be among the participants of the Ministerial Conference,” ambassador said.
According to Mohammad Taqi Khalili, the two countries intend to further deepen the economic cooperation and the documents to be signed in the economic sphere will boost the Azerbaijani investments in Afghanistan.
“The main purpose of the recent visit of our Minister of Finance Mr. Eklil Ahmad Hakimi to Azerbaijan was to have in-depth discussion and conversation with the Azerbaijani Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev on how to promote and expand our economic and trade relations. We were working on two important agreements, one on economic and trade, and the other on the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments. Without these two documents we could not go forward, now we have finalized the process, and we are going to sign these two documents and then we are going to start negotiations and discussions in the format of joint working group. We are expecting to witness the increase in the number of Azerbaijani investors in Afghanistan,” he added.
Ambassador said that the two countries will create a joint working group on economic cooperation and the first meeting of the working group will be held early next year. The ambassador noted that a document on the creation of a railway transport corridor has been recently signed between Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Georgia, Turkey and Turkmenistan. Namely through this project, Afghanistan will be able to use the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway with the help of the Turkmenbashi and the Batumi ports, and at the same time the Baku International Sea Trade Port, Khalili added.
The ambassador stressed that the people of Afghanistan have always stood by Azerbaijan since the early days of the Nagorno-Karabakh tragedy. He noted that Afghanistan has raised this issue before the UN and other organizations. “We stand against government terrorism and we condemn all of its manifestations. We always stand by Azerbaijan. In regard to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Muslim countries too will continue to support Azerbaijan,” he added.
Mr. Mohammad Taqi Khalili also expressed gratitude to Azerbaijan for the decision to increase the military contingent as part of the peacekeeping mission in the country. The peacekeeping contingent of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces has been serving under the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan since November 20, 2002. Currently, 90 servicemen, 2 medical officers and 2 sappers of Azerbaijani Armed Forces are participating in a mission in Afghanistan.