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Riyadh, Baku join forces for research

IDS Director General Abdulkarim H. Aldekhayel, right, signs an MoU with Azeri Deputy Foreign Minister Hafiz Pashyev to promote c

Source : Ghazanfar Ali Khan | Arab News
RIYADH | 31 May 2011

Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan have set out a new vision of bilateral relations by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote cooperation in the field of diplomacy, research and international affairs in Riyadh on Sunday.

“The MoU is a broader framework accord that will promote collaborative research on diplomacy and ensure exchange of information and expertise between the two countries,” said Azeri Deputy Foreign Minister Hafiz Pashayev in Riyadh on Monday.

Pashayev, who held talks with senior Saudi officials including Riyadh Gov. Prince Salman during his stay in the Saudi capital, said the Baku-based Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA), a premier school of international affairs, will work with the Riyadh-based Institute of Diplomatic Studies (IDS) to identify areas of cooperation. The MoU was signed by Pashayev and IDS Director General Abdulkarim H. Aldekhayel.

Referring to his talks with Aldekhayel, the Azeri minister said his country was committed to improving cooperation with the Kingdom.

He said the current level of cooperation in different sectors did not meet the aspirations of both sides.

“But, the situation is getting better,” said the Azeri minister, highlighting his country's stance vis-à-vis Arab causes. He underlined Baku's support for regional peace, as well as the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

“Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan have identical views on the whole range of Arab, Islamic and international issues,” said the Azeri minister, underscoring the prospects for further cooperation.

“The first country to gain full independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, Azerbaijan also seeks more cooperation with Riyadh in the oil sector as about two-thirds of its territory are rich in oil and natural gas,” said Pashayev.

He said Baku had been interacting with different governments in this region with regard to regional political unrest in the Arab world.

“We seek peace and security in the Arab world and we support the Saudi stance,” said the Azeri minister, adding that Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov will attend a three-day meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference's (OIC) foreign ministers in Astana on June 28.

He said Azerbaijan is an active member of international coalitions fighting international terrorism. It is the only Muslim nation contributing to peacekeeping efforts in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, said Pashayev.

Azerbaijan is also an active member of NATO's Partnership for Peace program, he added. The Azeri minister said Riyadh and Baku are currently working on a proposal to sign an agreement to avoid double taxation.

The two countries, he said, had signed and ratified an agreement on the promotion and protection of investments, which came into force on May 20 this year.

The IDS, established by the Kingdom's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is an apex institution dedicated to train Saudi and foreign diplomats, develop the skills of MOFA personnel and provide training to employees of government agencies with a mission to enhance performance at different levels.


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