Diplomatist Magazine Diplomatist April 2018 - Page 29

IN FOCUS External Affairs Minister attends 18th Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Baku, Azerbaijan (April 05, 2018) The government of Azerbaijan, with full hands, has invited Indian companies to set up joint ventures in the country for production of medical products and pharmaceuticals. External Affairs Minister and Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Azerbaijan exchange agreements in Baku during her 3-day visit to Azerbaijan (April 04, 2018) meetings with Mohammad Hamid Ansari, the former Vice President of India and Salman Khurshid, the former Minister of External Affairs of India and signed a Protocol on Cooperation between the Ministries. It is important to note that the bilateral trade between India and Azerbaijan has increased from around $50 million in 2005 to closely $460 million in 2017. The government of Azerbaijan, with full hands, has invited Indian companies to set up joint ventures in the country for production of medical products and pharmaceuticals. “As you may know, cooperation between our countries in the fi eld of energy is developing successfully, Indian companies have participated in the development of Azeri, Chirag and Gunashli fi elds. North-South and South-West transport routes have the potential to link the Atlantic Ocean with the Indian Ocean. Madame Minister expressed India’s interest in deepening cooperation in this direction,” said Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. During this visit, an agreement was signed between Azerbaijan and India on the exemption from visa requirement for holders of diplomatic, offi cial and service passports and an MoU between ADA University, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and the Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs, India on cooperation in the diplomatic fi eld. This was also the fi rst-ever bilateral visit of an Indian External Affairs Minister to Azerbaijan. India enjoys a very special relationship with Azerbaijan and ties have warmed up under the able leadership of President Aliyev. Azerbaijan is going to Presidential polls on Wednesday, 11 April 2018. There are eight candidates running for the presidency, but Aliyev remains the top favourite to win the polls. This year’s elections remain very important as on May 28, 2018, the country will celebrate its Centenary Foundation Day. Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Diplomatist • Vol 6 • Issue 4 • April 2018, Noida • 27