Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations

Azerbaijan Ambassador Rasim Rzayev

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan have marked the silver jubilee of their diplomatic relations with several bilateral agreements either already signed or waiting to be endorsed by the two sides, according to Azeri Ambassador Rasim Rzayev on Saturday.
Rzayev said: “Azerbaijan and the Kingdom, two brotherly Muslim countries, have unique commonalities of a historical, religious and political nature. The embassy of Azerbaijan salutes the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, established after the Kingdom recognized Azerbaijan’s independence on Dec. 30, 1991.”
He said that the relations between the two countries developed gradually during the last 25 years.
“A milestone was the signing of the first general agreement on cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, investment, technology, culture, youth and sports during the visit of the national leader of Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev to Saudi Arabia in 1994,” he said.
Rzayev said the Kingdom is the only Muslim state that does not yet have any diplomatic relations with Armenia and even today refuses to do so until the liberation of Azerbaijan’s occupied territories.
Saudi Arabia is a supporter of Azerbaijan’s position during the voting process at the UN General Assembly on “the situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan,” he noted.
Currently, cooperation between the two countries is developing successfully in economy and culture. To this end, Rzayev noted that “18 documents on the development of cooperation in various fields have been signed by the two countries so far.”
He said “11 more deals are expected to be signed in the near future.”
However, he did not share the specifics of the deals to be signed. He also said that the Riyadh-based Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) implemented projects in Azerbaijan. This is in addition to growing business and tourism traffic between the two countries.
The envoy pointed out that citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are granted visas upon arrival in Azerbaijan, a process that began in February 2016.
Recently adopted visa rules led to a significant increase from a few hundred mostly during the summer season to 10,000, he said.
The envoy also said that Azerbaijan is a country with a strong heritage in the sporting world. It has held many important sporting events in through its history. “One of the main events that will go in the history of the nation is the Fourth Islamic Solidarity Games to be held in Baku from May 12 to May 22 of this year,” he said.