The Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov is on an official visit to India from May 2-5, 2013, the first ever by a Foreign Minister from Azerbaijan. The visit marks the beginning of a new phase of deeper engagement and cooperation between our two countries. Mr. Mammadyarov held extensive delegation level talks with his counterpart, Mr. Salman Khurshid. The talks covered the entire range of bilateral issues. Views were also exchanged on regional issues and matters of global importance. The potential for India and Azerbaijan to be strong economic partners was acknowledged, especially in the area of energy security.
The two sides emphasised the importance of connectivity and called for providing direct flights between Baku and Indian cities. They also agreed to work together towards re-energising the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) at the next meeting of the INSTC Coordination Council scheduled to be held in Baku later this month. They agreed to intensify cooperation in the IT sector. The two ministers signed an agreement for a visa-free regime for diplomatic and official passport holders. Mr. Mammadyarov also called on the Vice President of India, Shri Hamid Ansari and discussed issues of global and regional concern.
The visit is taking place against the backdrop of India’s one-billion-dollar investment in the Azerbaijani hydrocarbons sector. Starting with an agreement signed in September 2012, OVL completed in March 2013 its acquisition of the stakes of the American company, Hess Corporation, of 2.72% in the Azeri, Chirag and Gunashli (ACG) group of oil fields and of 2.36% in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline.
May 3, 2013