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Azerbaijani-Egyptian diplomatic relations at 30: On path of development


In 2022, Azerbaijan marks the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations with various states and international organizations.

Azernews, the nation’s first English language media outlet, continues its own pet project of examining major aspects of Azerbaijan’s relations with key actors of international policy in a Q&A format. This one is looking into Azerbaijan’s relations with Egypt, a major actor in Africa and the Middle East. The year 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Egypt, and Azernews will focus on some major aspects of the 30-year-long history of the two nations.

Throughout these years, Azerbaijani-Egyptian relations have developed constructively in bilateral and multilateral formats. Azerbaijan and Egypt share a common religion and culture, which also can be seen in similarities between the Azerbaijani and Arabic languages. The two countries enjoy developed cooperation in political, economic, trade, cultural, and other spheres.

Q: When did Azerbaijan and Egypt establish diplomatic relations? What do we know about the history of ties?

A: The two nations established diplomatic relations on March 27, 1992. Egypt was the first Arab and African nation to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence. The embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Baku has been operating since April 1993, whereas the embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Cairo has been operational since January 1994.

Q: What is the current state and spheres of economic cooperation between the two nations?

A: In total, Azerbaijan and Egypt have signed around fifty cooperation documents pertaining to various spheres.

On October 3, 2002, the joint commission on intergovernmental economic, technical, and scientific cooperation between Azerbaijan and Egypt was established. The commission was established in accordance with the April 7, 1994, agreement on economic, scientific, and technical cooperation between Azerbaijan and Egypt.

The fifth meeting of the commission was held on February 25, 2022, in Baku. Following the result of the meeting, four memorandums of understanding were signed, that is, between the Small and Medium-Sized Business Development Agencies of the two countries; between Azerbaijan’s Export and Investment Promotion Agency (AZPROMO) and Egypt’s Trade and Industry Ministry on the establishment of the Azerbaijani-Egyptian Business Council; between AZPROMO and the Association of Egyptian Businessmen; and between Baku International Sea Port CJSC and the Port of Alexandria. At the same time, an Azerbaijani-Egyptian business forum was held within the framework of the meeting.

The trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $42.4 million in 2021, with exports accounting for $33.2 million and imports for $9.2 million. In addition, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Egypt amounted to $4.1 million in the first five months of 2022.

Regular air communication is maintained between the countries. At present, Air Cairo operates flights once a week from Baku to the resort city of the Red Sea Sharm el-Sheikh, and back.

Additionally, the working group of the Azerbaijani-Egyptian inter-parliamentary relations operates in Azerbaijani Parliament (Milli Majlis).

Q: What do we know about the two nation’s bilateral political ties and cooperation?

A: The ties of friendship and cooperation that bind Azerbaijan and Egypt and the present level of inter-state relations are gratifying and the two countries attach great significance to them. The two nations’ cooperation is also based on mutual trust and support within the Non-Aligned Movement. In this regard, Egypt supported Azerbaijan’s election as chair of the Non-Aligned Movement and the extension of this chairmanship.

The two countries also actively cooperate within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Additionally, the visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Azerbaijan is planned for 2022. It should be noted that the visit of the Egyptian president to Azerbaijan was previously planned for 2020, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Q: What is Egypt’s role in the restoration of Azerbaijan’s liberated territories?

A: Egypt had continuously expressed support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. After the end of the 44-day Second Karabakh War, Egypt voiced its interest in participating in the restoration process of Azerbaijan’s liberated lands.

Last year, the former Egyptian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Adel Ibrahim Ahmed Ibrahim, in an interview with Vzglyad.az noted that the largest Egyptian companies Al Mocawloon Al Arab and dorra Group, specializing in construction and road infrastructure, visited Azerbaijan and expressed their interest in participating in the restoration process of Azerbaijan’s liberated lands.

Q: How do the two countries cooperate in cultural and other spheres?

A: Another evidence of the strong ties between the two countries is the activities of the Center for the Egyptian Culture in Azerbaijan. It should be noted that it is the only center of Arab culture in Azerbaijan.

Days of Azerbaijani and Egyptian culture were held in November 2005 in Egypt and in November 2006 in Azerbaijan.

In June 2022, the Egyptian Al-Hewar Center for Political Dialogue and Media Studies presented a book, entitled “30th anniversary of the Egypt-Azerbaijani relations” by researcher-journalist Mohamed Salama. The 219-page book made up of six chapters features political, economic, cultural, educational, religious, tourism, and sports cooperation between the two friendly countries of these years.

By Ayya Lmahamad

About Fidan Abdullayeva