Malaysia, Azerbaijan agree to boost cooperation

Dr Mahathir and President discuss ways to expand cooperation (Bernama)

Dr Mahathir and President Aliyev discuss ways to expand cooperation (Bernama)

Baku: Malaysia and Azerbaijan have agreed to strengthen their bilateral ties, especially in the energy and tourism sectors.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev reached the agreement during a meeting at the Presidential Palace today.

In the 20-minute meeting, held on the sidelines of the 18th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, Ilham said both countries have good cooperation in the energy sector and he hoped it could be expanded to other fields as well, particularly tourism, Malaysia’s national news agency BERNAMA reported.

Ilham, whose country is assuming the chairmanship of NAM for the next three years, also praised Dr Mahathir for his speech at the plenary session of NAM yesterday.

“Your speech yesterday was great. It is a forward-looking vision, open approach on important issues and you always defend justice,” the president said, quoted by BERNAMA.

Dr Mahathir, who chaired NAM when Malaysia was its chairman in 2003, said he hoped Azerbaijan would be able to carry out its NAM task well and keep it united and relevant in the post-Cold War era.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia hoped to expand its cooperation in the trade and tourism sectors.

“Not many Malaysians know about Azerbaijan, although some know Baku due to its historical sites. There are some Malaysians staying here, and of course we have Petronas here,” he said.

After both countries established diplomatic relations on April 5, 1993, Azerbaijan opened its embassy in Kuala Lumpur in June 2007, while Malaysia’s embassy in Baku was opened on April 1, 2014.

Following the establishment of the embassy, Petronas Azerbaijan started its operation in Baku in 2015 and to date its investment is estimated at $5 billion in the country.

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