ASTANA – President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed a joint statement to strengthen cooperation and agreed to establish the Supreme Interstate Council following an April 10 meeting, reported the Akorda press service. The meeting focused on strengthening political, trade, economic, transport and transit, as well as cultural and humanitarian cooperation between the two countries.
Tokayev thanked Aliyev for accepting the invitation to visit Astana. He recalled his visit to Baku in August last year, which “gave a serious impetus to the development of bilateral relations.”
Tokayev said the two countries have formed a solid legal base, referring to the declaration on strengthening strategic relations and deepening allied interaction and the comprehensive program to develop bilateral cooperation signed in Baku.
The Kazakh President emphasized that Azerbaijan is Kazakhstan’s fraternal and close nation.
“We are committed to serious work to develop economic cooperation with Azerbaijan, which plays a leading role in the Transcaucasian region. There are no issues between us, and only a desire to move forward in this direction,” said Tokayev.
The Presidents welcomed significant progress in trade and economic cooperation. In 2022, bilateral trade volume increased by 40 percent, reaching a record $461.9 million, including Kazakhstan’s exports to Azerbaijan worth $375.3 million. Imports from Azerbaijan comprised $86.6 million. Azerbaijan also invested $69.7 million into Kazakhstan’s economy.
One of the major projects being implemented by the two countries is the passing of a fiber optic communication line along the bottom of the Caspian Sea. According to the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the project is estimated at 22.8 billion tenge ($51 million).
Tokayev also addressed cultural cooperation, mentioning the decision to host cultural days this year in the two respective countries.
“Today we will open a street in Astana named after Heydar Aliyev. Kazakhstan is also constructing in the city of Fizuli the Center for Children’s Creative Development named after Kurmangazy. … We firmly intend to develop comprehensive humanitarian contacts in every possible way and enrich the treasury of shared spiritual and cultural values,” said Tokayev.
Aliyev, in turn, thanked Kazakhstan for honoring the memory of Heydar Aliyev, saying that “Azerbaijan’s people have always felt the very kind attitude of the Kazakh people towards Azerbaijan.”
According to Aliyev, brotherly relations between the two countries create a strong foundation for developing bilateral cooperation, with projects in the spheres of trade, economy, investment, and transport and logistics infrastructure a top priority.
Following the meeting, the sides signed six documents, including a memorandum of understanding and cooperation between the Kazakh Ministry of Information and Social Development and Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Youth and Sports, a memorandum of understanding on scientific cooperation between the National Academies of Sciences of both countries, and a memorandum of understanding between the Foreign Trade Chamber of Kazakhstan and the Small and Medium Business Development Agency of Azerbaijan.