Azerbaijan-UK stand togheter against global threats
British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Leo Docherty has praised the cooperation between the UK and Azerbaijan in addressing global issues.
Docherty's message followed a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov in London.
"I had the pleasure to host Jeyhun Bayramov to discuss the breadth of the UK-Azerbaijan partnership during our 5th strategic dialogue. I look forward to greater collaboration in security, trade and culture," the British minister concluded.
In the meantime, UK Ambassador to Azerbaijan Fergus Auld said that his strategic dialogue with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov deepens British-Azerbaijani relations.
“Yesterday [June 20] I was very glad to see the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov in London during his important official visit,” Caliber.Az quotes the ambassador as tweeting on June 21.
“Our strategic dialogue deepens British-Azerbaijani relations and focuses on future cooperation. We talked about the main threats to our countries and ways to deal with them,” Auld said.
The establishment of mutually prosperous relations between the United Kingdom and Azerbaijan dates back to the late 19th century during the oil boom when Azerbaijan was part of the Russian empire and historically has evolved. In the aftermath of gaining independence, the two countries have had official diplomatic relations since March 11, 1992. The independence was recognized by the United Kingdom on December 31, 1991, when the UK has become a strategic partner of Azerbaijan.
The Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Kingdom uphold strategic partnerships and strongly beneficial bilateral relations covering a wide range of issues from high-level political dialogue to energy, growing trade and investment associations, as well as strengthening cultural and humanitarian ties between the two countries and people-to-people. Throughout the years, the partnership and strong cooperation between Azerbaijan and the UK have been developed as a result of the mutual exchange of high-level visits between the two countries and subsequent investments in economic spheres. At the core of Azerbaijan-UK economic relations stands the energy industry. On May 2021, the British-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce and Industry was founded aimed at the representation of British business interests in Azerbaijan.
In the political sphere, in 2016, a bilateral foreign policy dialogue was set up between the foreign ministries of Azerbaijan and the UK which had a number of meetings. Within the parliamentary cooperation, Azerbaijan-United Kingdom Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group in Azerbaijani Parliament (Milli Majlis) was established in March 1997. On the other hand, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Azerbaijan in the UK Parliament was established in 2014.
The bilateral economic cooperation, in particular in the energy sector, between the two countries makes up the core of bilateral relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Kingdom. Azerbaijan cooperates and operates with the United Kingdom in the field of exploration, extraction, and transportation of oil and natural gas from the Azerbaijani section of the Caspian Sea. In this vein, British Petroleum acts as a leading oil company and has been actively operating in Azerbaijan since 1992 and participates in the main production-sharing agreements such as the “Contract of Century” (Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli –
ACG) and the Shah Deniz project. BP is also the main technical operator and a key player in the implementation of the Shah Deniz-2 project in Azerbaijan. The Signing Ceremony on Final Investment Decision on the Shah Deniz-2 project came into existence in Baku in 2013 attended by high-level representatives of many countries. The United Kingdom remains the single largest foreign investor in Azerbaijan with about 600 British companies operating in the country which are experts in industry, agriculture, trade, services, construction, transport and communications.
The United Kingdom is the largest investor in the Azerbaijani economy; the volume of investments is US$ 30.6 billion. Azerbaijan has invested US$ 2.4 billion in the United Kingdom. It is noteworthy to mention that UK-Azerbaijan Joint Intergovernmental Commission was established in 2015. As seen from the figure above trade turnover between the two countries and exports to Azerbaijan have had an increasing tendency during the period specified, however, reduction is observed in 2020 which could be attributed to the global Pandemic.
In concluding remarks, it should not be forgotten that the UK supported Azerbaijan’s fair position in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict favouring the end of hostilities and signing a mutual peace deal.