New Delhi [India], (ANI): External Affairs Minister (EAF) Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday held talks with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev in Baku and discussed ways of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries while focusing on their trade relations.
As per a press release issued by the EAF on Wednesday, the talks between both the countries were focused on ensuring a reliable, strong, vibrant and mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries.
The two also pitched for “zero tolerance” towards the spread of the global terrorism. Both the leaders also discussed their trade relations, while contemplating to strengthen it further. The bilateral trade between India-Azerbaijan has increased substantially from around US$ 50 million in 2015 to around US $ 460 million in 2017.
Further Swaraj and Aliyev discussed the International North-South Transport Corridor of which both India and Azerbaijan are the member countries. They noted that the corridor shall help in reducing both the duration and the cost of travelling by 30-40 percent.
Later they highlighted that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline built between the Azeri–Chirag–Gunashli oil field has helped Indian oil companies to buy substantiate quantities of crude oil.
Further while focusing on the energy sector, Swaraj said that India’s ONGC-Videsh is a shareholder and an investor in the ACG oil fields and BTC pipeline.
Both the countries also expressed their interest in partnering in the agricultural sector including cotton and tobacco cultivation, while expressing their satisfaction towards the development of the self-help groups in three districts of Azerbaijan.
Swaraj is on a three-day visit to the Central Asian country to attend the NAM mid-term ministerial conference, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday.