I am extremely delighted to visit my brotherly country of Azerbaijan on the invitation of President lham Aliyev. My visit to this great country is part of our regular exchanges at higher levels.
Azerbaijan achieved its independence in 1991 and Pakistan emerged on the world map in 1947; however, our links and relationship date back for centuries. Faith, culture, and common historical experiences bind us together.
Pakistan was among the first three countries that recognized the independence of Azerbaijan, and with the visit of the father of the nation of modern Azerbaijan, honorable former President Heydar Aliyev to Pakistan in 1996, we laid down the solid foundation of present day bilateral relations, which will continue to grow from strength to strength in the years ahead.
Pakistan and Azerbaijan also share common perceptions on many regional and global issues and support each other both at regional and international forums. Our unreserved support for each other on vital issues such as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and the Nogorno-Karabakh conflict is a testimony to our mutual understanding, bilateral cordiality, and vibrant relationship.
Azerbaijan has achieved a great level of economic development and so has Pakistan, despite the many challenges and our difficult regional and geo-strategic environment. This only proves the potential and resilience of our two nations.
Given the level of our political goodwill and resources of our two countries, it is natural that we develop and strengthen our cooperation in the domains of trade, commerce, investment, defence, education, science and technology, and culture for the benefit of our two people.
I am looking forward to meeting my dear friend, the President of Azerbaijan, to contemplate measures for the further strengthening of our relations in the aforementioned areas.
We need to work hard to bring our economic and commercial relations on par with our already existing warmth and political closeness.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation, under the patronage of First Lady of Azerbaijan Madam Mehriban Aliyeva, is playing a commendable role in Pakistan. The people of Pakistan highly appreciate the assistance Azerbaijan extended to us during 2005 earthquake and floods of 2010/2011.
I also avail this opportunity to wish the great and brave people of Azerbaijan all the happiness, good health, and prosperity on the occasion of forthcoming Novruz celebrations. Long live the Pakistan-Azerbaijan Friendship.