External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday arrived here on a three-day visit to Azerbaijan during which she will hold talks with top leadership of the country and attend a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement. “Welcome with flowers! EAM @SushmaSwaraj arrives in Baku to a warm welcome on her first visit to Azerbaijan. India and Azerbaijan share warm and friendly relations based on civilisational and cultural ties,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
This is also the first-ever bilateral visit of an Indian External Affairs Minister to Azerbaijan, reports PTI. During her visit, Swaraj will hold talks with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and call on President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva. A range of issues, including ways to boost bilateral cooperation between India and Azerbaijan, are expected to be discussed during her talks with leadership of that country.
Swaraj will also represent India at the mid-term ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which will take place on April 5 and 6 in Baku. “As a founding member of NAM, India remains committed to the purposes and principles of the Movement,” Kumar said. “The External Affairs Minister’s participation in the NAM Ministerial Meeting will underline India’s continued active and constructive engagement within the movement with a view to further strengthen solidarity and cooperation among its member states,” the Ministry of External Affairs had earlier said.
Bilateral ties between India and Azerbaijan have grown in many areas, including energy, transportation, and capacity building. India’s ONGC-Videsh is an investor in ACG oil fields and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.