Kuwaiti - Azerbaijani relations

History of relations: Azerbaijan and Kuwait are connected with religious and historical ties. The development of relations between the two countries can be assessed as a service of national leader Heydar Aliyev. From the first days of independence, the development of bilateral relations with the Islamic World and Arab countries has been a priority of the foreign policy of Azerbaijan. It should be noted that the Azerbaijani people are linked to Islamic civilization with religious and cultural roots. If we take into account the close relationship of the Kuwaiti state to the Islamic culture, the rapid development of relations between the two states may be considered appropriate.

Bilateral political relations: The relations between Kuwait and Azerbaijan existed before the establishment of diplomatic relations. In the 1990s, Kuwait provided assistance to the implementation of various projects in Azerbaijan. Diplomatic relations between Kuwait and Azerbaijan were established on October 10, 1994. Despite this, relations between the two countries did not reach a high level in the 1990s. Azerbaijani Embassy in Kuwait opened in late 2004 and the Kuwaiti Embassy in Baku began to function in 2006.

On December 13, 1994, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev met with the Emir of Kuwait, Jabir Ahmed, during his visit to Morocco to take part in the summit of the OIC. During the meeting, which took place in an atmosphere of mutual understanding, the Heads of States invited each other to their countries. Emir of Kuwait noted that aggression against an independent state is not permissible. At the same time, he said: "... your refugees need help and we will provide this assistance..."

On July 7, 2000, President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev received a delegation from the Arab countries. Member of the delegation Abd al-Aziz Saud Al-Babteyn, conveying greetings of the Head of Kuwaiti state, His Highness Sheikh Jabir al-Ahmed, said: "...the feelings that Azerbaijan has been experiencing in the period of aggression by Armenia were also lived trough by, the people of Kuwait when the latter was subject to aggression...".

In September 2001, during the visit of a delegation, led by the head of the Kuwaiti-Azerbaijani Interparliamentary Friendship Group, Jamal al-Omar Fahat, the importance of strengthening mutual relations was emphasized.On September 27, 2001, during a meeting of the delegation with President Heydar Aliyev, Kuwait-Azerbaijani relations, the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the struggle against international terrorism were discussed. During his meeting with the delegation of Kuwait, which took place shortly after the September 11 events, President Heydar Aliyev expressed his view that Islam and terrorism are different things, and this religion is against violence. The Azerbaijani President said that there is a similarity between the Iraqi aggression against Kuwait and Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan and that as fraternal countries, Kuwait and Azerbaijan need to help each other.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has also pursued a successful policy towards the development relations with Kuwait.

On January 20, 2007, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan paid an official visit to Kuwait. In the framework of the visit, Minister of Foreign Affairs had meetings with the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir, Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmed, Chairman of Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Justice, Wagf and Religion and Deputy Chairman of the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development Hisham Al-Ugeyyan. During the visit a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral consultations was signed between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait.

On June 7, 2007, Deputy Prime Minister of Kuwait and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al-Salim as-Sabah made an official visit to Azerbaijan. At the press conference which he held during his visit, he recalled that during Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the Azerbaijani public supported Kuwait and said that in the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno- Karabakh conflict, UN resolutions on the liberation of the occupied Azerbaijani territories must be followed. President Ilham Aliyev received Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al-Salim as-Sabah. During the reception, President Ilham Aliyev said that relations between Kuwait and Azerbaijan are developing successfully and expressed confidence in expanding the cooperation with Kuwait in all areas, including within international organizations. Minister conveyed the greetings of the Amir of Kuwait, and his invitation to his country.

On March 14, 2008, Kuwait voted for the UN Resolution on "The Situation in the Occupied Azerbaijani Territories". On February 10, 2009, President of AzerbaijanIlham Aliyev paid an official visit to Kuwait. In the meeting with the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al -Jabir as-Sabah, it was stated that relations between the two countries were developing and political relations were at the highest level. Development of relations between Kuwait and Azerbaijan in the sphere of economy, trade, tourism, and investment was also highlighted. Heads of the State also exchanged views on international and regional issues. Emir of Kuwait presented to President Ilham Aliyev, the highest award of his country, the Order of "Mubarak Al-Kebir ", and the President of Azerbaijan presented to Emir the highest award of Azerbaijan "Heydar Aliyev" Order.

Within the framework of his visit, President Ilham Aliyev also met with Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasir Al-Ahmed as-Sabah. Successful development of relations between the two countries was underlined and it was mentioned that there was a great potential for expansion of economic relations. On February 10, President Ilham Aliyev met with the Chairman of Kuwaiti Trade and Industry Chamber Ali Mohammed Sunayen Al-Ghanim. At the meeting it was emphasized that political relations between the two countries were at good level and cooperation was expanding within international organizations. At the same time, it was mentioned that mutual economic-trade relations did not meet the existing potential and it was necessary to take concrete measures to expand them.

A number of documents were signed with the by participation of the Heads of State. Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Government of Kuwait signed agreements on the creation of the Joint Commission for cooperation, on mutual protection and promotion of investments, on lifting double - taxation on income and property, of prevention of tax evasion and on cooperation in the sphere of trade and tourism.

On April 26, 2010, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received Deputy Minister of Islam and Wagf of Kuwait Adel Abdullah Al-Falahi. During the reception President Ilham Aliyev presented Adel Abdullah Al-Falahi state award of Azerbaijan order of "Dostluq" (Friendship). Adel Abdullah Al-Falahi is also Chief of the Committee of Asian Muslims. In 1996, the Committee organized Ist International Conference dedicated to the problems of the Azerbaijani refugees, and financed two centers rendering free medical service to refugees and needy people in Baku and Agdash cities, In 1998, it published a book in English dedicated to the problems of refugee children and presented it to the world community, the Committee built 12 mosques in the different regions of Azerbaijan. All-Falahi is the author of "Heydar Aliyev and national values", "Acquaintance with the Muslims in Azerbaijan, Russia and Central Asia" and other books.

Economic relations: Azerbaijani-Kuwaiti economic relations do not meet the existing potential of these countries. On May 30-31, 2006, Minister of Economic Development of the Republic of Azerbaijan made a visit to Kuwait to take part in the annual meeting of the Islamic Development Bank. Minister of Economic Development held meetings with the President of the Islamic Development Bank, Minister of Finance of Kuwait and Director General of the Supreme Council on Investments. On July 1, 2009 the shares of the Kuwaiti-Azerbaijani Investment Company were registered at the Azerbaijani State Committee on Securities. This Company was established by the Azerbaijan Investment Company and a subsidiary of the Kuwaiti Finance House. Primary capital of KAIC contemplates 410,000 AZN. Within two years its capital will rise to $ 20 million. KAIC will attract foreign investments to all sectors of the economy of Azerbaijan and will invest in local businesses.

In May 2009, Kuwaiti-Azerbaijani business forum was held in the city of Al-Kuwait. Representatives of 10 Azerbaijan companies that operate in industry, agriculture, construction and other spheres participated in the forum, which was organized with the support of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Economic Development and Fund for Promotion of Export and Investment as well as, the Azerbaijani Embassy in Kuwait. Kuwait was represented by about 20 businessmen in the event.

Cultural relations: In contrast to economic relations, the Azerbaijani-Kuwaiti cultural relations are developing rapidly. For example, on March 1-2, 2006, the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan together with the Ministry of Wagf and Public Religion and the International Islamic Charity Organization held on international conference entitled "Islam and Youth: Education, Science and Enlightenment" in Baku.

On December 17, 2009, within the framework of the "Days of the Kuwaiti Culture", an exhibition of the Kuwaiti artists was organized in Baku.

On March 17, 2010, the Azerbaijani Embassy in Kuwait celebrated "Novruz" Holiday together with the Research Center for "Arab-Western Relations." Opening the gala evening, the Ambassador informed the participants of the event about traditions of Novruz, which is one of the most ancient holidays of the Azerbaijani people.

On May 6, 2010, in connection with the 87th Anniversary of great leader Haydar Aliyev, acomprehensive article under the title" Heydar Aliyev: "National leader of Azerbaijan" was published in newspaper "Kuwait Times", which is a leading daily English language newspaper in the Middle East and the Gulf region.

On April 20, 2010, a delegation composed of women members of Kuwaiti Parliament and representatives of the Kuwaiti-Azerbaijani Interparliamentary Friendship Group visited the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The guests were informed about the creation and multilateral activities of the Fund, which bears the name of the national leader of Azerbaijan.

On February 17, 2010, a presentation was held on the campaign "Justice for Khojaly", which was launched at the initiative of the Chief Coordinator of the Youth Forum of the Organization of Islamic Conference Leyla Aliyeva, at LoYAC headquarters, a leading youth organization in Kuwait.

Kuwait has announced that he is a supporter of peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and it will support the just position of Azerbaijan in all organizations. In its turn, Azerbaijan, as a friend country of Kuwait, appreciates Kuwait's support to its just position in international organizations like the UN, OIC and other organizations, in connection with this problem.

Compiled on June 16, 2010.