Azerbaijani- Uzbekistani relations


History of relations: History of relations between the two countries goes back many centuries. Similar traditions and customs, common language group, culture and religion connect the Uzbek and Azerbaijani people. For many years, both of them were Soviet republics. In the 30s of the last century, during the mass repression, ten thousands of Azerbaijanis had sought refuge in Uzbekistan. Today, over 40 thousand Azerbaijanis are actively involved in social, economic and other spheres of the Uzbek society.

Bilateral political relations: Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan were established in October 1995. In mid-1996 the Azerbaijani embassy opened in Uzbekistan and in the May of 1998 the Uzbek Embassy in Azerbaijan, respectively.

Visits of the heads of states are of particular importance in the development of bilateral relations. From this standpoint, the first official visit of the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to Azerbaijan on May 26-27, 1996, should be particularly noted. A special package of documents consisting of 19 agreements, including "Agreement on friendship and cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Republic of Uzbekistan" was signed during the visit of President Islam Karimov which passed in the atmosphere of mutual understanding and friendship. The Uzbek President was given a diploma of the Honorary Doctor of Baku State University.

On October 21-22, 1996 President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev paid a visit to Tashkent to attend the 4th Forum of the Heads of the Turkic states and also to take part in the ceremony of the 660th anniversary of the outstanding statesman Emir Timur. During his visit Heydar Aliyev spoke at the forum and said that regular meetings of the heads of the Turkic states help to develop cooperation among countries, expand cultural and moral ties and strengthen their independence. President Heydar Aliyev also took part in a joint press conference and made a speech at a reception in their honor, and replied to the questions of the correspondent of the Uzbek TV. The visit of President Heydar Aliyev to Uzbekistan on June 18-19, 1997, can be considered as a new stage in the development of relations. 19 documents were signed in Tashkent as well as in Baku. Among these documents there was an agreement on the development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan and on strengthening the friendly and partnership relations which was a special significance. These documents created a solid legal basis for the successful cooperation between the two countries. Speaking at the ceremony of signature, Heydar Aliyev said:" We want to achieve reliable partnership relations with Uzbekistan and we shall do everything that these relationships originate, develop and strengthen."

The Uzbek President said that the relations between the two countries will be strategic in nature. At the meeting the two presidents also discussed the issues of mutual interest and exchanged views on various aspects of joint cooperation. On June 19, 1997, President of Azerbaijan was awarded the title of the honorary doctor of Tashkent University.

On August 9, 1998, at Yalta, at the 60th anniversary of the President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma, Heydar Aliyev again met the Uzbek President. Issues of mutual interest were discussed at the meeting.

In general, meetings of the Azerbaijani and Uzbek presidents in the framework of NATO, CIS, OIC, GUAM summits caused the development of relations between the two countries.

The policy pursued by the current president of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev contributes to the expansion of relations between the two countries. On March 23-24, 2004, President Ilham Aliyev was on an official visit to Uzbekistan. Within the frames of the visit the two Presidents had a tête-à-tête meeting. They exchanged views on the prospects of developing, the relations between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, security issues in the South Caucasus and Central Asia, as well as regional and international issues and the interest of the two countries. The meeting was held in the atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding. They paid a special attention to the development of economic relations, including an increase in mutual trade, energy and transport issues and the development of humanitarian and cultural relations.

In the framework of the visit, a monument to great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi opened in Tashkent with the participation of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.

On September 11-12, 2008, President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov was on an official visit to Azerbaijan. After the presidents tête-à-tête meeting and meeting with delegations, there was a ceremony of the signature of documents. The documents signed included an agreement on cooperation in the sphere of the protection of environment, communications and information technologies, railway, taxation and information, mutual protection in the sphere of secret information, humanitarian cooperation, development of trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation. It has been stated at the meetings that the brotherly and friendly relations between the countries are developing successfully. During the visit Islam Karimov also got acquainted with Heydar Aliyev Foundation. On September 12, the Presidents participated at the opening ceremony of the monument to the great Uzbek poet Alishir Navoi.

Economic relations: Against the background of negative trends sweeping the world economy as a result of the global crisis, the Azerbaijani and Uzbek economy is characterized by positive indicators. And it proves the efficiency and viability of development models chosen in both countries. These models reflect the principles of forming a new social economy. Activity of the joint intergovernmental commission on bilateral cooperation between the Azerbaijani and Uzbek republics is a great contribution to the development of trade and economic relations between the two countries. Hitherto the Commission held 8 meetings. The last meeting was on September 8-9, 2009. Along with it, the volume of trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan does not reflect the real potentials of our countries. (Last year the figure was $25.9 million, and up to this year over $ 23.5 million)

Cultural relations: It should be noted that the works of the outstanding Azerbaijani and Uzbek classics- Alishir Navoi, Mirza Ulugbey, Nizami Ganjavi, Nasireddin Tusi, Muhammad Fuzuli and many others are the cultural wealth not only of the East, but also the wealth and gem of the world civilization. The result is that the monument to Alishir Navoi opened in Baku and monument to Nizami in Tashkent respectively. Uzbekistan State Pedagogical University is named after Nizami Ganjavi. One village in Azerbaijan is named after Navoi. Works of the Azerbaijani poet Magsud Sheykhzade who lived in Uzbekistan are beautiful samples of Uzbek literature. "The Legend of the Two Hearts" a ballet" by prominent Azerbaijani composer Arif Melikov is based on the work of the Uzbek writer Sharaf Rashidov and it is considered the gem of the world music.

Azerbaijan is the main partner of Uzbekistan in the Southern Caucasian region, which is gradually acquiring a geopolitical and geo-economic importance. Both countries display similar positions in many regional and international issues. There is a close cooperation between the two countries within international organizations, including the UN, OIC, CIS, and the Forum of Heads of Turkic States. Uzbekistan has always been a supporter of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by peaceful and political means. This country considers that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is the main condition for the solution of the conflict.

General historical reference was compiled on February 15, 2010