Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Deputy FM of Azerbaijan to Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt: Relentless Efforts for Comprehensive Cooperation with Saudi Arabia

Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yalchin Rafiyev (Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt)
Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yalchin Rafiyev (Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt)
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Deputy FM of Azerbaijan to Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt: Relentless Efforts for Comprehensive Cooperation with Saudi Arabia

Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yalchin Rafiyev (Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt)
Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yalchin Rafiyev (Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt)

Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yalchin Rafiyev stressed Saudi Arabia’s pivotal role in enhancing security and stability in the region, and pushing towards activating Arab-Islamic joint action mechanisms to stop the war on Gaza.

On Saudi-Azerbaijani relations, Rafiyev said: “Bilateral relations are strong and well-established. We support each other within international organizations and in many initiatives,” pointing to his country’s backing of the Kingdom’s nomination to host Expo 2030 and its initiative to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup.

In an interview with Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt, the Azerbaijani minister noted that during his recent visit to Riyadh, he discussed with his Saudi counterpart, Al-Waleed bin Abdul Karim Al-Khereiji, new areas of cooperation and the means to push bilateral relations towards new horizons.

“We presented our views on various bilateral, regional and global issues, and discussed opportunities for economic and humanitarian cooperation,” he stated.

According to Rafiyev, the volume of trade exchange between Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan does not reflect the level of bilateral relationship.

“We are talking about $26 million annually in trade volume, which is of course at the desired level, but in the past few years, investment cooperation has been steadily increasing,” he remarked.

Rafiyev added that Saudi ACWA Power was investing in the wind energy sector in Azerbaijan in 2025, pointing to new projects that would be undertaken by the company in the future.

“Our two governments have concluded agreements for cooperation in the field of energy. This gives us hope that there will be more investment projects coming in the near future,” he said, revealing a visit by the Azerbaijani Foreign minister to Saudi Arabia, early next year, to discuss ways to expand economic cooperation.

The deputy minister of Foreign Affairs said that tourism cooperation with Saudi Arabia has been growing very steadily throughout the past ten months.

“We received about 70,000 Saudi tourists last year, and the volume of Saudi tourists coming to our country demonstrated the closeness of our cultures, our similarities, and the commonality of our traditions,” he underlined.

Rafiyev continued: “We look forward to strengthening cooperation in the field of green energy, green economy, and smart technology in our economic and agricultural systems for the benefit of the entire world.”

Asked by Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt on Azerbaijan’s stance on the Gaza war, the deputy minister underlined the need to immediately stop the hostilities and the killing of civilians.

He added: “Azerbaijan’s position on this issue is clear. It calls for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the need to stop the ongoing hostilities immediately.”

He also stressed that negotiations should be resumed in order to find a long-term solution to the conflict.

Regarding the latest developments in the Karabakh file, Rafiyev said that Azerbaijan regained its “sovereign territorial integrity, over its entire territory, last September.”

He continued: “We took measures to combat riots and terrorism in the area... Our priority is to normalize our relationship with Armenia to build a peaceful future for our region. We offered peace to Armenia, and the final draft was submitted in September, awaiting reactions from the Armenian side.”



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Siddiq al-Mahdi: Sudanese Public Unites on Need to End War

Secretary-General of the Sudanese Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces (Taqaddum), Siddiq al-Mahdi (Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt)
Secretary-General of the Sudanese Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces (Taqaddum), Siddiq al-Mahdi (Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt)
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Siddiq al-Mahdi: Sudanese Public Unites on Need to End War

Secretary-General of the Sudanese Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces (Taqaddum), Siddiq al-Mahdi (Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt)
Secretary-General of the Sudanese Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces (Taqaddum), Siddiq al-Mahdi (Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt)

Siddiq al-Mahdi, Secretary-General of the Sudanese Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces (Taqaddum), stressed the urgent need for humanitarian aid to Sudanese citizens suffering from the ongoing conflict.

In an interview with Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt in Addis Ababa, al-Mahdi criticized the National Congress Party for manipulating its alliance with the military to advance its political goals.

Al-Mahdi said he would only engage in the political process if the party ends its connection with the military and security forces.

He highlighted a growing recognition of the need to end the war, noting a shift away from military solutions as a positive sign of Sudanese public opinion converging on the need for peace.

The Taqaddum official said this change has reduced support for the war and increased regional and international calls for its end.

Al-Mahdi warned that the war has caused a severe humanitarian crisis and poses threats to the region, neighboring countries, the Horn of Africa, and Red Sea security.

“The need to stop the war is now urgent, and we must act on this,” he said.

He praised international efforts, including the Paris and Cairo conferences and the UN's attempts to bring the warring sides together in Geneva for aid and protection.

Al-Mahdi also revealed that his coalition had proposed a plan to the military and Rapid Support Forces, focusing on humanitarian aid, political arrangements to end the war, and a transition to civilian democracy.

He stressed that the humanitarian situation cannot wait for the war to end.

“Providing aid and protecting citizens are urgent priorities. We need to act now to deliver aid, even before the war ends,” he said.

He noted that the best approach involves coordinating initiatives from various platforms, including Jeddah, IGAD, and its key member states Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, as well as Bahrain, the UAE, Egypt, the African Union, and the United Nations.

Al-Mahdi emphasized that all these entities are working on humanitarian and peace efforts.

He stated that any alignment among mediators, conflict parties, and civil components is viewed by Taqaddum as a comprehensive process for achieving peace.