Azerbaijani - Austrian relations

History of relations: Despite the absence of long-term and permanent relations between Azerbaijan and Austria, the first relations date back to the 15th century. The ruler of the Azerbaijani State of Aggoyunlu Uzun Hasan laid the foundations of the Azerbaijani-Austrian relations. Unfortunately, after this there were not any relations between Azerbaijan and Austria. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were reestablished in 1992. At present, Azerbaijan and Austria cooperate within the frames of in bilateral relations and the European Union.

Bilateral political relations: Bilateral political relations between Azerbaijan and Austria were established in 1992. Austria recognized the independence of Azerbaijan on January 15, 1992. Diplomatic relations were established on February 20, 1992. The embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Austria opened on September 1, 1995. The embassy of Austria to Azerbaijan began its activity in 1998 and functioned in Vienna at first, then moved to Istanbul. The Embassy of Austria to Azerbaijan is expected to function in Baku in 2010.

The meetings between Heydar Aliyev and the Austrian officials began since 1995. On March 10-12, 1995 at UN Summit in Denmark, Heydar Aliyev had a meeting with the Federal Chancellor of Austria Dr. Franz Vranitzky. During the meeting Heydar Aliyev gave detailed information to Vranitszky about the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories by Armenia.

Development perspectives of bilateral relations were discussed at the meeting as well. During the celebrations of the 50-th anniversary of the end of the World War II in Paris on May 8, 1995, a meeting of President Aliyev with Federal President Klestil was held. The Austrian-Azerbaijani relations and the ways of settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were the topics of discussions. Finally, on July 9, 1999 minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria arrived in Azerbaijan on an official visit. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the Azerbaijani-Austrian relations were the topics of discussion during the meeting. Heydar Aliyev said that Austria plays great role in Europe and noted the importance of bilateral relations for the recognition of Azerbaijan.

The year of 2000 was the most fruitful in the Azerbaijani-Austrian relations. On February 10, 2000, Heydar Aliyev accepted the credentials of the newly appointed Ambassador of Austria to Azerbaijan Heidermaria Gürer. On July 18, 2000 Heydar Aliyev received the delegation headed by the former chair of OSCE, minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria Mrs. Benita Ferrero-Waldner. During the meeting President of Azerbaijan noted that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was discussed at OSCE summits held in 1994, 1996 and 1999, but the problem hasn't been solved yet. The President noted that international law concerning the violation of the territorial integrity and the principles of OSCE haven't been fulfilled.

Heydar Aliyev's first official visit to Austria took place on July 3-6, 2000. Heydar Aliyev had a tête-à-tête meeting with the President of Austria Thomas Klestil. The ways of solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and expansion of the Azerbaijani-Austrian relations were the topics of discussions during the meeting. Within the frames of the visit a number of documents were signed between the states with the participation of the presidents.

During his visit to Austria President Heydar Aliyev met Foreign Minister Dr. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Mayor and Governor of Vienna Dr. Michael Häupl, President of the National Council Dr. Heinz Fischer and representatives of the Austrian foreign policy and International Relations Society. The Azerbaijani-Austrian relations have been extended by President Ilham Aliyev and reached the highest level of progress.

On September 21, 2004, President Ilham Aliyev met Attorney-General of Austria Walter Preslawyer. During the meeting Ilham Aliyev noted the rapid development of the relations between Azerbaijan and Austria and their extension in different spheres. President Ilham Aliyev noted that the world faces new troubles, especially like international terrorism and cooperation in this sphere is very important. Ilham Aliyev stressed that Azerbaijan fell victim to terrorism and Azerbaijan is interested in strengthening the efforts against terrorism.

On January 25, 2005, President Ilham Aliyev met Director of the Austrian Federal Agency for State Protection and Counter-Terrorism Gert-René Polli. Ilham Aliyev noted that danger of terror is of global character and Azerbaijan struggles against terrorism very actively and contributes to the peace and security in the world and region. Gert-René Polli stressed the important role of Azerbaijan in the struggle against terror and noted that cooperation with Azerbaijan in this sphere is of great importance for Austria.

On April 10, 2006, President Ilham Aliyev met the chairman of the Austrian Supreme Court Johann Jeschute. Adaptation of the Azerbaijani court system to the European standards was the main topic of discussion. On Septmeber 20, 2007, Ilham Aliyev met the delegation headed by the minister of Economics and Labor of Austria Martin Bartenstein.

Economic relations: Economic relations between Austria and Azerbaijan mainly cover economic, agricultural, and technological spheres. By the decree of President Ilham Aliyev on August 10, 2009, the new composition of the Joint Azerbaijani-Austrian Commission for cooperation in economical, agricultural, industrial and technological spheres was approved.Great things are done in the energy sphere of the two countries. Austria is one of the countries supporting the "Nabucco" project which intends to transport the energy resources of the Caspian and Central Asian regions to the European markets. Acoording to the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Austria accounted $ 36.8 million in the January-July of 2009.

Cultural relations: The Azerbaijani societies in Austria have a great role in the development of the Azerbaijani-Austrian relations. The Azerbaijani-Austrian friendship societies function in Vienna, Graz, Salzburg and Linz in Austria. The Azerbaijani musicians and singers gave concerts in Austria many times. The days of the Azerbaijani culture were held in Austria in 2002 and 2005. There is a monument to the great Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov in Austria. Musical comedy "Arshin mal alan" of U. Hajibeyov was performed by the Austrian actors on the scene of one of the theaters of Vienna.

Austria and Azerbaijan cooperate in many spheres, including energy security as well. As a member of the European Union Austria plays an important role between Azerbaijan and EU. Within the formats of OSCE, UN and EU, Austria makes efforts for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Along with the relations within the frames of the international organizations, Azerbaijan and Austria have managed the development of bilateral relations.

General historical reference was compiled on April 5, 2010.