Azerbaijan-Canada Relations

Brief historical information on diplomatic relations

Canada recognized the independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan on December 25, 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on August 10, 1992.

In September 2004, Azerbaijan opened a resident Embassy in Ottawa. On September 27, 2004 thefirst resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Canada, Mr. Fakhraddin Gurbanov presented his Letters of Credence to the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, the Governor-General of Canada.

Political Ties

Nowadays relations between Azerbaijan and Canada are enhancing. There is a solid platform within multinational institutions between the two countries. Azerbaijan and Canada have regular bilateral discussion on a wide range of issues, including international security and international development. The two countries cooperate on issues of international security (both countries are involved at a different level to a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan), organized crime, illegal trafficking, counter-terrorism and various humanitarian affairs.

Inter-parliamentary relations

Friendship groups

In November 2006, Canada-Azerbaijan Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group was established in the Canadian Parliament. Mr. Barry Devolin, Conservative MP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock is the current Chair of the Friendship Group.

Mr. Sabir Rustamkhanli, MP is the Head of the Working Group on Azerbaijan-Canada Inter-Parliamentary relations in the Milli Mejlis (Parliament) of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Bilateral Visits

A first high level delegation headed by Mr. Abid Sharifov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan visited Canada from November 23 to 30, 1998.

From May 10 to 11, 2000, a parliamentary delegation led by Mr. Bill Graham, the Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Canadian Parliament visited Azerbaijan.
A delegation headed by the Honourable Gar Knutson, Secretary of State for foreign affairs of Canada visited Azerbaijan from November 11 to 13, 2002.

From March 27 to 28, 2006 the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan visited Canada to discuss bilateral cooperation on security matters.

From October 9 to 13, 2006, a delegation led by Mr. Iltimas Mammadov, Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan visited Canada.

A delegation of the Canada-Azerbaijan Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group led by Senator David Smith (L) visited Azerbaijan from June 15 to 22, 2008 on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Azerbaijani Parliament.

On April 16, 2010, Mr. Robert Hage, Director General for Europe, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada visited Azerbaijan.

In May 2010, Mr. Sabir Rustamkhanli, Head of the Working Group on Azerbaijan-Canada Inter-Parliamentary relations in the Milli Mejlis (Parliament) of the Republic of Azerbaijan visited Canada.

On September 22, 2010, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada Mr. Lawrence Cannon on the sidelines of the 65th UN General Assembly in New York. The Ministers exchanged views over bilateral relations between the two countries.

From May 14 to 16 may, 2012, a delegation of the New Azerbaijan Party including Deputy Executive Secretary, MP Mubariz Gurbanli and Head of the International Relations Department, MP Asaf Hajiyev visited Canada.

From April 2 to 7, 2013, a Canadian parliamentary delegation led by Mr. Barry Devolin, Member of Parliament for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock and Chair of the Canada-Azerbaijan Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group visited Azerbaijan.

Economic and trade cooperation

According to the statistics, bilateral merchandise trade between Azerbaijan and Canada totalled $497 million in 2013, where Azerbaijan’s exports and imports were $465.3 million and $31.7 million, respectively.

Business relations between Azerbaijan and Canada have been increased in recent years, but a large potential still remains to be realized. The Embassy of Azerbaijan is focused on the promotion of economic relations between the two countries and is working to encourage Canadian businessmen to invest in the Azerbaijani economy.

Cultural Activities

Cultural contacts between the two countries are growing as well. Since 2006 the Niagara International Chamber Music Festival includes in its program the music of Azerbaijani classic composers. This project is supported by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Canada. The days of Azerbaijani culture have been held within the Festival.

Over the past years, a number of cultural events dedicated to famous Azerbaijani artists, such as Muslum Magomayev, Chingiz Sadigov and Alim Gasimov were organized in Canada. In June 2006 the Embassy organized a jazz concert of an Azerbaijani musician Zulfugar Baghirov in Ottawa.

On December 9, 2007, the Embassy organized a concert of the Toronto Silk Road Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Ismayil Hajiyev, who performed the music of Azerbaijani classic composers. The Embassy is facilitating Azerbaijani musicians residing currently in Canada to present Azerbaijani culture to Canadians. The Embassy also assists the Azerbaijani community in Canada to organize concerts, language classes, and various cultural events.

On March 30, 2010, Azerbaijani movie "Gala" (Fortress) premiered at the Bytowne Cinema in Ottawa. The movie attended 33rd Montreal World Film Festival last year and was among the candidates for "the best foreign movie" for an Oscar in 2008.

On May 25, 2010, on the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Embassy organized a concert of Azerbaijani classical and folk music at the National Gallery of Canada. The concert featured the music of Uzeyir Hajibayli, Gara Garayev, Hasan Rzayev as well as mugham – traditional Azerbaijani folk music performed by the Toronto Silk Road Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Ismayil Hajiyev and mugham trio from Azerbaijan: Munis Sharifov (kemancha), Sahib Pashazade (tar), Ehtiram Huseynov (vocal).

During the years of 2010-2011
, a theatre performance, "Gulnara's dress" (La robe de Gulnara), about the life of Azerbaijani refugees, written by Canadian author Isabelle Hubert, was staged in various cities of Canada.

On April 19, 2013, the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan has organized a concert dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev at National Gallery of Canada.

On May 26, 2013, a concert performed by Niagara Silk Road Chamber Orchestra dedicated to the Republic Day and the 90th Anniversary of National Leader Heydar Aliyev was staged at Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music, and again on May 28, 2013 at St Marc’s church, Niagara-on-the Lake.

On May 28, 2013, a concert performed by Niagara Silk Road Chamber Orchestra dedicated to the Republic Day and the 90th Anniversary of National Leader Heydar Aliyev was staged in St Marc’s church, Niagara-on-the Lake.

On July 21, 2013, a concert of Azerbaijani music and dance was staged in Niagara-on-the-Lake in the framework of the Music Niagara Festival.

In July 2014, Toronto's Araz Dance Group performed at a concert in Niagara-on-the-Lake, which was jointly organized by the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Canada and Music Niagara.

Education

The Embassy of Azerbaijan is engaged in the development of bilateral cooperation with Canada in the spheres of education and science. The Embassy is actively cooperating with academic institutions and think tanks to foster joint research and student exchange.

Currently, 170 students from Azerbaijan study at various Canadian universities within the framework of the State Program on Education of Azerbaijani Youth Abroad for 2007-2015.

Scholarly events

The Embassy in cooperation with the universities of Toronto, Carleton and York organized a number of scholarly conferences on Azerbaijan.

On March 28, 2008 the Centre for European, Russian, Eurasian Studies (CERES) at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto and the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Canada organized a scholarly conference exploring Azerbaijan’s security issues.

On November 12, 2009, the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs of Carleton University jointly with the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan organized a scholarly conference on Azerbaijan. The agenda of the conference included the geopolitical situation in the South Caucasus, regional security and energy environment, Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Turkey-Armenian rapprochement and other topics.

On April 26, 2013, Munk School of Global Affairs at University of Toronto held a workshop entitled “Contemporary Issues in Azerbaijan”.

On January 29, 2014, the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Canada and the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (EURUS) at Carleton University jointly organized a seminar entitled "Azerbaijan: Past and Present" to mark the 130th anniversary of Mammad Emin Rasulzade (1884- 1955), one of the founders of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918-1920).

Cooperation between academic institutions

Baku State University & Waterloo University

President of the University of Waterloo Feridun Hamdullahpur paid a visit to Azerbaijan from October 31 to November 1, 2013. During the visit, Mr. Hamdullahpur held a number of meetings with Azerbaijan's Minister of Education Mr. Mikayil Jabbarov, the Minister of Communications and Information Technologies Mr. Ali Abbasov. During the trip, Mr. Hamdullahpur signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Baku State University (BSU). The agreement encourages and enables first-year BSU students to apply for admission to undergraduate programs in Waterloo's faculties of Mathematics and Science.

Azerbaijan Academy of Public Administration & Carleton University

In January 2014, the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Carleton University’s Centre for Governance and Public Management signed a Memorandum of Understanding detailing a range of academic cooperation activities. The agreement reflects growing academic and cultural relationships between Azerbaijan and Canada. The two institutions have agreed to exchange professors and senior researchers to teach and collaborate on research and, eventually, to exchange students.

List of legal documents signed between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Canada

Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada on conditions of implementation of the Training Program for 2002-2005 on reduction of gas waste products causing the greenhouse effect in the Caspian Basin. Baku, 4 April 2003.

Protocol to the Convention between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Canada on abrogation of double taxation in respect to income and property taxes and prevention of tax evasion. Baku, September 2004.

Convention between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of Canada on abrogation of double taxation in respect to income and property taxes and prevention of tax evasion. Baku, September, 2004.

Warranty on behalf of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Lease Agreements between Azerbaijan Airlines and Lionheart Aviation Limited concerning Aerobus aircrafts, type A-320-214

For more detailed information about bilateral political, commercial and humanitarian relations, please contact the Embassy.