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Canada recognized the independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan on December 25, 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on July 10, 1992.
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.
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.
In September 2004, Azerbaijan opened a resident Embassy in Ottawa. On September 27, 2004 the 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.
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.
A delegation led by Mr. Iltimas Mammadov, Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan visited Canada from October 9 to 13, 2006.
In November 2006 Canada-Azerbaijan Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group was established in the Canadian Parliament. The chair of the Group, Ms. Yasmin Ratansi (L) visited Azerbaijan early in March 2006. As development of bilateral parliamentary relations, a delegation of Canada-Azerbaijan Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group led by Senator Mr. David Smith (L) visited Azerbaijan from June 15 to 22, 2008 on the occasion of 90th anniversary of the Azerbaijani Parliament.
In May, 2010 Mr. Sabir Rustamkhanli, the chair of Azerbaijan-Canada Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group in Milli Mejlis (Parliament) 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.
According to the statistics bilateral trade between Azerbaijan and Canada reached $596.63 million in 2009. Exports to Canada were $587.48 million and imports $9.15 million.
In 2008, Canada’s total import from Azerbaijan reached $1.168.295 billion. The same year Canada’s export to Azerbaijan amounted $19.713 million.
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 contacts between the two countries are growing as well. In June 2006 the Embassy organized a jazz concert of an Azerbaijani musician Zulfugar Baghirov in Ottawa. 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. On December 9, 2007 the Embassy organized a concert of Toronto Silk Road Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ismayil Hajiyev which 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 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 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 Hajibeyov, Gara Garayev, Hasan Rzayev as well as mugham – traditional Azerbaijani folk music performed by Toronto Silk Road Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Ismayil Hajiyev and mugham trio from Azerbaijan: Munis Sharifov (kemancha), Sahib Pashazade (tar), Eytiram Huseynov (vocal).
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.
The Government of Azerbaijan has adopted the Azerbaijani Students’ Study Abroad State Scholarship Program for 2007-2015 that aims to send up to 5000 students to world class universities in various countries including Canada. During 2008-2009 a large number of Azerbaijani students were admitted to several universities in Canada for different degree programs.
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 scholarly conference on Azerbaijan. The agenda of the conference included geopolitical situation in the South Caucasus, regional security and energy environment, Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Turkey-Armenian rapprochement and other topics.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.