Concise history of the Azerbaijani-Austrian Relations
After the restoration of its independence in 1991 the Republic of Azerbaijan established diplomatic relations with many countries, and Austria was one of them. The development of these relations requires their research and summary. The history of the Azerbaijani-Austrian relations has been written on the basis of materials available in the State Archive of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SARA). The investigation of the modern period of these relations covers the period up to the middle of 2000 and is based on the work carried out by the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Austria. A number of other materials and sources have also been used.
The Azerbaijani-Austrian relations in the Middle Ages
Trade relations between Azerbaijan and Austria date back to the very ancient times, when silk, carpets, jewelers and other goods were delivered from ancient Azerbaijani states to Europe by the well-established trade routs passing through Byzantium and Russ.
Initial interstate relations, including diplomatic, trace back to the XV century and at times they had even the form of a military-political alliance.
As far back as 1473 Uzun Hassan, the ruler of the Azerbaijani State of Aghgouyunlu received ambassadors from Austria and Hungary, and then handed Katerino Dseno from Venice his letters to the monarchs of Europe, including to Emperor Friedrich Habsburg and Hungarian King Matiash Hunyandi. Later another envoy of Uzun Hassan, Venetian doge Nicolo Trono visited Vienna.
Rapprochement between Austria and the state of Aghgouyunlu was emerging on the basis of joint struggle against the Ottoman Empire. In the XVI century Duke Ferdinand of Austria was striving to ensure military and diplomatic support of the state of Safavid in his military and political struggle against the Ottoman Empire. At that time Azerbaijan constituted the major part of the Safavid state, which was ruled by Shah Tahmasib, the representative of the Azerbaijani dynasty. The official language was Azerbaijani and the ruling bureaucracy and the military elite was composed mostly of Azerbaijanis.
Austria enjoyed even more active support of Shah Abbas in the period of the Austrian-Ottoman war (1592-1606). In May 1599 he sent the embassy to Europe led by Hussein Ali bay Bayat, who was holding negotiations in Prague with Rudolf II, the German Emperor and King of Austria, Czechia and Hungary. The Azerbaijani envoys were received by the Emperor with great honour and stayed in Prague for six months, during which they had numerous meetings with the monarch.
In his turn Rudolf II sent his ambassador Stefan Kakasch to the Safavid State and tasked him to win Shah Abbas's active military support in the struggle against the Ottoman Empire. But in October 1603 Stefan Kakasch and other envoys died of epidemic in the Lenkoran area. The negotiations with Shah Abbas in November 1603 were continued by new ambassador Georg Tekander appointed by Rudolf II. Three days later a 120 thousand strong army of Shah Abbas left Tabriz and launched an offensive against the Ottoman troops. Ambassador Tekander was accompanying Shah Abbas throughout the campaign.
In order to maintain close diplomatic relations and to provide information on his military successes Shah Abbas sent his envoy Mehdigulu-bay to the court of the Emperor.
The Azerbaijani-Austrian relations at the XIX - beginning of the XX century
At that time trade links had an important place in the relations of independent Azerbaijani states with Austria, and after the conquer of the khanates by Russia (1813, 1828) the diplomatic and other relations started to be exercised by the official bodies of the Russian empire. At the end of the XIX - beginning of the XX century there was the honorary vice-consulate of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in Azerbaijan. In 1899-1910 Henrich Goldlust was the Austrian-Hungarian honorary vice-consul who was later succeeded by Emil Goldlust (see: The Calendars of the Caucasus, 1899-1913). In 1914 due to the World War I the diplomatic relations between Russia and Austria-Hungary were ruptured and the Consulate in Baku was closed.
The armed coup d'etat in Petrograd in October 1917 followed by the civil war in Russia resulted in the secession of the former colonial outlying areas from the Russian empire. On May 28, 1918 Azerbaijan declared her state independence. Two days later, on May 30 a radiogramme was sent to Vienna by Chairman of the Council of Ministers Mr. Fatali Khan Khoyski on the declaration of the independent Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan (DRA).
According to the request of the Foreign Ministry of the DRA, at that time the young state was temporarily represented in Germany and Austria-Hungary by the Embassies of Turkey.
The conference in Istanbul in June 1918 with the participation of Turkey, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the newly formed states in the Caucasus was attended by the plenipotentiary delegation of Azerbaijan headed by former Chairman of the National Council and Musavat party leader Mr. Mammad Amin Rasulzadeh.
In that period Austria-Hungary was one of the few states to whom the Foreign Ministry of the DRA was forwarding requests on the recognition of independent Azerbaijan, as well as the memorandums, protests and other diplomatic documents dealing with the territorial claims of the neighboring republics to Azerbaijan.
By the decision of the government of Azerbaijan of August 20, 1918 member of the government Mr. Ali Mardan-bay Topchubashev was appointed the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Istanbul, Vienna and Berlin, though he never arrived to Vienna.
The collection of the decrees of the Azerbaijani government in the archive of the interior Ministry has an extract dated August 17, 1918 on the organization of a reception in the honour of the head of the Austrian-Hungarian mission to the Caucasus, who was arriving to the city of Ganja, which was the seat of the government of Azerbaijan at that time. There is no other information on this issue.
In October 1918 Austrian-Hungarian representative to the South Caucasus baron Frankenstein was called back to Vienna. Before that he officially notified the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan that "the protection and representation of the interests of the Austrian-Hungarian citizens will be assumed by Major-General Bovlas."
After the World War I and the disintegration of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire the direct relations between Austria and Azerbaijan were curtailed.
The Azerbaijani-Austrian relations during the Soviet times
The trade relations and exchanges of political delegations prevailed in the Soviet period. There are documents in the State Archive of the Republic of Azerbaijan testifying that the delegation of Austrian workers visited Baku in February 1926 and toured the Ilyich bay, oil refineries and other factories, districts where workers lived, oil fields in the Surakhany district, visited oil refineries and other factories, clubs for workers, orphanages, attended concerts at the State Opera Theatre, the Turk theatre of workers and peasants, the Baku workers' theatre and also laid the wreath on the grave of the 26 Baku Commissars.
The delegation was composed of 13 people: Julius Farkash (the head of the delegation, unskilled labourer, social-democrat), Josef Pitul (metal worker, social-democrat), Franz Hopner (unskilled labourer, communist), Karl Aischer (metal worker, social-democrat), Johann Virnan (worker from sewing factory, member of the social-democratic youth organization), Friedrich Fiala (metal worker, social-democrat), Anton Mayer (metal worker, social-democrat), Franz Markl (metal worker, social-democrat), Ferdinand Larres (rental worker, social democrat), Adolf Roseinger (construction worker, social-democrat), Johann Stechl (metal worker, communist), Maria Troistv (worker from rubber factory, communist), Rudolf Tsika (printer, communist).
The same year the Mayor's office of Baku was negotiating with the Elin company from Vienna to receive the license to manufacture equipment and spare parts for the Baku-Sabunchu electric railway.
In May 1926 the Baku Youth Conference elected Mr. Turi Tahirov to represent Azerbaijan in the delegation of young workers from the USSR visiting Austria.
In 1927 member of the Austrian Society of friends of the USSR, Dr. Tacker visited Baku.
In 1960 Azerbaijan participated in the International Vienna Fair, exhibiting tobacco products and carpets.
Azerbaijani-Austrian relations at the modern period
The history of Azerbaijani-Austrian relations at the modern period dates back to January 15, 1992, when the Republic of Austria recognized the newly reborn Republic of Azerbaijan. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on February 20, 1992. As of mid 1992 Azerbaijan was represented in Austria by Mr. Husseynagha Sadiqov, his Ambassador in the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the Republic of Austria was set up by the decision No. 921 of November 11, 1994 of the Milli Majlis (Parliament) of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Austrian side gave the agreement to the nomination of the Ambassador of Azerbaijan on May 22, 1995. The first employees of the Embassy arrived at the country on May 30, 1995. The Ambassador of Azerbaijan Vaqif Sadiqov presented his credentials to the Federal President of the Republic of Austria Thomas Klestil on September 1, 1995.
The Embassy regularly conducted meetings with representatives of the Office of the President of Austria, Parliament, Government, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, other ministries and state bodies, Vienna City Council, local authorities, media. Through the efforts of the Embassy the relations between Azerbaijan and Austria in different spheres started to be established and developed.
The modern period of the Azerbaijani-Austrian political relations is mainly characterized by meetings of high-ranking representatives of the both countries.
In June 1994 during the session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Vienna there was a meeting between Mr. Rasul Quliyev, the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan and Mr. Heinz Fischer, the Chairman of the National Parliament of Austria.
In December 1994 during the OSCE Budapest Summit meeting President of Azerbaijan Mr. Heydar Aliyev had a meeting with Federal Chancellor of Austria Dr. Franz Vranitzky.
In the framework of the summit a meeting between Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Mr. Hassan Hassanov with his Austrian colleague Mr. Alois Mock also took place.
In February 1995 President Aliyev sent a letter to Chancellor Vranitzky with his appreciation for the readiness of Austria, expressed on October 1994 to allocate a military contingent for the planned OSCE multinational peacekeeping force to be deployed in the region of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as with the information on the adopted decision to establish the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Austria.
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.
In December 1995 during the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Budapest the meeting between Foreign Minister Hassanov and State Secretary of Austria’s Foreign Ministry Mrs. Benita Ferrero-Waldner took place.
In February 1996 the delegation of law enforcement bodies headed by Mr. Xanlar Hajiyev, the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan visited Vienna. The members of the Azerbaijani delegation met with Mr. Christof Mayerhofer, the General Prosecutor of Austria, Mr. Herbert Steininger, the Chairman of the Supreme Court, Mr. Roland Sika, the Director General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mr. Fridrich Schindler, the Prosecutor of Vienna, Mr. Rudolf Machacek, the member of the Constitutional Court of Austria, the member of the Council of Europe's Committee on prevention of torture and inhuman treatment.
In April 1996 a meeting between Colonel Rufat Amirov, the First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed forces of Azerbaijan with Austrian Defense Minister Dr. Werner Fasslabend was held. During the meeting Colonel Amirov presented the letter of Lieutenant-General Safar Abiyev, the Defense Minister of Azerbaijan.
Mr. Arif Rahimzadeh, the Deputy Chairman of the Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan on September 5, 1996 had a meeting with Dr. Fischer, the Chairman of the Austrian National Parliament and handed in the letter of Mr. Quliyev, the Chairman of the Milli Majlis with the invitation to visit Azerbaijan.
During the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Copenhagen in December 18, 1997 a meeting between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and Austria Mr. Hassan Hassanov and Mr. Schussel was held.
On May 28, 1998 in Luxembourg within the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council's meeting Mr. Tofiq Zulfuqarov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan met his Austrian counterpart Mr. Wolfgang Schussel. In the course of the meeting the Austrian Minister was invited to visit Azerbaijan.
In January 1998 the Austrian Government appointed Mrs. Heidemaria Guerer an Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador in Azerbaijan with the residence in Vienna. Mrs. Guerer was also appointed the Ambassador in the other countries of the Southern Caucasus and in five Central Asian countries. In the same month the Azerbaijani side gave an agreement for the nomination of Mrs. Guerer as an Ambassador in Azerbaijan.
In June 12, 1998 in Vienna the first consultations on the level of heads of departments between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and Austria took place.
On May 17-20, 1999 Mr. Josef Dick, the head of criminal police department of the Austrian Ministry of Internal Affairs and his deputy Dr. Emil Tellian paid a working visit to Baku. During the visit Mr. Ramil Usubov, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan received the Austrian delegation. Mr. Dick and Mr. Ziya Dunyamaliyev, the First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan initialled the Memorandum on co-operation.
On July 9, 1999 Minister for Foreign Affairs of Austria Wolfgang Schuessel arrived at Baku with the official visit. During his visit he met with President Aliyev, whom he handed in the letter by President Thomas Klestil with the invitation to visit Austria, which was accepted. Minister Schuessel met also with Mr. Murtuz Alasgarov, the Chairman of Milli Majlis, Mr. Arthur Rasizadeh, the Prime-minister, and Mr. Tofiq Zulfuqarov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
On September 8 - 9, 1999 Mr. Alasgarov, the Chairman of the Milli Majlis made an official visit to Austria. During this visit Mr. Alasgarov met with Chairman of the Austrian National Parliament Dr. Fischer, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Schuessel, OSCE Secretary General Mr. Jan Kubis, Chairman of the National Parliament’s foreign relations commission Mr. Peter Schieder.
On December 16, 1999 during the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council’s meeting in Brussels a meeting between Mr. Vilayat Quliyev, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and State Secretary of Austria’s Foreign Ministry Mrs. Ferrero-Waldner was held.
On April 12-14, 2000 Mr. Ramil Usubov, the Minister of Interior of the Republic of Azerbaijan paid a working visit to Austria. Mr. Usubov and Mr. Ernst Strasser, the Minister of Interior of the Republic of Austria signed the Memorandum on the Co-operation between the Ministries of Interior of Azerbaijan and Austria. During the visit Mr.Usubov met also Minister of Justice Mr. Dieter Böhmdorfer.
On July 3-6, 2000 President of Azerbaijan Mr.Aliyev paid the first in the history of two countries official visit to Austria. On July 4 President Aliyev met with Austrian Federal President Dr. Thomas Klestil, President of the National Council Dr. Heinz Fischer, Federal Chancellor Dr. Wolfgang Schuessel, Foreign Minister Dr. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Mayor and Governor of Vienna Dr. Michael Häupl, Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce Dr. Richard Schenz and other Austrian senior officials and business representatives. During the meeting the two Presidents had an exchange of views on the further expansion of bilateral relations, European and regional security, the settlement of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the role of Austria as a country chairing the OSCE in this process, and multilateral economic projects in the South Caucasus region. The same day the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and Austria signed the intergovernmental Agreements on the air transport and on the promotion of investments, and the Convention for the avoidance of double taxation. In the framework of the visit the cooperation agreement between the Universities of Baku and Vienna was also signed.
On 17-18 July 2003 Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner paid visit to Azerbaijan as a Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE. In Baku she held meetings with President, Prime Minister, Chairman of the Parliament, Foreign Minister and took part at the opening ceremony of the OSCE Office in Azerbaijan.
On October 8-10 2001 Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Xalaf Xalafov paid a working visit to Austria with a purpose of holding the next round of consultations between the Foreign Ministries of both countries and with other Austrian officials.
On December 3 2001 Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Vilayat Quliyev met with Foreign Minister of Austria in the framework of the OSCE Ministerial Meeting, which was held in Bucharest, Romania.
On February 2002 the Embassy gave reception on the occasion of 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between two countries. The presidents and foreign ministers exchanged the letters of congratulations on this occasion.
On June 19-20 2003 State Adviser on the national policy of Azerbaijan Hidayat Orujov paid a working visit to Vienna and held discussions with his Austrian counterparts.
The modern period of the Azerbaijani-Austrian relations has been also marked by the development of humanitarian contacts.
In October 1995 the exhibition of painter Chinqiz Babayev took place in Vienna. On the occasion of May 28 – The Republic Day the exhibition of young painters from Azerbaijan - Chinqiz Babayev, Inna Kostikova and Elchin Mammadov - was held from May 28 till June 4, 1996 in Vienna. On September 11 - 21, 1997 in Leogang the exhibition of the Azerbaijani painters Rafael Abbasov and Arif Qaziyev was held.
The concert of Ms. Sakina Ismayilova and the Cabbar Qaryagdi mugham trio, given in the framework of the international festival "New Music" held on March 22 - 26, 1996 in Vienna enjoyed great success. On April 24, 1998 the soloist of the Azerbaijani Opera and Ballet Theatre Mr. Muxtar Malikov, visiting Vienna at the invitation of the Austrian side, gave a concert in the “Theresianum” concert hall. In June 1998 the Austrian ensemble of classic music "XX century" successfully gave a concert in the Rashid Behbudov Musical Theatre in Baku. On the occasion of May 28 – The Republic Day the folk music band by Mr. Alim Qasimov gave a successful concert in the Wiener Konzerthaus on May 28, 1999.
In May 1996 Austrian film producer Mr. Xosrov Madavi, Azerbaijani by origin made a trip to Azerbaijan, during which the first contacts with the Union of Film Makers of Azerbaijan were established and an agreement was reached on co-operation for a joint production of a film by Mr. Madavi's screenplay.
In August 1995 the UEFA Cup football match between teams “Austria Memphis” and “Kapaz” from Azerbaijani city of Ganca took place in Vienna.
On September 25 – 26, 1995 the XIIth European Sport Conference was held in Vienna attended by the heads of the governmental bodies of the European countries in charge of sport and Olympic movement, as well as representatives of some international organizations (European Union, Council of Europe). Azerbaijan was represented by Mr. Abulfaz Qarayev, the Youth Affairs and Sport Minister. The Azerbaijani representative made a statement about the role of sport in social rehabilitation of youth under the conditions of consequences of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and the economic crisis.
In February 1996 in a town of Fronleiten, Styria the European handball championship game took place between the national female teams of Azerbaijan and Austria.
In October 1997 in Vienna the play off game with the participation of the Azerbaijani national team in the framework of the Olympic skating tournament took place. On November 2 - 8, 1998 the World power lifting championship was held in Graz, where the Azerbaijani national team won 3 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze medals.
With the aim of mutual acquaintance and information exchange the Austrian side regularly conducts seminars on different subjects for Azerbaijani representatives. In February 1996 a seminar on experience exchange between parliamentarians of Austria, countries of the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia was organized in Vienna. On January 13 - 15, 1997 the Austrian side arranged the seminar "Parliamentarism and democracy", in which Mr. Yusif Bagirzade, the deputy chairman of state-building commission of the Milli Majlis took part. On February 28 - March 9, 1998 the seminar "The state structure of Austria" was held in Vienna for the members of the Milli Majlis and the Baku mayor’s office. On October 20 - 24, 1998 the seminar "Wood protection and prevention of natural disasters", in which the Azerbaijani representative took part, was held in Innsbruck. On July 11 - 18, 1999 the Austrian side arranged a seminar for officials of Azerbaijani economic bodies in Vienna.
On September 2 - 24, 1997 the Austrian MFA jointly with this country’s Ministry of Education arranged a refreshment course for the teachers of German language from Azerbaijan. Since 1997 the Austrian side has been sending specialists in different spheres to give lectures in higher education establishments of Azerbaijan.
Each year Austria invites young Azerbaijani diplomats for a three-month Special Course in European Studies at the Vienna Diplomatic Academy. Since 1995 till 2003 twenty-three Azerbaijani diplomats have been trained in this course.
Since 1997 the Austrian MFA every year gives as present to Azerbaijani side a lot of fiction and reference books in German. In December 1997 the Austrian library in the Azerbaijani State Language University was inaugurated. In September 2002 an “Austrian Corner” was opened at the Azerbaijan State Library named after M.F. Akhundov.
In October 1998 the Azerbaijani language courses were launched in the Institute of Oriental Sciences at the Vienna University.
The popular Vienna radio station “Blue Danube Radio” broadcasted musical pieces of famous Azerbaijani musicians Rashid Behbudov (1998) and Byulbyul (1999).
On December 9 - 12, 1999 the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Vienna University and Austrian-Armenian Study Society arranged an international symposium "Christianity in the Caucasus" in Vienna. Azerbaijani scientists Prof. Dr. Farida Mammadova, Director of the Institute of Caucasian Studies of the Western University and Dr. Gulchohra Mammadova, the Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Architecture of Oriental Countries participated in this symposium.
In April 2002 the first Days of Azerbaijani Culture were held in Austria. The delegation consisting of 62 artists was headed by the Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan Polad Bulbuloghlu. There were organised the concerts in Vienna, Graz, Linz and St. Pölten. The arts, carpets and manuscripts (manuscripts of the masterpieces of the Azerbaijani poets from the Middle Ages, which are preserved at the Austrian National Library) exhibitions were held in Vienna. An agreement on cooperation between the State Library of Azerbaijan and the Austrian National Library was signed. The Days of Azerbaijani Culture were finalized by the presentation of specialities of the Azerbaijani Cuisine in the prominent Viennese restaurant “Rathauskeller”.
On September 9 2002 the exhibition of the young Azerbaijani painter Reshad Mehdiyev was held in the Gallery “Lang” in Vienna.
In September 2002 the photo-exhibition of Vienna was held in Baku.
On December 1 2002 a concert of the performers of Mugham, traditional Azeri folklore music, Melekkhaum Eyyubova and Aghakhan Abdullayev was held in the Festsaal of the Vienna Diplomatic Academy.
In January 2003 the president of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan visited Austria on the invitation of his Austrian counterpart. An agreement on cooperation between the two academies was signed.
On June 18 2003 a model of the famous “Maiden Tower” of Baku was solemnly opened in the Museum of “Minimundus” being located in the vicinity of Klagenfurt, the capital of the Austrian province of Carinthia.
From June 20th till June 23rd 2003 in the framework of the international festival “Internationale Begegnungen – Volkskunst 2003” the Azerbaijani child dance group “Sayyah” gave concerts successfully in various locations of the Austrian province of Styria such as Graz, Fischbach, St.Jakob im Walde, Miesenbach and Hartberg.
On February 17-23, 2004 the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Fikrat Mammadov paid an official visit to Austria at the invitation of the Federal Minister for Justice of the Republic of Austria, Mr. Dieter Böhmdorfer. The relations between the justice bodies of the two states were established in September 2003 during the official visit by Mr. D.Böhmdorfer to Azerbaijan. As continuation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Ministries of Justice of the two states an Executive Program was signed aimed at the expansion of relations between the justice bodies of Azerbaijan and Austria.
April 29-30, 2004 the 3rd Meeting of the Joint Azerbaijani-Austrian
Commission on cooperation in the field of economy, agriculture, industry
and technology took place in Vienna. In this connection the delegation
of Azerbaijan headed by the Minister of economic development of the
Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Farhad Aliyev, visited Austria.
On December 8-10, 2004 an Austrian trade mission led by the Federal Economic Chamber visited Azerbaijan to discuss potential issues of cooperation between business communities of the two countries.
On October 16-18, 2005 a delegation led by Ambassador Franz Ceska, Head of the Strategic Department for Foreign Trade and Investment, Ministry of Economy and Labour of Austria, visited Baku. During the visit high-level meetings were held with representatives of the government and private sectors of Azerbaijan.
On October 17, 2007 the Austrian-Azerbaijani Business Forum was held in Baku. More than 70 entrepreneurs participated in the Forum.
On November 10-12, 2005 Dr. Ernst Strasser, former Minister of Internal Affairs of Austria and currently President of the company Vienna Capital Partners visited Baku.
On November 28 – December 2, 2005 Ambassador Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, visited Vienna to participate in the 11th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). During the visit he met high-level representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Labour and the Federal Economic Chamber to exchange views on development of bilateral economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Austria.
On May 31, 2006 a round table on potential cooperation in the field of tourism between Austria and Azerbaijan was organized by the embassy of Azerbaijan to Austria and the Ministry of Economy and Labour of Austria with participation of 11 leading Austrian tour operators. Ms. Elisabeth Udolf-Strobl, Director General for Tourism and Historical Objects of the Ministry of Economy and Labour, and Mr. Abulfas Garayev, Minister for Culture and Tourism co-chaired the round table.
On June 1, 2006 Mr. Abulfas Garayev, Minister for Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, visited the IMC International Management Centre (IMC) in Krems and discussed opportunities for cooperation between IMC Krems and the Azerbaijan Tourism University. As a follow-up to this meeting a Memorandum on cooperation was signed between these two institutions.
On September 25-29, 2006 a training course was organized in Vienna by the Ministry of Economy and Labour of Austria for Azerbaijani government officials.
On November 29-30, 2006 the 4th session of the Austrian-Azerbaijani Joint Economic Commission took place in Baku. The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Heydar Babayev, Minister of Economic Development of Azerbaijan, and Mr. Johan Sachs, Director General for Foreign Economic Relations of the Ministry of Economy and Labour of Austria. Representatives of the Austrian business community also attended the session.
On December 4-5, 2006 an Austrian trade mission by the Federal Economic Chamber visited Azerbaijan to promote establishment of contacts between business communities of the two countries.
On January 14, 2007 The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan participated in the Vienna International Tourism Fair (Ferien Messe). In cooperation with the Austrian GEUS-TV (TW1), Azerbaijani representatives also co-organized a quiz on Azerbaijan and awarded a tour package to the quiz winner.
On January 24-25, 2007 a delegation of the Austrian company OMV led by CEO Dr. Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer visited Azerbaijan to discuss possibilities of bilateral cooperation in the energy sector.
On March 13, 2007, a presentation on Azerbaijan’s economy and business potential was held in Vienna. Representatives of the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation, Azerbaijan Investment Company and the Ministry of Economic Development participated in the event.