Report’s interview with Ambassador of Indonesia to Azerbaijan, Husnan Bey Fananie.
- How do you assess the current level of Azerbaijani-Indonesian relations?
Azerbaijan and Indonesia have a very good relationship. We support the development of Azerbaijan in all spheres and cooperate both bilaterally and internationally. We have a lot in common. In particular, our countries are Muslim countries. For us, Indonesians, closely related to religion, it is a very important factor.
- What aspects are fundamental in the relations between Azerbaijan and Indonesia?
Lots of them. Energy sector is among the major ones. As is known, Indonesia buys large volumes of oil from Azerbaijan. So, it ranked second on this issue after Italy. It is worth noting the tourism sector separately.
- By the way, how are things going in tourism, what are the statistics for today and where do Indonesian tourists prefer to visit in Azerbaijan?
We are building up cooperation in this area. The number of tourists from Indonesia has increased significantly compared to the previous years. In 2018, the number was about 2500, and this number is growing every year. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Azerbaijani tourists. Of course, tourists first visit Baku, get acquainted with its ancient history and modern days. In addition, many Indonesians also know that Azerbaijan is the birthplace of the prophet Noah, so they also visit Nakhchivan to see his tomb, the rock that his ark touched. Azerbaijan is a very interesting and unique country. Before I was appointed Ambassador of Indonesia to Azerbaijan, I was sure that nowhere else has such a beautiful nature as Indonesia. But having arrived here, I discovered for myself a completely different uniqueness of nature and its beauty. Azerbaijan is already a part of me. I love Azerbaijan very much. I would be very happy to get citizenship of Azerbaijan, or become an honorary citizen and enjoy living in Azerbaijan too.
- Do negotiations continue on the establishment of direct flights between Azerbaijan and Indonesia?
Direct flights between our countries can open at any time, we are ready for this. But in order to launch daily flights, a large flow of tourists is needed from both sides.
- What new areas of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Indonesia may be interesting in the future?
It is necessary to establish strong trade relations. I think in the future it would be possible to focus in this direction. For example, Indonesia is a major supplier of a number of products: palm oil, textiles, electronics, home appliances and others. In addition, we have established heavy industry. So, at our factory we produce airplanes, ships, component parts of trains, equipment for the agricultural industry.
- Mr. Ambassador, you have repeatedly declared Indonesia’s support for Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. What is the basis of this support?
As you know, Indonesia ranks first in the world in terms of population. Most of the population of our country is Muslim. We have a great influence in the UN, as a member of the Security Council, as well as a member of the OIC. In fact, the Nagorno-Karabakh issue can be easily resolved. We fully support and stand behind Azerbaijan. If the Armenians think of picking up a gun, the entire Islamic world, and we among them, will stand shoulder to shoulder with Azerbaijan. However, Azerbaijani soldiers are able to regain the occupied lands in a short period even without assistance of the third countries.