Home Tourism Albania & Azerbaijan Have Officially Lifted Visa Requirements

Albania & Azerbaijan Have Officially Lifted Visa Requirements

In a move aimed at bolstering bilateral ties and facilitating greater people-to-people contacts, Albania and Azerbaijan have formally agreed to waive visa requirements for holders of standard international passports. The decision was announced following discussions between high-level officials from both countries, underscoring their commitment to deepening economic cooperation. The announcement came on Friday, March 1, 2024 during a dialogue between H.E. Mr. Fariz Rzayev, Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, and H.E. Besart Kadia, Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania. Both parties expressed their dedication to enhancing bilateral relations, particularly in economic spheres, leading to the signing of a visa exemption agreement.

Ambassador Anar Huseynov of Azerbaijan in Albania emphasized the significance of this agreement in strengthening ties between the two nations. He highlighted the potential for increased economic cooperation and emphasized the importance of fostering closer people-to-people contacts. Moreover, the move follows Albania’s decision in 2011 to lift short-term visa requirements for Azerbaijani citizens. This latest agreement, formalized between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania, solidifies the commitment to mutual visa waivers for citizens holding standard international passports.

The dialogue on March 1 wasn’t limited to visa exemptions. Concurrently, discussions were held between the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Energy of Albania, Belinda Balluku, and the Minister of Economy of Azerbaijan, Mikayil Jabbarov. They explored avenues for enhanced economic cooperation and cemented their commitment by signing an Intergovernmental Agreement on Economic Cooperation. The diplomatic ties between Albania and Azerbaijan date back to September 22, 1993, and have seen steady growth over the years. Notably, the official visit of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama to Baku on April 14, 2022, marked a milestone in bilateral relations. During the visit, both nations identified energy and tourism as sectors ripe for collaboration, laying the groundwork for further cooperation.

Albania’s proactive step in 2011 to remove short-term visa requirements for Azerbaijani citizens signaled a commitment to fostering closer ties. The recent decision to reciprocate this gesture by Azerbaijan reflects the mutual desire to strengthen relations and promote greater interaction between their citizens. The timing of this agreement coincides with a notable increase in foreign visitors to Azerbaijan. According to data released by the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan, January 2024 witnessed a significant surge in foreign visitors compared to the previous year, with a 39.3 percent rise. Visitors from various countries, including Russia, Turkey, Iran, India, and Georgia, contributed to this increase, highlighting Azerbaijan’s growing appeal as a tourist destination.

With visa requirements lifted, citizens of Albania and Azerbaijan can now travel between the two countries more freely, fostering cultural exchanges, tourism, and business collaborations. The mutual waiver of visas represents a tangible step towards realizing the shared goal of closer ties and enhanced cooperation between Albania and Azerbaijan.