Winter 1995 (3.4)
How far back does the friendship between Norway and Azerbaijan actually go? Thor Heyerdahl believes the links are ancient (See AI, Spring 1995, 3:1, "The Azerbaijan Connection" by Dr. Thor Heyerdahl). The fires of friendship, which still burn brightly, culminated with the official establishment of the Azerbaijan-Norway Friendship Society in Baku on November 10th in the Mani Theater.
The goals of the Society include establishing cultural, scientific, economic and commercial centers. Honored guests that evening included Deputy Prime Minister Azizov, Foreign Minister Hasan Hasanov, and Norwegian Ambassador Svein Saether, along with a special delegation of three Members of the Norwegian Parliament who had come to observe Azerbaijan's Parliamentary Elections (November 12).
Hasan Hasanov recollected how in 1990 Azerbaijan had invited many countries to get involved to help develop the oil, but many had declined. Norway was not one of them and Statoil had been among the first of the foreign oil companies to get established here.
Both Norway and Azerbaijan are small countries with strong feelings of nationality, and both have rich natural resources. There is great potential for increased cooperation between the two countries, not to mention Thor Heyerdahl's hypothesis that Norwegian ancestors came from the region of Azerbaijan, an idea which has provided a fascinating backdrop for the founding of the Society.
From Azerbaijan International (3.4) Winter 1995.
© Azerbaijan International 1995. All rights reserved.