WASHINGTON D.C., BAKU – Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt along with the state officials visited Azerbaijan for a week-long trip starting July 26 to “promote and expand Oklahoma’s strategic partnerships with Azerbaijan.” Azerbaijan and Oklahoma have been active partners since their official relationship was established through the State Partnership Program in 2002. In November 2019, Oklahoma hosted the inaugural Oklahoma-Azerbaijan Agriculture Forum which brought together agriculture businesses from both sides.
Over the week, Governor Stitt attended various productive meetings to continue building strong relations with the Republic of Azerbaijan. On July 27, Governor Stitt met with President Ilham Aliyev to discuss expanding Oklahoma’s business, agricultural, and educational partnerships with Azerbaijan. “Oklahoma and Azerbaijan are both energy pioneers and I look forward to strengthening our partnership and connecting Oklahoma companies with the many economic development opportunities here in Azerbaijan,” Governor Stitt said after his meeting with President Aliyev. That same day, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Agriculture Inam Karimov and Oklahoma’s Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur visited Azersun Holding’s animal husbandry and dairy processing facilities in Hajigabul to explore collaboration opportunities.
The following day, the Oklahoma delegation met with Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeyhun Bayramov, and Minister of Education Emin Amrullayev to further discuss trade, business, educational linkages and investment opportunities between Azerbaijan and Oklahoma.
The trip was concluded on July 30, 2021, with the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on a dual degree master’s program in agriculture between Azerbaijan State Agricultural University (ADAU) and Oklahoma State University (OSU). “This is a historic deal for the USACC and its partner organization, USAID/Azerbaijan,” said USACC’s Board Chairman Mr. Reza Vaziri during the signing ceremony. The five-year program will be focusing specifically on the needs and priorities of Azerbaijan in agriculture. Program students will receive two diplomas by studying at ADAU for one year and at OSU for another year.
On November 6, 2019, on the sidelines of the inaugural Oklahoma-Azerbaijan Agriculture Forum in Oklahoma City, OSU and ADAU signed a Memorandum of Understanding on exploring opportunities for joint academic and student exchange programs. Since 2019, a group of professionals from OSU, ADAU, Ministry of Agriculture, USAID/Azerbaijan, and USACC have jointly been developing a dual-degree master’s program in agriculture.
On November 17, 2020, OSU designated ADAU as a strategic partner, and a document on the strategic partnership was signed between the parties. This document allowed graduate students, faculty and academic staff recommended by ADAU to be eligible for strategic partner rights and privileges afforded to Oklahoma residents, including but not limited to in-state tuition in OSU.
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