India, Azerbaijan rediscover ancient bonds

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BAKU, Azerbaijan -- India and Azerbaijan are brainstorming ways to rediscover their centuries-old commercial and cultural bonds.

"For several reasons, we, in India, have not been conscious enough about our geography. The Silk Route linked us to the people in Central Asia and the Caspian Sea. We need to know that in order to build our future," Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh said here.

Mr. Ramesh is in Baku to sign an agreement on forming an India-Azerbaijan Joint Commission.

The temple of Ateshgah, 15 km from the Azeri capital, is among the several reminders of India's close ties with the region straddling the Caspian Sea. An inscription in Sanskrit above the narrow arched entrance to this monument is the first striking assertion of Azerbaijan's historical ties with India.

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