By Mojtaba Rouzbahani

Iran FM visit to Baku promises success of government’s strategic policy

December 26, 2021 - 21:54

The intensive but fruitful visit by Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian to the Republic of Azerbaijan, which was warmly welcomed by the officials of that country, opens a new page in the history of relations between the two brotherly and Muslim neighboring countries.

Upon arrival at Baku International Airport, Amir Abdollahian was warmly welcomed by the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Iranian ambassador and diplomats in Baku.

“I have various ideas for further expansion of cooperation with the Republic of Azerbaijan,” he said in an interview with IRNA on Wednesday. 

“I have had three meetings with my counterpart in New York, Ashgabat and Islamabad, and we have discussed the framework for developing cooperation.”

During two rounds of talks with the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, which lasted 3.5 hours - and this is unprecedented in the previous meetings of the President of Azerbaijan with foreign officials in Baku - the foreign minister discussed the latest situation regarding regional issues and international cooperation between the two countries.

Referring to the important and cordial meeting of the presidents of Iran and Azerbaijan in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, and the elimination of misunderstandings through continuous consultations between the foreign ministers and the embassies of the two countries, Amir Abdollahian described development of cooperation in political, economic, cultural and defense sectors as “very good” and said that the President Aliyev’s instructions would be very effective in opening relations between the two countries, especially completing joint projects and developing new cooperation projects.

Referring to his cordial meeting with Iranian President Ayatollah Raisi, President Ilham Aliyev mentioned the importance of the Islamic Republic as a friend, brother and neighbor for the Republic of Azerbaijan. Some of the achievements of this constructive meeting are:

The possibility of the presence of Iranian companies in the process of reconstruction of the liberated areas;

resumption of direct flights between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan;

beginning of the process of release and transfer of some Iranian citizens imprisoned in the Republic of Azerbaijan;

participation of Iranian military experts in the demining process of the occupied territories, given that these areas are currently one of the most densely mined areas in the world;

attracting Iranian companies to operate in the Aras Free Trade and Industrial Zone on the border with Iran and producing Iranian products in this region and exporting to the commonwealth countries, where the Republic of Azerbaijan enjoys some trade and customs benefits and exemptions;

additional negotiations for the Rasht-Astara railway project along the North-South corridor and the existing freight terminal project in Astara and the construction of a car bridge over the Astarachai River;

increasing the export of electricity from the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Islamic Republic of Iran and connecting the Iran-Azerbaijan-Russia electricity network;

holding the Iran-Azerbaijan-Russia summit and proposing the four-nation summit of Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey;

And follow-up negotiations on joint oil blocks in the Caspian Sea.

Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian also met with Ms. Sahebeh Ghaffarova, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Azerbaijan, thanking her for attending the inauguration ceremony of the Iranian president in August and spoke about the importance of parliamentary diplomacy in advancing the foreign policy of the two countries. 

The speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan also called the Parliament of her country a supporter of relations with Iran and renewed her invitation to Dr. Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the Iranian Parliament Speaker, to visit the Republic of Azerbaijan. 

The meeting also addressed the activation of parliamentary friendship groups between the two countries in order to increase the parliamentary relations between the two countries.

At the end of his working day in Baku, Amir Abdollahian was the guest of his Azerbaijani counterpart at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and agreed on ongoing meetings and consultations at the level of deputy foreign ministers and regional directors to follow up on the meetings and agreements reached between the two foreign ministers.

The two ministers also emphasized the active continuation of the work of the Joint Media Cooperation Committee of the two countries. The foreign ministers positively assessed the cooperation between the two countries in international and regional forums and organizations and agreed to increase this cooperation.

Discussions on the latest developments in the South Caucasus, the talks between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia, the latest situation in Afghanistan and the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna were another part of the detailed talks between the two foreign ministers.

After a dinner hosted by Jeyhun Bayramov, Amir Abdollahian addressed a gathering of Iranians living in Baku to discuss the Raisi government's efforts to pass a comprehensive law to protect Iranians around the world. He then sat down with Iranian residents in Baku until midnight and responded to their questions and requests.

The brief but fruitful visit of the foreign minister to Baku, which is the first official visit of a high-ranking official of the government of Raisi to the Republic of Azerbaijan, promises the success of the strategic policy of the new Iranian government in prioritizing ties with neighbors.

Mojtaba Rouzbahani is the foreign media director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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