Amir Abdollahian: Energy, transit main areas of Iran-Azerbaijan co-op

July 4, 2022 - 22:4

TEHRAN— Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov visited Tehran on Monday to consult with several high-ranking Iranian officials, including his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian.

On Monday morning, Bayramov met Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf. 

Later, he met Amir Abdollahian and held a comprehensive meeting that took 90 minutes. 

After their bilateral meeting, the two chief diplomats participated in a joint presser.

During the presser, Amir Abdollahian said that he and Bayramov discussed and exchanged opinions on a wide range of bilateral issues. 

He then acknowledged that the presidents of the two countries had two meetings with each other over the last 10 months. 

“During these two meetings, especially last week's meeting between Mr. Ilham Aliyev and Ayatollah Raisi (in Turkmenistan on the sidelines of the Caspian Sea summit), we had constructive and forward-looking discussions regarding the new stage of development of relations between the two countries. We insisted on deepening the relations between the two countries based on good understanding, trust, and mutual benefits of the two countries,” he noted. 

Iran’s top diplomat added that in Monday talks, the issue of territorial integrity of countries, including the Republic of Azerbaijan, was once again emphasized by Iran. 
“We also emphasized our support for the peaceful settlement of the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the well-known principles of international law,” Amir Abdollahian pointed out. 

He then stated that since the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Tehran has always declared its readiness to help resolve the crisis through dialogue. 
“We are still ready to continue our support and assistance in this field so that the remaining issues are resolved based on respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the parties and through political dialogue,” he stated. 

Iran’s top diplomat then noted that in the new conditions of the world, regional formats that exist between two countries or with other countries should be emphasized and paid attention to. 

“During my trip to Ankara last week, we agreed to soon hold a tripartite meeting of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the Republic of Turkey in Tehran at the level of foreign ministers with my brother Mr. Cavusoglu, and today, we will agree with my brother Jeyhun about the timeframe and date later,” he stated.

The foreign minister then stated that there will be another format at the level of senior experts known as the 3+3 summit in the Caucasus region. 

“This meeting will be held among senior experts, and in the next step the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran and Turkey. Iran will host this meeting in Tehran or one of the cities of our country on a date that we will agree on later,” he highlighted. 

Amir Abdollahian said, “We received the official note at the same time as the visit of Mr. Jeyhun Bayramov regarding the readiness of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to visit Tehran. Regarding the finalization and agreement on the date of the official visit of the president of Azerbaijan, we will examine the proposals in the continuation of today's meeting and from here we welcome Mr. Ilham Aliyev for his visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

He added, “As you know, energy and transit are two important issues in the economic cooperation of the two countries.”

Bayramov: We presented a 5-point peace plan to Armenia

For his part, Azerbaijan's foreign minister Bayramov expressed his satisfaction at being in Iran, saying, “During this trip, I had a meeting with Mr. Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, Iran’s Parliament Speaker, and had an exchange of views. After this meeting, we will be at the service of President Ayatollah Raisi, and I thank the Iranian foreign minister for arranging these meetings.”

Bayramov stated that many issues were discussed in the meeting with the Iranian chief diplomat, noting that the relations between the two countries are based on historical and cultural commonalities and the neighborliness and brotherhood of the people of the two countries. 

According to the top Azeri top diplomat, several bilateral and regional issues were discussed in the meeting. 

“According to the political will of the leaders of the two countries, despite the fact that we had a 30% increase in the volume of trade exchanges in 2021 and an 18% increase in the first five months of 2022 compared to the same period last year, the available capacities for the two countries are more than these figures,” he stressed. 

“We agreed to follow up on the completion of the half-finished joint projects and to implement new projects between the two countries and give priority to the existing projects. Regarding the joint production of cars and spare parts and the production of tractors and agricultural products, good agreements have been made, which will be implemented,” Bayramov explained.

The Azeri foreign minister continued that the North-South Corridor project is of particular importance and the Republic of Azerbaijan is ready to increase the capacity of this corridor and build and complete the Rasht-Astara railway and complete the railway dock in Astara. 

“In the field of international cooperation in the framework of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, we had successful cooperation, and God willing, after this, the two countries will support each other within the framework of these organizations,” the senior Azeri diplomat added. 

Baku is seeking to normalize ties with Yerevan

Bayramov also said the Republic of Azerbaijan wants to normalize relations with the Republic of Armenia after the war and has taken steps in this regard. 

“We have presented a five-point peace plan to Armenia that will help sign peace agreement between the two countries, and we have announced our readiness to reopen transportation and inter-regional communications between Azerbaijan and Armenia and demarcation of the border between the two countries, and presented proposals in this regard,” he explained.

Bayramov noted that the main priority is the reconstruction and development of the liberated areas. 

“In this regard, regional cooperation and the implementation of joint projects with the countries of the region, including our important neighbor, the Islamic Republic of Iran, constitute one of the frameworks of our cooperation,” he highlighted.

In this regard, he stated, Baku entrusted the construction of a hospital and a school to Iranian companies. In addition, he said, the activity of Iranian companies in industrial towns and free trade zones is foreseen.

Active companies and investors will enjoy tax waivers and this will lead to the development and growth of border areas, he pointed out.

In conclusion, Bayramov welcomed the constructive stance of Iran and its participation and cooperation in regional formats, including the 3+3 format.

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