Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia hail cooperation

March 16, 2018 - 19:22

TEHRAN - Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia issued a joint statement on Thursday expressing readiness to expand cooperation with the aim to promote regional peace and stability.

The statement was released after a quadrilateral meeting in Baku between the foreign ministers of Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.

The signatories to the statement highlighted the importance of respecting the countries’ territorial integrity and national sovereignty. They also said the sides were committed to help settle the regional conflicts peacefully.

They also agreed to use all investment and business capacities to deepen economic ties.

In their joint statement, they also insisted on the need to fight terrorism, extremism, separatism, organized crimes (such as drugs, arms and human trafficking), crimes against cultural and historical heritage, and cybercrimes.

They also agreed to unlock their full financial, trade and economic potentials to boost joint projects in energy, transportation, banking, communications, technology, agriculture and environment.

In a tweet on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “Delighted to be in Baku for the first-ever quadrilateral meeting of FMs of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Iran. Excellent talks on ways to forge closer cooperation, including a roadmap for vastly improved connectivity geared to boost trade and prosperity.”

The Iranian foreign minister also met with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev on the sidelines of the quadrilateral meeting. Zarif said Tehran attaches great importance to regional countries’ comprehensive cooperation to counter security threats.

Aliyev described Iran as a “safe” and “stable” country and called for expansion of relations.

He noted that relations between Iran and Azerbaijan has never been as good as the current juncture.

In a separate meeting with his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Janelidze, Zarif also called for expanding banking relations between the two countries. Zarif also insisted on the importance of linking the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea through a railway.