TEHRAN (Iran News) – On Wednesday morning, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian visited Baku to discuss bilateral, regional and international developments with top Azeri officials.
The foreign minister was the first Iranian top official visiting Baku in Raisi’s administration.
Amir Abdollahian and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev discussed expanding ties. They also discussed regional developments.
In the meeting that happened on Wednesday afternoon, Amir Abdollahian underlined the determination of the high-ranking officials of the two countries to expand ties and also highlighted the unique affinities between Iran and the Azerbaijan of Republic. He said a new chapter has opened in the Iran-Azerbaijan relations and this will have positive results for both countries.
The Iranian foreign minister added, “We are ready to finalize all previous projects and lay the groundwork for new agreements between the two nations”.
Amir Abdollahian also referred to Iran’s presence in the 3+3 format, describing such cooperation as beneficial to the region’s peace and stability. He underlined that the extra-regional forces have no right to intervene in the affairs of the region and that regional countries can resolve their problems themselves.
In the meeting, Aliyev underscored the significance of relations between the two Muslim and neighboring countries.
“We are willing to expand these relations in all political, economic, and cultural areas,” Aliyev said, noting that joint important projects must also be finalized.
The Azeri president stressed that regional issues must be resolved by regional countries and that Baku is opposed to interference of foreign countries in the region and in regional issues. “We believe regional connections are useful for all countries in the region.”
Azerbaijan’s leader also referred to his recent meeting with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi in Ashgabat on the sidelines of the ECO summit, describing it as fruitful.
“Unique commonalities are a great asset”
Later in the day, the foreign minister met with Speaker of Azerbaijan’s National Assembly, Sahiba Gafarova.
The two officials discussed ways of strengthening ties between the two countries in different areas including parliamentary cooperation.
Amir Abdollahian said the presence of the Azeri National Assembly Speaker Sahiba Gafarova at the inauguration ceremony of the Iranian president shows the depth of friendly relations between the two countries. He added that the unique commonalities between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan is a great asset for the two countries, paving the ground for cementing bilateral ties.
Referring to the talks between the presidents of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan in Ashgabat on the sidelines of the ECO Summit, the foreign minister said that the meeting has opened a new chapter in relations between the two neighboring countries and the transfer of Iranian gas to the Republic of Azerbaijan will become operational soon within the framework of the three-way agreement on Turkmen gas swap to the Republic of Azerbaijan through Iran.
Amir Abdollahian emphasized the readiness of the two countries to swiftly expand mutual cooperation, including in the fields of trade, economy and transportation. He also described the support of parliaments of the two countries in this regard as important and necessary.
Amir Abdollahian expressed hope that the documents related to the amendment to the Road Tolls and Preferential Tariffs Law will be approved by the National Assembly of the Republic of Azerbaijan in order to facilitate the expansion of cooperation.
In the meeting, the speaker of Azerbaijan’s National Assembly also said the relations between Iran and Azerbaijan are long-standing and that the historical, cultural and regional convergence of the two countries are connected. She added, “We have witnessed and appreciated the strong support of the government and people of Iran for the Republic of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh war”.
Ms. Sahiba Gafarova further referred to the interest and readiness of Azerbaijan’s General Assembly to assist in expansion of relations between the two neighbors and reminded of the need to strengthen parliamentary friendship groups.
The speaker of Azerbaijan’s National Assembly expressed hope that Mohamamd Bagher Qalibaf, the Iranian Parliament speaker, will visit Baku in the near future.
FM pays respect to Azeri martyrs
On Wednesday evening, Amir Abdollahian visited the Shahidlar (Martyr’s Lane) monument in Baku and paid respects to all martyrs of the first and second Karabakh wars.
He also expressed hope for everyone to witness the liberation of all occupied territories of Palestine and the establishment of a unified Palestinian government with al-Quds as its capital.
“Cooperation in areas of transport and energy strategic”
The Iranian foreign minister also sat down with his Azeri opposite number Jeyhun Bayramov.
In the meeting on Wednesday, the two sides discussed areas and ways of boosting mutual cooperation.
The top Iranian diplomat touched upon a meeting of the two countries’ presidents on the margins of the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Ashgabat.
He said both countries’ leaders are determined to enhance bilateral ties.
Amir Abdollahian said the two countries’ foreign ministries should always have on their agenda topics for Iranian-Azeri cooperation as well as ways of boosting it.
Amir Abdollahian recalled the importance of collaboration in the fields of transportation and energy while underlining the continuation of cooperation in other economic fields, namely encouraging and boosting interactions between the private sectors of both countries.
The Iranian foreign minister noted that Iran stands ready to export technical and engineering services and to tap into other potentials of the country in required areas in order to help reconstruct liberated regions in the Azerbaijan Republic.
He also stressed the importance of taking action in that regard to expedite the development of those regions.
The two foreign ministers also highlighted the importance of joint committee on media cooperation to keep working together.
In the meeting, the Azeri foreign minister described as very important the meeting between the two countries’ presidents on the fringes of the OIC summit.
The top Azeri diplomat said the agreements reached by the two presidents will serve as a road map for new relations between the two countries.
Bayramov said cooperation between Iran and the Azerbaijan Republic in transportation and energy are significant and strategic, and described cooperation at the level of international organizations and institutions, including the Economic Cooperation Organization, as fruitful and progressive.
In the meeting, Amir Abdollahian invited his counterpart to travel to Iran. The Azeri foreign minister welcomed the invitation and said he would travel to Tehran in the near future.
The two sides also agreed that both countries’ deputy foreign ministers for political affairs meet in order to examine and evaluate issues related to the enhancement of Tehran-Baku relations.
The Tehran Times also learned that Bayramov will visit Tehran in the coming days.
The foreign ministers of Iran and Azerbaijan also took part in a joint press conference on Wednesday evening elaborating on the results of the official visit by the top Iranian top diplomat to Baku and their negotiations.
Amir Abdollahian concluded his visit by meeting Iranian residents in Baku. In the meeting, the foreign minister had a friendly meeting with Iranian entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan in order to analyze the obstacles in mutual trade.
What was more prominent in the visit was the significant economic cooperation Iran and Azerbaijan agreed on, as well as a verbal agreement that the foreign ministers reached in the field of media relations.
An informed source told the Tehran Times that Tehran and Baku have reached an understanding in media relations, and an agreement will be signed in the coming days between Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh and his Azeri counterpart, Leyla Abdullayeva.
Another important achievement that is worth noting was that Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan have agreed that the Islamic Republic would cooperate in reconstructing the lands liberated in the 44-day war in 2020, as announced by the foreign ministers in their joint presser.
Bayramov announced that scores of Iranian private companies have submitted offers to help reconstruct these liberated lands.
Tehran Times correspondent in Baku also learned that Tehran-Baku direct flights will be re-established again, after a pause.
In response to a question posed by Tehran Times regarding the 3+3 format, Amir Abdollahian informed the press that the next meeting of the 3+3 format will be held at the level of foreign ministers.
“Iran will try to convince Georgia to take part in the format,” he added.