EghtesadOnline: Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov described Iran as a friendly neighbor, reiterating the determination of top officials in Baku to expand multifaceted ties with Tehran.
Bayramov made the remarks in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday in Tehran.
The Azerbaijani diplomat is on his first visit to Iran, following the escalation between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region in late September, President.ir reported.
He thanked Tehran for its support of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity during the conflict, saying the liberation of occupied areas has led to the restoration of 132 kilometers of borders shared with Iran.
“Azerbaijan’s borders with Iran are borders of friendship and development, and we believe their restoration could lead to new cooperation project,” he said.
Soon after fighting erupted between Baku and Yerevan, Iran prepared a peace plan and discussed it with both countries as well as their allies Russia and Turkey.
Tehran urged the liberation of all the territories of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia and respect for international borders by both warring sides.
The two countries finally reached a ceasefire agreement with Russian mediation in November and ended all hostilities in the region.
Bayramov also stressed the need to enhance mutual collaboration in various political and economic arenas, hoping that the new international situation and the removal of hurdles arising from American sanctions would speed up the implementation of joint projects.
Help for Reconstruction
Rouhani also expressed Iran’s readiness to play a constructive role in helping consolidate the ceasefire and ensure stability in the region.
He said Iran is ready to collaborate in the reconstruction of the liberated areas devastated by war, saying it would serve both countries interests, given their geographical contiguity and Iranian capacities.
“Given the end of [outgoing president Donald] Trump’s term in the United States and the beginning of a new administration, we feel that countries will have a better condition for cooperation,” he said.
Trump adopted hostile policies against Iran during his tenure and imposed tough sanctions that seriously affected the country’s economy and international trade.
Rouhani called for the timely implementation of previous agreements between Iran and Azerbaijan, such as the Rasht-Astara railroad, Khoda-Afarin Dam and power plant construction projects.
“The two countries can further boost cooperation in industrial, scientific, pharmaceutical and other sectors,” he said.
Azerbaijan’s foreign minister later held talks with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The two delegations discussed a range of topics, including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, regional issued and bilateral relations, according to Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran, within the framework of its policy of good neighborliness, welcomes the progress made in the liberation of occupied lands and stressed the need for a permanent solution of the crisis through political methods,” he said in a tweet.
Bayramov was set to meet several top Iranian officials later during his stay, including Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani.