Azerbaijan, Iran ink historic document
By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan and Iran have signed a memorandum of understanding on establishing new communication links between the East Zangazur economic region and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic through the territory of Iran.
The document was signed by Azerbaijan's Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev and Iran's Roads and Urban Development Minister Rostam Ghasemi within the 15th meeting of the Azerbaijan-Iran State Commission on economic, trade and humanitarian cooperation, held in Baku on March 11.
Presidential Aide Hikmat Hajiyev, commenting on the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding between Azerbaijan and Iran, underlined that it is a historic event.
He noted that the head of state keeps this important transport and communication project in the center of constant attention, and instructions have been given to the relevant structures for its implementation.
"As a result of the implementation of this project, the long-term policy of Armenia on the blockade of Nakhchivan will be put to an end. Between the two regions of Azerbaijan - Eastern Zangezur and Nakhchivan - through the Iranian territory will be created automobile, railway, electric power communication," he said.
Hajiyev noted that the project also changes the transport and communication picture in the region as a whole, adding that connecting Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey, it creates the basis for a new corridor in Eurasia, including roads, railways, power lines and digital communications.
He also stressed that the restoration of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan as a result of the 44-day Karabakh war, ensuring control over the part of the Azerbaijani-Iranian border belonging to the country, called the "border of friendship" by the President of Azerbaijan, made it possible to implement this transport and communication project.
"The signing of the memorandum falls on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Iran. An important role in the implementation of this project is played by the relations of friendship, mutual trust and neighborhood that have developed over 30 years between the two countries," he said.
The official expressed confidence that the new corridor will create favorable opportunities for regional cooperation, development and prosperity of the peoples of the region, expansion of trade and economic ties.
Azerbaijan-Iran State Commission
The 15th meeting of the Azerbaijan-Iran State Commission on economic, trade, and humanitarian cooperation was held in Baku on March 11.
Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev and other representatives of the State and Government take part in the meeting from the Azerbaijani side and Roads and Urban Development Minister Rostam Ghasemi and other officials - from the Iranian side.
During the meeting, it was decided that the next meeting of the State Commission for Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran will be held in Tehran.
"Following the meetings, important results were achieved. The increase in trade turnover was especially emphasized," Rostam Ghasemi said.
Ghasemi expressed hope that relations between the two countries will reach an even higher level.
"Considering the geopolitical position of our countries, it is planned to increase the transit potential. Within the North-South corridor, this transit will reach a maximum," he added.
At the same time, Ghasemi stated that a roadmap has been drawn up between the two countries in various fields.
He noted that one of the areas of work of the Iranian government is to strengthen relations with neighboring countries.
"Activation of transport corridors that will connect our countries is in the spotlight," he said.
Ghasemi added that both countries also decided to expand activities in connection with border checkpoints.
In turn, Shahin Mustafayev noted that the two bridges will be built between Azerbaijan and Iran.
Noting that one of the bridges will be built by Azerbaijan, the other by Iran, Mustafayev added that these projects will be implemented under the memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries.
Speaking about bilateral cooperation, the deputy prime minister stated that the level of Azerbaijani-Iranian ties calls for satisfaction, bilateral cooperation develops dynamically.
He mentioned that the trade turnover between the two countries grew by 30 percent even during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that some 2,050 Iranian companies operate successfully in Azerbaijan, enjoying a favorable business environment in the country.
"Iranian companies will also be involved in the restoration work of the liberated territories. These days, they will begin to implement a number of projects," he said.
Additionally, Mustafayev added that Iranian companies are showing great interest in industrial parks in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan.
Noting that necessary conditions will be created for Iranian companies, he stated that the first proposals in this direction have already been received.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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