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Baku, Tehran eye current state of ties

24 October 2021 10:00 (UTC+04:00)
Baku, Tehran eye current state of ties

By Vafa Ismayilova

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian have discussed the recent development of bilateral ties, the Foreign Ministry has reported.

In a telepohone conversation that took place on October 23, the ministers mainly focused on the current state of bilateral relations.

Having positively assessed the development of events over the past week, the ministers stressed as a mutual positive step the warning by Iran's relevant departments about respect for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, as well as the release of two Iranian drivers by Azerbaijan.

During the telephone conversation, the two officials stressed the importance of continuing the activities of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission, the composition of which was updated by the new Iranian administration. The parties stressed the importance of resolving all disagreements through dialogue.

The ministers also discussed other issues of mutual interest.

Earlier, Baku returned back to Tehran two Iranian citizens, who had been detained for falsifying customs documents. They smuggled the customs border of Azerbaijan, and illegally, without documents, crossed the guarded state border, bypassing checkpoints.

The State Customs Commitee press service reported that on the basis of the principles of humanism, mutual respect and good-neighborliness and demonstrating goodwill, Azerbaijan, in compliance with the existing agreement, on the morning of October 21, returned to Iran the citizens of this country - Barzegar Hagi Jafar Gazanfar and Nouruzi Shahrud Heydar.

Before this step by Baku, Tehran officially banned the movement of Iranian trucks to Karabakh by passing through Azerbaijan's Lachin corridor.

The decision was signed by the director-general of the Office for International Transport and Transit of the Organization of Roads and Transport of Iran.

The organization sent a letter to the trade unions of Iranian international transport companies based on the directive of the Iranian Foreign Ministry dated October 9, 2021.

The decision states that Iranian citizens and drivers are prohibited from entering Karabakh and Lachin corridors, which are the territory of Azerbaijan.

It was noted that as a sign of respect for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, the mentioned cases apply to all Iranian citizens, without exception, who try to go to Karabakh through Armenia.

“It is resolutely recommended that Iranian drivers and Iranian citizens, as a sign of respect for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, not travel to Karabakh through the territory of Armenia, through the Lachin corridor in order to avoid unpleasant situations,” the decision reads.

The decision also strongly warns Iranian private freight companies that issuing documents for trucks to travel to Karabakh is against the law.

The relations earlier turned strained after Baku started charging customs fees for Iran's trucks illegally passing to Karabakh through the Gorus-Gafan road, the only motorway connecting Armenia to Iran.

Baku had to take the step after its relevant protests were ignored by Tehran. The move was ensued by Iran's massive military drills near its border with Azerbaijan. Iran's state circles, officials, MPs and the media used aggressive rhetoric against Azerbaijan, claiming an alleged Israeli presence near its border, which Baku officially dismissed as unfounded.


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