President: Great opportunities emerge for regional co-op after Karabakh war [UPDATE]
By Ayya Lmahamad
President Ilham Aliyev has said that great opportunities have emerged for regional cooperation after the second Karabakh war with Armenia in 2020.
He made the remarks during a video-format meeting with the delegation led by Iran's Road and Urban Development Minister, co-chair of Azerbaijan-Iran Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation Rostam Ghasemi on January 25.
3+3 cooperation platform
“After the Patriotic War, great opportunities have emerged for regional cooperation. After the war, Iranian-Azerbaijani relations have expanded in this direction. A very promising 3+3 cooperation platform has been put in place to establish regional cooperation. The first meeting has already taken place. I am confident that these meetings will be held on a regular basis in the interests of countries of the region,” he said.
Aliyev expressed confidence that Iranian companies will begin to work actively in the liberated lands in the near future. He stressed that the relevant instructions have been given to Azerbaijan's Economy Ministry in this regard.
The president underlined that the Iranian delegation flew directly from Iran to Fuzuli [into Fuzuli International Airport] and visited both Fuzuli and Zangilan and recalled that during the occupation Armenia destroyed all cities and villages there.
Positive news from Armenia
He noted that the construction has now begun on the liberated territories - on a large area of more than 10,000 square kilometers.
“Yesterday, you also got acquainted with the work being done to establish the Zangazur corridor. Both roads and railways are already being successfully built, and we are receiving positive news from Armenia. Armenia plans to start this work on its side as well,” he said.
Aliyev expressed hope that the post-war period will open new opportunities for the whole region, adding that Iran’s contribution to this work is also very important.
New page in Azerbaijan-Iran ties
The president added that other issues, such as the creation of the North-South transport corridor, the construction of the Khudafarin Hydroelectric Power Stations, the construction of a bridge over Astarachay, will certainly be among the priorities of the intergovernmental commission.
“I must also say that my meeting with the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran in late November was very successful and important, as it opens new opportunities for Iranian-Azerbaijani relations. This means the opening of a new page in our relations, a page of friendship and brotherhood,” he said.
In turn, the minister congratulated Azerbaijan on its success in returning the territories and on the victory in the war.
“As you mentioned, the meeting between you and Mr. President will open a new page in the relations between the two countries,” he said.
Noting the visit to the liberated lands, the minister stated that the delegation got acquainted with the construction and reconstruction work carried out there.
“During the 13th government, i.e. the presidency of Mr. Ebrahim Raisi, our state intends to expand cooperation with all neighboring countries, especially with the state and people of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which has more cultural, historical and social ties with Iran,” he said.
During the conversation, the sides exchanged views on various issues of bilateral relations.
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