FM: Azerbaijan-Iran trade turnover up by 18pct in 1H2022 [PHOTO]
By Vugar Khalilov
Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran has gone up by 18 percent in the first half of 2022, Azernews reports, citing Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov.
Azerbaijan's top diplomat made the remarks at a meeting in Tehran with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian during his official visit to the country, the report adds.
Bayramov stated that trade turnover between the two nations climbed by 30 percent in the previous year and by 18 percent in the first half of 2022, adding that there is still room for growth in this area.
The minister expressed gratitude for the invitation and hospitality. Recalling the Iranian foreign minister's visit to Azerbaijan in December 2021, Bayramov emphasized the importance of reciprocal visits for the development of bilateral ties. It was underlined that having two meetings between the country's presidents in such a short period of time is an indication of the improvement of ties between Azerbaijan and Iran.
The importance of Azerbaijan-Iran energy cooperation, particularly the Khudafarin and Giz Galasi projects, was emphasized. Furthermore, the significance of the North-South International Transport Corridor, where excellent regional cooperation exists between the two nations, particularly in the sphere of transportation, was highlighted.
The parties underlined the importance of the ongoing construction of the railway terminal in Astara, as well as the construction of the bridge over the Astara River.
Bayramov briefed his counterpart about Azerbaijan's post-conflict rehabilitation activities in the liberated lands, noting with satisfaction the participation of Iranian firms in this process. The minister also highlighted Azerbaijan's efforts to promote regional peace, stating that the country is ready for normalization of relations with Armenia based on strict adherence to international law norms.
In turn, Amir-Abdollahian thanked Bayramov for accepting the invitation and visiting Iran.
He noted with delight the accomplishments and documents signed during the meeting of the two nations' leaders. The minister said that Azerbaijan occupied a vital role in Iran's foreign policy and that cooperation between the two countries in different domains, including economics, commerce, transport, and energy, is successfully developing.
Amir-Abdollahian stressed that Iran is determined to implement the memorandum of understanding on the establishment of new communication links between Azerbaijan's Eastern Zangezur economic region and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic via Iran.
The parties also addressed multilateral cooperation, regional concerns, and other areas of mutual interest. The need for retaining the 3+3 regional model was emphasized. Simultaneously, the importance of collaboration in the Turkey-Azerbaijan-Iran framework was emphasized, and it was appreciated that the next meeting in this format would be held by Iran.
Furthermore, Bayramov met with Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi on July 4, 2022, as part of his official visit to Iran.
Raisi recalled with delight his November 28 meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Ashgabat, sending heartfelt greetings to his counterpart.
Underlining the deep roots of the Iran-Azerbaijan relations, Raisi said that cultural and historical ties between the two nations are based on the desire of the two nations. He emphasized the need for increasing commercial turnover to ensure the continued growth of ties, noting that bilateral relations would also assist in regional cooperation.
Bayramov, for his part, spoke about the two nations' historical, religious, and cultural links, and emphasized the importance of the summits of the heads of states for the development of relations. In this regard, he emphasized the significance of two previous meetings between the two presidents.
The minister stated that productive conversations with his counterpart were held in Iran in line with the orders and agreements established at the meeting of the two countries' presidents in Ashgabat.
Bayramov also noted the two nations' collaborative initiatives in the domains of energy, transportation, and communication. The significance of establishing new communication linkages between Azerbaijan’s East Zangazur economic zone and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, as well as the fulfillment of collaborative projects in the liberated regions, was stressed in this respect.
The parties discussed the present regional situation, emphasizing the need for preserving regional peace and security, as well as regional cooperation in this regard.
In the same vein, Bayramov met with Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran on July 4, 2022, as part of his official visit to Iran. Bayramov stressed the importance of reciprocal trips in the development of bilateral ties, recalling his December 2020 visit to Iran and the friendly meeting during the visit.
The Azerbaijani top diplomat emphasized the importance of high-level meetings and visits of delegations in the development of mutual ties between the two neighboring countries. He recalled the vice-speaker of the Iranian Parliament's participation at the Baku conference of the Non-Aligned Movement Parliamentary Network, which was recently held in Azerbaijan.
Bayramov briefed the opposing party on the present regional situation, Azerbaijan's plans for establishing peace and stability in the post-conflict period, and the efforts made in that regard. He added that the liberation of Azerbaijan's 132-kilometer border with Iran from Armenian occupation opens up new chances for collaboration.
In reply, referring to the Azerbaijani-Iranian cultural and religious ties, Ghalibaf noted that developing connections with neighboring countries is a priority for Iran. He emphasized that his country is keen on increasing economic and trade partnerships with Azerbaijan in this regard.
Ghalibaf stressed that Iran is always willing to help create communication linkages between the Eastern Zangezur Economic Region and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and Iran is resolved to see these initiatives through.
Moreover, he said that Iran is interested in participating in the rehabilitation and restoration of Azerbaijan's Eastern Zangazur and Karabakh economic regions.
Other regional topics of mutual concern were also covered at the meeting, and the significance of maintaining regional peace and stability was underscored.
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