Middle East

Iran says 'misunderstandings' with Azerbaijan cleared

Foreign ministers of Iran, Azerbaijan discuss bilateral ties, Karabakh conflict

Syed Zafar Mehdi   | 04.07.2022
Iran says 'misunderstandings' with Azerbaijan cleared

TEHRAN, Iran

Iran and Azerbaijan said Monday they are on course to accelerate their bilateral relations after overcoming their “misunderstandings.”  

The announcement was made by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian during a joint presser with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov in Tehran. 

The top Iranian diplomat said the presidents of Iran and Azerbaijan have met twice in the past ten months, more recently on the sidelines of the Caspian Sea littoral states summit in Turkmenistan, describing the talks between them as "constructive" and "forward-looking." 

In Monday's meeting, Amir-Abdollahian said the issue of territorial integrity of countries, including Azerbaijan, was emphasized. 

He said Tehran reiterates its support for the "peaceful settlement" of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Karabakh region based on the "principles of international law.” 

Karabakh was liberated from the Armenian occupation after almost three decades last year, but Armenia has continued to make territorial claims on the region. 

Amir-Abdollahian reaffirmed Iran's readiness to help resolve the dispute between the two neighboring states through dialogue "based on respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of the two parties." 

The Iranian minister also backed regional formats, saying he agreed during a recent visit to Ankara that a tripartite meeting between Iran, Türkiye, and Azerbaijan at the level of foreign ministers will be held in Tehran, besides an expert-level meeting in the 3+3 format. 

The dates of the two summits, as well as Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's planned visit to Tehran, are expected to be decided during Bayramov's stay in Tehran. 

The two sides, Amir-Abdollahian said, also discussed bilateral economic ties, describing energy and transit as "two key areas of cooperation" between Tehran and Baku, and announcing that Iran's oil minister will be visiting Baku this week. 

The issue of pollution of rivers in Iran's northeastern provinces bordering Azerbaijan also figured in their discussions, with both sides pledging to resolve the issue at the level of experts. 

Bayramov, in his remarks, said relations between the two sides are based on "cultural commonalities,” stressing that meetings between Aliyev and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi have paved the way for the expansion of Tehran-Baku ties. 

He said the two sides discussed expanded economic cooperation, stressing the importance of the North-South corridor as well as the Persian Gulf-Black Sea corridor. 

The top Azerbaijani diplomat said his country seeks normalization of ties with Armenia and has taken steps in that direction by submitting a five-point peace plan as well as proposals of transit between the two countries. 

Bayramov said the reconstruction of liberated lands in Karabakh was Baku's "top priority,” announcing that Iranian companies will be undertaking reconstruction work of a hospital and a school in the region. 

He further said that his government supports Iran's position on regional formats, including the 3+3 format.

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