Azerbaijani leader, top Iranian diplomat meet in Baku
Ilham Aliyev, Javad Zarif discuss bilateral ties, future plans for Azerbaijan-Iran cooperation
Bilateral relations and new chances for collaboration were on the agenda as Azerbaijan’s president received Iran’s foreign minister in the capital Baku on Monday.
Azerbaijan is “very satisfied” with the cooperation level between the two countries, Ilham Aliyev said, recalling that there have been numerous meetings between top officials of the two countries.
“First I want to express my appreciation for our bilateral relations, their level, speed of development and achievements, and new plans,” he said.
“We see very good results in the political area, where two brotherly countries have become much closer over the past several years, in economics, in the area of transportation, energy, and all the projects which today we are focusing on, like the North-South Transportation Corridor and projects related to energy infrastructure are moving forward successfully.”
He underlined the “very positive” 20% growth in cargo transport between Azerbaijan and Iran last year.
“New opportunities with respect to the new situation in the region have opened wide doors for private investors [and] also for governmental structures to cooperate,” Aliyev said, referring to the liberation of occupied territories in Karabakh.
He added that new transportation projects are being discussed, while cooperation on the Khudafarin water reservoir and future plans for the construction of a power station “are already in a very active phase.”
He said work on the Ordubad-Maraza power station project were also progressing “successfully.”
The president invited Iranian companies to take part in the reconstruction of the area recently liberated from Armenian occupation.
“We will be very happy to see companies from Iran among the companies who will participate in the reconstruction of the liberated areas. That will be natural. Because as I said, only friendly countries will be our partners,” said Aliyev.
“And of course, Iranian companies have an advantage because of the close proximity, logistics, and great experience.”
Mohammad Javad Zarif congratulated Azerbaijan on the liberation of Nagorno-Karabakh and its surrounding territories.
“Your leadership and the perseverance of the people of Azerbaijan made this victory possible for you and for the region. And we hope that this will be the beginning of peaceful and normal relations between countries in the region,” the top Iranian diplomat said.
He added that Iranian companies are “ready to engage” in the areas of energy, construction, and agriculture to help create conditions suitable for Azerbaijani people to return to the liberated lands.
“The relations on the two sides of Aras [river] are based on kinship and friendship for all time,” he said.