Iran, Azerbaijan determined to deepen, cement ties, cooperation President of the Islamic Republic of Iran described relations between Tehran and Baku developing, especially in recent years, and emphasised the historical bonds and common religious interests of both countries, saying: “Attempting to develop ties and bonds between the two nations will never be enough when the level history of the interests of the two nations is concerned”.

Dr Hassan Rouhani met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who is visiting Iran to take part in the tripartite summit of Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan, and said: “We are very pleased that today, in addition to bilateral relations between Tehran and Baku, trilateral relations between Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan are also of interest to the officials of the three countries and Tehran and Baku have become a model of multilateral and regional relations”.

Pointing out that the presidents of Iran and Azerbaijan have met ten times in recent years, Dr Rouhani said: “This is a sign of the determination of the officials of the two countries to develop, strengthen and deepen inclusive relations and partnerships”.

The President described meetings and discussions of the high-level delegations of the two countries positive and said: “Business and economic relations between Iran and Azerbaijan are well-developed and well-functioning, and we should try to take advantage of the potentials and capabilities of the two countries to meet the needs of both sides”.

He said the development of economic relations depends on good banking relations and these relations should be developed by the efforts of the authorities of the two countries’ banking officials.

Investment and trade cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan in various fields, including construction of a pharmaceutical and automobile factory by Iran in Azerbaijan, are positive, said Rouhani adding: “The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to cooperate with Azerbaijan in other industrial and agricultural sectors, as well as extra-territorial farming, energy swap in oil and gas, and exploration and exploitation of oil in the Caspian Sea”.

Referring to the necessity of cementing Iran-Azerbaijan cooperation in transit and transportation, the president noted: “The start of the Astara-Astara railway operation is an important step in the development of transit cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan”.

Construction of Rasht-Astara railway, as a joint project between Iran and Azerbaijan, is an important step in developing transit relations between the two countries in the North-South Corridor, continued the President, adding: “This transit line can be used for transportation of goods from the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf to the Caucasus and Eastern Europe”.

“The two countries can make their trade exchanges through central banks with national currencies,” he said, referring to the necessity of using the national currency in trade and economic relations between Iran and Azerbaijan.

Dr Rouhani also referred to the joint cooperation of the two countries in the Caspian Sea oil fields and the development of banking and currency swaps, saying: “The authorities of the joint commissions of the two countries should increase their cooperation in this regard, as they have already been trying to develop relations”.

“Today, we must work more than ever to work towards developing regional cooperation to fight terrorism,” said the president, emphasising the importance of regional stability and security.

Dr Rouhani stated that Iran and Azerbaijan should promote consultations in various political, regional and international fields, saying: “Today, Syria and Yemen are each in conditions and we must restore stability to these countries with political efforts”.

The president said that today, the Muslims of Myanmar, especially the Rohingya people, are suffering from a major catastrophe, and stressed: “It is the duty of all Muslims to help the displaced in this country, and in this regard, coordination and cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan will be very important”.

Settlement of disputes between the countries of the region is possible within the framework of dialogue and international regulations, said the President, describing continuation of disputes detrimental to the people and the countries of the region.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev thanked the invitation of the Islamic Republic of Iran to hold a tripartite summit of the heads of state of Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan, said: “The visit and constant communication of the high ranking officials of Iran and Azerbaijan indicate that the two countries’ relations and cooperation are progressing well”.

Expressing satisfaction with the development of trilateral cooperation between Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani President said: “Development of trilateral relations is in favour of developing, stabilising and deepening of cooperation between the three countries in the field of transportation, the North-South Corridor, and certainly the infrastructure of development of the region, and it will have good results and a good future”.

The Azerbaijani President also said that the process of combatting terrorism in the region was positive and said: “The Islamic Republic of Iran has played a significant role in establishing stability and security in the region and in fighting terrorism”.

Aliyev also referred to the difficult conditions of Muslims in Myanmar, saying: “We are ready to develop cooperation and partnership with Iran to send humanitarian aid to the people of these areas.”

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