November 29, 2021 11:30 am (UTC + 04:00 am)
By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev held one-on-one talks with his Iranian, Turkish, Pakistani and Tajik counterparts on the sidelines of the 15th Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit held in the capital Ashgabat Turkmenistan, November 28.
The leaders discussed bilateral economic and trade relations, cooperation within international organizations and energy security during their meetings.
During their meeting, President Ilham Aliyev and his Iranian counterpart Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi focused on the current state of bilateral relations. They described the summit as a very good opportunity for the two leaders to meet.
“I am very happy that such a great opportunity presents itself for the meeting. This is our first meeting. I am convinced that this meeting will give a very strong impetus to the development of Iranian-Azerbaijani relations, ”Aliyev said.
Speaking about recent contacts between senior Azerbaijani and Iranian officials, Raisi noted that positive discussions have taken place between Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister. He called the visit of Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Musatafayev to Tehran very successful.
“I am convinced that such contacts and discussions will contribute to the development of relations between our two countries. The problems which arise in the relations between our countries can be solved within the framework of such contacts and visits ”, he declared.
Raisi reiterated Iran’s “transparent and unambiguous” stance on the Karabakh issue and stressed that Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity should not be compromised.
“The position of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the Karabakh issue was also transparent and unambiguous. The position of all officials of the organs of the Iranian state, starting with the supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution, was that the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan should not be compromised and that the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan had to be guaranteed. We are confident that the talks and discussions between the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan with their Iranian counterparts will deepen, progress and strengthen our relations, ”he said. he declares.
President Aliyev said that Azerbaijan and Iran are writing the modern history of their relations.
“Our relations are also quite broad. Our peoples share a common history and culture. It is a very beautiful field. It is on this basis that we are writing the modern history of bilateral relations, ”he said.
The parties praised the high level of relations and stressed the existence of good neighborly relations and friendship between the two countries.
During the conversation, the parties discussed Azerbaijani-Iranian cooperation within the North-South Transport Corridor, as well as the Zangazur Transport Corridor. It was pointed out that following the implementation of the Zangazur Corridor, Iran would also benefit by using this transport hub.
The two leaders noted that the regional geopolitical situation had changed after Azerbaijan’s historic victory in the second Karabakh war, and stressed the importance of the participation of the countries of the region in solving regional problems.
The presidents also discussed the issues of creating an energy hub between the two countries, as well as between Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran. They focused on cooperation, economic and trade relations within international organizations.
During the conversation, the presidents reaffirmed that Iranian-Azerbaijani relations are historical in nature and emphasized the friendly relations between the two peoples.
At the end of the meeting, the “Agreement defining the modalities of transit of natural gas through the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran” was signed with the participation of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Iran.
Aliyev also met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ashgabat.
They recalled that the friendly and fraternal relations between the two countries are of the nature of a strategic alliance.
Parties referred to the discussions held in the ECOn and praised the organization’s Turkish presidency during the past period.
The two presidents focused on the further development of relations between the two countries in various fields, as well as the ongoing processes and the current post-war situation in the South Caucasus, energy and transport issues. .
In a meeting with his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon, the parties praised the bilateral political ties.
They exchanged views on expanding economic and trade relations, as well as exploring transport possibilities and strengthening bilateral cooperation in international organizations.
A meeting between President Aliyev and his Pakistani counterpart Arif Alvi in Ashgabat praised bilateral relations and underlined Pakistan’s firm and principled stance in relation to Armenia’s past military aggression against Azerbaijan.
Parties stressed the role of the intergovernmental commission in developing relations, noting that its next meeting will be held soon.
The parties also noted the importance of the recent high-level visits between the two countries. At the same time, the Presidents exchanged views on issues related to joint cooperation within international organizations. They expressed concern over growing Islamophobic tendencies around the world.
The importance of increasing people-to-people contacts between the two countries and strengthening cooperation in tourism, business, culture, science and other fields was underlined during the meeting.
The Pakistani president once again thanked the Heydar Aliyev Foundation for the projects implemented in his country.