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Azerbaijani, Iranian Top Diplomats Discuss Regional Projects

By Nigar Bayramli December 7, 2023

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Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov met with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on the sidelines of the meeting of the Foreign Ministers Council of the Caspian countries held in Moscow, on December 5, 2023. / Mfa.Gov.Az

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian have discussed relations between the two neighboring countries.

The two top diplomats discussed bilateral and regional issues, the current situation in the area as well as the contribution of recent high-level meetings and inter-institutional contacts to the development of relations, within the framework of the Moscow meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Caspian Littoral Countries held on December 5, according to Report.

They discussed plans for the development and expansion of transport and communication corridors in the region.

The minsters noted the importance of speeding up activities within the framework of the memorandum of understanding between the governments of Azerbaijan and Iran on the creation of new communication links between the Eastern Zangazur and Nakhchivan regions of Azerbaijan through Iran.

Amir-Abdollahian said after the meeting that the Tehran-Baku ties are on the right track and the two sides are seeking to develop balanced relations in all fields.

“Tehran and Baku are seeking to have balanced relations in the economic, cultural, political, security, and tourism sectors, and in the sectors where the speed of progress has been slower, work will be pursued more quickly,” the Iranian minister said.

Referring to the recent meeting of the Azerbaijani and Iranian presidents, the top Iranian diplomat said the authorities of the two countries have reached a good agreement for the comprehensive development of relations in the economic sector, the opening of corridors, trade cooperation, and implementation of incomplete joint projects.

Amir-Abdollahian further underlined that the two countries are seeking to activate their relations in the economic, cultural, political, security, and tourism sectors to accelerate the pace of bilateral cooperation.

On December 6, the commander of the Iranian regular army's navy, Rear Admiral Shahram Irani, visited Baku to expand ties with Azerbaijan in the areas of defense and maritime diplomacy.

At a meeting with Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov and Naval Commander Subhan Bakirov, the Iranian commander said that his visit also aimed at expanding ties at all levels.

Irani congratulated the defense minister on the restoration of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, as well as on the achievements of the Azerbaijani Army, and expressed confidence that such meetings would make positive contributions to bilateral military cooperation.

For his turn, the Azerbaijani minister noted that Azerbaijan-Iran relations are based on ancient historical roots, and emphasized the importance of mutual visits to further develop military cooperation.

During the meeting, detailed views were exchanged on the development prospects of military cooperation between the two countries, regional security, and a number of other topics.

The Iranian and Azerbaijani defense officials also visited Azerbaijani naval units and higher military education centers.

On October 4, Iran and Azerbaijan reached a preliminary agreement on holding joint exercises of their naval forces in the Caspian Sea.

The development comes amid intense diplomacy between Iran and Azerbaijan to resolve recent tensions in their relations. Iran has recently been trying to mend relations with Azerbaijan, which were strained in the recent years.

Tehran views Azerbaijani-Israeli cooperation as a security threat, and also opposes Azerbaijan’s plans to establish the Zangazur corridor, a transportation link connecting mainland Azerbaijan to its Nakhchivan exclave through southern Armenia, concerned that it would sever Iran's 40-km land border with Armenia.

The establishment of the corridor was agreed upon as part of the tripartite statement that ended the 2020 war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Yerevan committed to ensuring the safety of transport links between the western regions of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan, allowing unimpeded movement of citizens, vehicles, and goods in both directions.

Diplomatic activities at the Azerbaijani embassy in Tehran were completely suspended following the January attack on the embassy. On January 27, an Iranian national carried out an armed attack on Azerbaijan embassy in Tehran, killing an Azerbaijani security officer and injuring two others.

However, after several months, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry received appeals from Iran to restore the work of the Azerbaijani diplomatic mission in Tehran.