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Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economy Shahin  Mustafayev (L) and Iranian Telecoms Minister of Mahmoud Vaezi (C) attend a joint business forum  in Urmia on Feb. 23.
Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economy Shahin  Mustafayev (L) and Iranian Telecoms Minister of Mahmoud Vaezi (C) attend a joint business forum  in Urmia on Feb. 23.

Azerbaijan Delegation Attends Joint Business Forum

Azerbaijan Delegation Attends Joint Business Forum

Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev entered Ardebil Province in northwest Iran on Wednesday to take part in a business forum.
Heading a 50-member economic delegation, the minister discussed ways of expanding transactions with Iran, particularly in the non-oil sector. 
“Tehran-Baku annual bilateral trade currently stands at $500 million. This is while the two sides have ample grounds for increasing their economic and commercial ties,” Mustafayev was quoted as saying in the city of Sareyn by IRNA. 
Iranian Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi who co-chairs the Iran-Azerbaijan Economic Commission with Mustafayev announced that Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev is scheduled to visit Iran in less than 10 days at the invitation of President Hassan Rouhani.
“This will be the eighth meeting of the two presidents since Rouhani took office in August 2013. Drafts for 10 memoranda of understanding have been prepared during the Azeri delegation’s two-day stay in Iran. These will be signed by presidents Aliyev and Rouhani in Tehran,” Vaezi said. 
The two sides agreed for visas to be issued for Iranians at the border in the near future.
A second joint business forum was held on Thursday in Urmia, the capital of the Iranian West Azarbaijan Province.  
On Thursday, chairman of Azerbaijan Railways, Javid Qurbanov, visited a rail bridge on Astrachay River. The bridge is part of the so-called Astara-Astara Railroad to connect Azerbaijan’s rail network to Iran. The railroad is expected to become operational by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2017).
The route runs 8 kilometers in Azerbaijan up to the common border from where it extends 2 km into the Iranian soil. The Astara-Astara project is part of a major global transit route called the International North-South Transportation Corridor, which is meant to connect Northern Europe with Southeast Asia.
Soon after the border project is complete, Tehran and Baku will start working on its extension to the city of Rasht in northern Gilan Province. Azerbaijan has agreed to invest $500 million to build the railroad that is one of the main rail links in INSTC.

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