Zarif Discusses Bilateral, Regional Coop. With Azerbaijan’s President

Zarif Discusses Bilateral, Regional Coop. With Azerbaijan’s President
Zarif Discusses Bilateral, Regional Coop. With Azerbaijan’s President

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is on a regional tour of Caucasian countries, met Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in Baku on Monday.  
He congratulated Aliyev on Azerbaijan’s recent victory in reclaiming the occupied territories of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the Foreign Ministry’s website reported. 
The disputed areas were occupied by Armenian forces for decades, but were liberated after weeks of fiery conflict that led to a ceasefire in mid-November brokered by Russia. 
Zarif expressed Iran’s readiness to actively collaborate in the reconstruction of liberated areas. 
He said Iran could provide assistance in various sectors, including construction, technical and engineering services, electricity, agriculture, extraterritorial cultivation, mine clearing and restoration of historical buildings. 
The foreign minister also welcomed the six-party regional cooperation initiative recently put forward by the presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey, saying Iran is ready to participate in any joint effort to help peace and stability in the region.  
The proposed platform would include Iran, Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.
Zarif also expressed satisfaction with the results of the 14th meeting of Iran-Azerbaijan Commission on Economic Cooperation, adding that conditions are favorable for a hike in bilateral economic cooperation. 
Aliyev appreciated the Islamic Republic’s stances during the recent regional developments, highlighting the current positive atmosphere for the expansion of relations in all sectors. 
He also welcomed the participation of Iranian firms in the reconstruction of Nagorno-Karabakh regions.
The Azerbaijani president commended Iran’s view of the six-party initiative, saying the platform would serve peace and common interests of regional countries. 
Aliyev finally voiced approval for plans to hold trilateral Iran-Azerbaijan-Russia and Iran-Azerbaijan-Turkey meetings in the future.



Significant Juncture 

Zarif later met his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov to discuss the most important issues of shared interest as well as bilateral and regional developments.   
He highlighted the importance of the post-liberation era as a significant juncture for helping establish peace and stability in the region and for securing the interests of all parties.
According to Zarif, the current peace in the region is a great opportunity for boosting bilateral cooperation in transit and activating east-west and north-south trade corridors.  
“Iran does not consider any limits to cooperation with Azerbaijan and various economic sectors in Iran are fully prepared for active participation in the economic projects of the neighboring country,” he said. 
Bayramov hailed the friendly Tehran-Baku ties and appreciated Iran’s support for Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity during the recent conflicts.
He added that improving economic cooperation with Iran is a major priority of Baku.
Caspian Sea collaboration and joint efforts in water, culture, transit and international sectors as well as trilateral cooperation with Turkey were among other topics of discussion between the two diplomats. 
The Iranian foreign minister will leave Baku for Moscow on the second leg of his tour. He will later pay a visit to Armenia, Georgia and Turkey. The regional tour is mainly aimed at discussing regional cooperation and strengthening mutual ties. 

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