Tehran, Moscow, Baku to Boost Anti-Terror Fight

Tehran, Moscow, Baku to Boost Anti-Terror FightTehran, Moscow, Baku to Boost Anti-Terror Fight

Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan agreed to enhance trilateral cooperation in various areas, particularly transit and terrorism.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Russian and Azeri counterparts, Sergey Lavrov and Elmar Mammadyarov respectively, arrived at the agreement in a meeting in Baku on Thursday.  After their meeting, the three sides issued a statement outlining the prospects for trilateral cooperation, IRNA reported. According to the statement, the three countries will make efforts to encourage economic, transit, energy, cultural, tourism, commercial, customs and consular cooperation, based on mutual benefit.

The statement stresses the need to open safe and reliable transit routes among the states to diversify the ways of transporting goods and creating new opportunities for development. It also underlined the importance of providing greater support for the development of the North-South transport corridor. The North-South transport corridor will connect Northern Europe to Southeast Asia, serving as a bridge to connect the railroads of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia.

The three officials committed to continue efforts "to keep the Caspian Sea as the sea of peace, friendship, security and cooperation" and called for accelerating the finalization of the convention on the legal regime of the Caspian Sea.

The legal status of the Caspian Sea is a matter of dispute among its littoral states, namely Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

The leaders of the five states have already held four meetings to resolve legal issues. The last of them held in the Russian city of Astrakhan in September 2014 was more significant than previous summits held in Turkmenistan in 2002, Iran in 2007 and Azerbaijan in 2010 as the parties managed to come to broad agreements on how to share the resource-rich body of water. 

In order to counter new threats against regional peace and stability, Zarif, Lavrov and Mammadyarov expressed readiness for engaging in closer cooperation against terrorism, extremism and transnational organized crime, especially drug trafficking.

The statement also noted that the three sides will begin preparations for holding the first meeting of their heads of state in Baku in the near future.

Earlier on Thursday, Zarif met Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and the two officials reviewed bilateral ties and regional developments.