Aliyev: Ties "Exceptional" Under Rouhani’s Watch

Aliyev: Ties "Exceptional" Under Rouhani’s Watch

The Azeri head of state described the first four-year tenure of his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, which was renewed in the May 19 vote, as the golden era of Baku-Tehran relations.
"Bilateral ties have been on an upward trend since Azerbaijan's independence, but the past four years have been exceptional," Ilham Aliyev told Rouhani on the phone on Monday.
Azerbaijan declared independence after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Aliyev said his side is keen to deepen cooperation and trade with the Islamic Republic and called for accelerating the implementation of agreements previously signed between the two sides, president.ir reported.
"Orders have been issued to expedite the projects. The Rasht-Astara railroad deal will soon be finalized," Aliyev said.
Azerbaijan has reportedly agreed to invest $500 million to help Iran build the line.
Once completed, it is expected to increase trade between Iran and Azerbaijan from 600,000 tons to 5 million tons per year, dramatically boosting bilateral exchanges from the current $500 million per year.
Rouhani expressed optimism over the prospects for closer relations. "The firm resolve of the two governments and strong similarities between the two nations have laid a solid foundation for deepening bilateral ties," he told the Azeri leader.
Aliyev's has visited Tehran three times in the past three years.
On his second trip in February 2016, the two sides signed 11 memorandums of understanding and agreements to promote mutual cooperation in a wide range of fields.
He last visited Iran at the head of a high-level delegation in early March and conferred with the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei who called for a tenfold increase in bilateral trade.    


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