Tehran, Baku Determined to Develop Wide-Ranging Ties

Tehran, Baku Determined to Develop Wide-Ranging TiesTehran, Baku Determined to Develop Wide-Ranging Ties

Iranian authorities are determined to boost multifaceted ties with the Republic of Azerbaijan, President Hassan Rouhani said in a meeting with Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Tehran on Saturday. 
“Major projects are being jointly conducted by the two countries … The Rasht-Astara Railroad is an important step for the benefit of the two nations and the region,” he said, referring to the Iran-Azerbaijan rail project linking the two northern Iranian cities, which would complete the long sought-after International North–South Transport Corridor. 
He also highlighted bilateral cooperation in building dams and power plants, calling for efforts to fully implement the related agreements. 
“There are also various projects that we can pursue trilaterally [with Russia] and multilaterally,” Rouhani added. 
Mammadyarov noted that “there are no obstacles to expanding Tehran-Baku political, economic, cultural and social relations".
He pointed to the Rasht-Astara Railroad as an important and strategic project, the completion of which would better connect Iran to Azerbaijan and Russia. 



NAM Summit 

The Azeri foreign minister also extended the formal invitation of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev for Rouhani to attend the Non-Aligned Movement Summit that is scheduled to be hosted by Baku in June.
Non-Aligned Movement is a group of 120 states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. 
On the same day, Mammadyarov also met his counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, to discuss bilateral and regional issues. 
According to a statement by the Azeri Foreign Ministry, the two diplomats exchanged views about tourism and culture cooperation as well as collaboration within the framework of international organizations such as UNESCO. 
They also talked of a possible meeting between the foreign ministers of NAM countries prior to the upcoming summit. 
“Iran sees the security and development of Azerbaijan as its own security and development, and its interests lie in close relations with Baku,” ISNA quoted Zarif as saying, citing the Azeri Foreign Ministry. 
Zarif also called for the resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through peaceful dialogue and on the basis of respect for the countries’ sovereignty. 
Nagorno-Karabakh is a territorial and ethnic conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over a disputed region.

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