Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov, in a Saturday meeting in Tehran, reiterated their countries’ willingness to strengthen bilateral economic relations.
During the meeting, Zarif and Mammadyarov conferred on various aspects of bilateral relations with a focus on expanding economic cooperation between the two neighboring countries, and exchanged views on the latest developments in the region and the world.
Mammadyarov’s visit to Tehran takes place a few days after an Azeri economic delegation headed by the country’s Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev arrived in Iran for bilateral talks on expansion of economic cooperation.
On Tuesday, Iranian Economy Minister Farhad Dejpasand and his Azerbaijani counterpart Shahin Mustafayev, in a meeting in Tehran, pledged to ink extensive economic agreements between the two countries.
In their meeting, the economy ministers of Iran and Azerbaijan reached an agreement to seal bilateral monetary, financial and banking accords, developing mutual economic cooperation, specially on the completion of the International North–South Transportation Corridor project.
Dejpasand stressed that Iran always considers development of relations with its neighbors, specially Azerbaijan, as one of its strategic policies.
Azerbaijan has a special place in the foreign policy of Iran as it could be witnessed through the numerous meetings between the two countries" presidents over the past five years, the Iranian minister said.
Referring to the insufficient speed of the progress in some joint projects, including the final stages of the Rasht-Astara railway project, Dejpasand proposed to create a special group to monitor the implementation of the agreements signed between the two countries, a suggestion that was welcomed by the Azerbaijani side.
The Iranian economy minister also called for signing a bilateral monetary and financial agreement and the development of banking cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan, saying that the cooperation in economic field should be at the same level as the political relations between the two countries.
Mustafayev, for his part, expressed readiness to sign a monetary and banking agreement as well as to cooperate more on completing the remaining parts of the Rasht-Astara railway project.
The Azerbaijani minister also referred to a 74% increase in trade between the two countries last year, putting the value of the bilateral trade at $450 million, while saying that of a total $450 million, $420 was the value of the Iranian exports to Azerbaijan. He furthermore called for increasing bilateral trade to new levels.
He also underlined the full support of the Azerbaijani government to the Iranian investors in his country, saying that an Iranian car company there has reached the desirable profit-making level.
The Azerbaijani official further added that his country is trying to conclude a new contract with Iranian companies for production of buses there.
“Azerbaijan"s support for Iranian companies and its serious determination to develop cooperation with Iran may be unacceptable to some governments, but as an independent country, we are determined to develop relations with Iran,” Mustafayev further noted.
Iran and Azerbaijan share abundant historical, cultural and religious commonalities and Iran is very serious to further expand ties and cooperation with Azerbaijan, said Governor General of Iran’s West Azerbaijan Province Mohammad Mahdi Shahriyari, in a meeting with a visiting delegation from the Republic of Azerbaijan, back in mid-January.
A week before the January meeting, Azeri Parliament Speaker Ogtay Asadov said that trade exchanges between the two countries have increased to $400 million over the past nine months to December 21 from $257 million in 2017
Asadov made the remarks in a meeting with Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri in Baku.
The top parliamentarian called Iran and Azerbaijan as two friendly states, saying that there exist good conditions for deepening ties based on historical, cultural and religious commonalities.
He underlined the political resolve of the two countries’ leaders for boosting cooperation, and said that the two countries’ presidents have met 12 times over the past five years and the talks focused on national interests of the two nations.
Source: Farsnews - Date: (09 March 2019)