Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran-Azerbaijan relations continue to move in a positive direction and the two countries` officials intend to boost mutual ties, Iran's ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohsen Pak-Ayeen told Trend news agency on March 4.
The ambassador went on to say that, the two sides benefit from mutual cooperation and friendship.
Commenting on the visits of high-ranking delegations from the two sides during the last year Pak-Ayeen said that it is a sign of mutual trust between the two countries. He also noted that the senior officials` visits will continue.
Pak-Ayeen also underlined importance of the four active border checkpoints between the two countries, saying that Iran is a safe, economic and close route for Azerbaijan to access Europe, Asia, the Persian Gulf and even Africa. He remarked that both Iran and Azerbaijan will benefit joint investment in transit area.
The ambassador said that every year about a million of Azerbaijanis arrive in Iran, mainly for treatment.
"If the two countries open joint facilities in the border areas, the visits also will increase," he added.
Pak-Ayeen also underlined importance of the 9th Joint Iran-Azerbaijan Cooperation Commission meeting which is scheduled to be held in Baku, saying that the two sides are negotiating to set a date for the session. Iran's foreign policy is based on expanding relations with neighboring countries and effective presence in the region for boosting stability and security, he noted.
Commenting on the unique historic, cultural and religious commonalities between Iran and Azerbaijan, Pak-Ayeen said that importance of the mutual relations between the two countries has increased since president Hassan Rouhani took office in Iran.
In October 2012, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad traveled to Baku to attend the 12th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). The Iranian and Azerbaijani presidents met on the sidelines of the summit, where both leaders reiterated the necessity for exploring new avenues to develop bilateral ties and cooperation.
According to data from the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, the trade turnover between the two countries in 2013 amounted to $281.03 million, which is 6.13 percent higher than the 2012. The figure stood at $263.785 in 2012. Iran imported $73.347 million worth of goods from Azerbaijan during the 2013, while the country's exports to Azerbaijan stood at $207.683 million in the same period.
In the first eleven months of the 2013, Iran's trade turnover with Azerbaijan stood at $470 million ($448 million exports and $22 million imports), according to the Iran's customs administration's latest report. Statistics of the Iran's customs administration are based on official rate of rial/USD which is different from the free market rate.
The U.S. dollar was sold at the price of 31,000 rials on the free market on March 4, while the official price of the USD stood at 24,951 rials.
Edited by C.N.