President Aliyev: Very important steps to be taken in Baku for future implementation of North-South project
Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug.7
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has expressed satisfaction with the successful development of economic relations between Iran and Azerbaijan.
During the expanded meeting between Azerbaijani and Iranian delegations with presence of both countries’ presidents, it was noted that the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran has increased by 66 percent, he said.
This is a very good indicator, said President Aliyev when making statements for the press jointly with Hassan Rouhani following the ceremony of signing documents in Baku Aug.7.
“Given that economic and financial crisis still continues in the world, I believe that great efforts were needed and were made in order to get results under these conditions,” said the president.
The intergovernmental joint commission is operating successfully, said President Aliyev, adding that today, the parties exchanged views on the future economic cooperation.
“I am glad that yesterday, on the eve of the visit, a foundation stone was laid for the plant for cars to be manufactured by Iran Khodro company in Azerbaijan’s Neftchala city,” he said, adding that this is a very good example of cooperation between the two countries.
The plant will produce over 10,000 cars every year, said President Aliyev, adding that this is a new form of cooperation.
The president said that the parties exchanged views today on joint activities in other spheres as well.
In particular, it is planned to construct a medicine-producing plant operating with Iranian technology in Azerbaijan in the near future, he added.
“Naturally, new opportunities are opening for resolving the energy and transportation problems,” said President Aliyev.
“I am glad that the Imishli-Parsabad electricity line was merged. This line will positively affect the two countries’ relations and regional cooperation,” he added.
The president pointed out that very important steps have been taken for the creation of the North-South international transportation corridor as well.
President Aliyev pointed out that after his visit to Iran in February, he gave relevant instructions and they are being fulfilled.
“As I have promised, Azerbaijan will extend its railway to Iranian borders by late 2016. At the same time, the construction of the bridge across the Astara River with participation of Iranian and Azerbaijani officials has already started and the major part of the work has been completed,” added the president.
A memorandum was signed today in order to speed up the implementation of the North-South corridor project and Azerbaijan intends to participate in the future financing of this project, said President Aliyev.
He pointed out that this issue, as well as the energy matters will be discussed during the first summit of Iranian, Russian and Azerbaijani presidents Aug.8.
The trilateral format is a new initiative and this is a very important step, added the president.
“Naturally, the bilateral relations are the basis of this format. Azerbaijan has very good relations with Iran and Russia. I know that Russian-Iranian relations are also at a very good level,” said President Aliyev.
Therefore, creation of the trilateral cooperation format is natural, he said, adding that history, geography, as well as joint projects are the basis of this initiative, according to the president.
“The North-South international transportation corridor is an important project not only for our countries, but also for continents. Tomorrow, very important steps will be taken for the future implementation of this project,” he added.
He noted that a wide spectrum of issues have been discussed in the bilateral format and there are very good prospects in the sphere of tourism.
Ilham Aliyev said that Iranian citizens can travel to Azerbaijan with simplified visa regime, he said, adding that the Nakhchivan-Tabriz-Mashhad railway is to be opened too.
There is a very good situation with air transport, and the number of flights is increasing, added the president.
Further, President Aliyev said that the environmental matters, as well as the Caspian Sea issues were discussed between the two parties and there are no disagreements over the discussed issues.
“Our main purpose is to develop the Azerbaijani-Iranian relations, to protect and ensure our peoples interests and to strengthen our political, economic and humanitarian relations,” he added.
President Rouhani’s current visit to Azerbaijan is a very important step taken in this sphere, he said.
“I once again express gratitude to you for visiting Azerbaijan and wish success to you and the brotherly Iranian people,” said President Aliyev.