Azerbaijan, Baku, July 20 /Trend/
The Today's Zaman newspaper published an interview with Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Social and Political Department Chief Ali Hasanov. Ali Hasanov said that the opinion that Iran imposes a danger to Azerbaijan is a misunderstanding that emerged due to the fact that the journalist incorrectly understood him.
"During a meeting with the Turkish journalists, they raised the visa issue, and I said that both Turkey and Iran have abolished the visa regime with Azerbaijan. For mutual lifting of visa regime, we have to do it at the same time with regards to both countries. And for this, Azerbaijan needs to be ready for this from a technical point of view," Hasanov told Trend on Wednesday.
Hasanov said the checkpoints on the Azerbaijani-Iranian and Azerbaijani-Turkish borders and the checkpoint in Nakhchivan are not yet ready for mass flow of citizens in the visa-free regime from a technical point of view.
"The citizen inspection system at border posts is also not ready for it. You know that for a long time, the UN and other international organizations have been informing that narcotics trafficking is carried out from Afghanistan through Iran to Azerbaijan and from here they are delivered to Russia and other countries. There is also a problem with the delivery of drugs to Iran from the territory of uncontrolled Nagorno-Karabakh.
Therefore, Azerbaijan is not yet ready to eliminate the visa regime with Turkey and Iran in terms of safety and regulation of migration processes, but the talks on a threat appeared because the journalist wrongly understood me. From a technical point of view, Azerbaijan is not ready to lift the visa regime with these two states, which is linked with the checkpoint, migration issues, as well as the issue of state security," said Hasanov.
"We do not have any concern with lifting visa requirements for Turks," Hasanov said, adding, however, that "Iran strongly objected to that. They [Iranians] issued a threat to block the corridor linking Azerbaijan to Nakhchivan," Today's Zaman reported quoting Hasanov.