Ilham Aliyev: Iran-Azerbaijan relations are of great importance for world

Politics Materials 29 March 2018 13:48 (UTC +04:00)
Today, the Iranian-Azerbaijani relations are of great importance not only for the two countries, but also for the region and the world, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said March 29 addressing the Azerbaijan-Iran business forum in Baku, held with participation of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani
Ilham Aliyev: Iran-Azerbaijan relations are of great importance for world

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 29


Today, the Iranian-Azerbaijani relations are of great importance not only for the two countries, but also for the region and the world, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said March 29 addressing the Azerbaijan-Iran business forum in Baku, held with participation of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani.

“Dear President Hassan Rouhani, dear guests, ladies and gentlemen. President Rouhani is finishing the official visit to Azerbaijan. We can say with full confidence that the visit was very successful and had excellent results."

"The Iran-Azerbaijan ties of friendship and brotherhood are at the highest level today. The talks, discussions held yesterday once again confirm this. We cooperate very actively in political, economic and all other spheres. We regularly hold meetings with President Rouhani. We held 11 meetings over the past four years. This figure itself shows how closely we cooperate and what kind of mutual trust exists between us. And this is natural, because our peoples have lived and created together for centuries,” the head of Azerbaijani state said.

“The common history and culture that unite us are the main factors for our current ties. We are very pleased today with the rapid development of these ties. With such a high level of political ties, we, of course, can implement any economic and transport projects, and we do it. We personally control all the instructions. I am glad that the members of the intergovernmental commission, all the officials who carry out these instructions, honorably fulfill their official duties. Today, the Iran-Azerbaijan relations are of great importance not only for the two countries, but also for the region and, I can say, for the world, because the projects implemented at our initiative are of great importance for the entire region, the Eurasian continent,” President Aliyev noted.

He said a broad exchange of views on development of trade relations was held recently.

“We think the current level of trade relations does not reflect the level of our ties. Therefore, my recommendation to businessmen participating in this business forum is that we must cooperate even more closely. Practical steps should be taken in order to increase the trade turnover. I hope our mutual export will also increase in the coming years. There are opportunities to achieve this,” added the president.

The head of state noted that, undoubtedly, great attention is paid to issues of mutual investment.

“Today, this small presentation showed two important projects on mutual investments - the joint venture of Iran Khodro and an Azerbaijani company in Neftchala, and the cargo terminal created in Iran thanks to the Azerbaijani investments. Of course, first of all, there must be excellent relations and mutual interests for putting joint investments. They exist and strengthen day by day. On the example of these two projects, we see that mutual interests are fully ensured here. I am confident that the future activity of the automobile plant will be successful and the cargo terminal will play an important role in the development of the North-South transport corridor. I think we also should seriously think about putting joint investments in other spheres, and we do this,” President Aliyev said.

The head of state noted that these issues were discussed on the eve and during the narrow format meeting and at a meeting held with participation of the two countries’ delegations.

“Additional directions for joint investments are identified. I can say with full confidence that the North-South transport corridor is being implemented thanks to very serious efforts of the Iranian and Azerbaijani sides. We constantly discuss these issues with neighboring countries. The work carried out over the past two years has created the main ground for the opening of this route. During a small presentation it was shown that in 2016-2017, the missing part of this railway was built in Azerbaijan, a bridge was built across the Astarachay River,” the Azerbaijani president said.

“The first test train ran from Azerbaijan to Iran during my visit to Iran last year. The cargo terminal is already under construction today and a historic document was signed yesterday. An agreement was signed in connection with the construction of the Astara-Rasht railway. The agreement will play a special role in the implementation of the North-South transport corridor. Thus, connecting the continents, we will get an economic profit, because transit cargo passing through our territory will amount to tens of millions of tons."

"At the same time, we are creating a new format of cooperation in the region. We have already created it, because we are actively cooperating today not only in bilateral format, but also in trilateral and quadrilateral formats,” the Azerbaijani president added.

Ilham Aliyev reminded that meetings of presidents of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia were held in Baku in 2016 and in Tehran in 2017.

“The meetings were very important. Political, economic, transport, and energy issues were discussed at the meetings. I think businessmen of the three countries should also take advantage of existing opportunities. The Azerbaijan-Iran-Turkey trilateral cooperation format has been working for several years, and recently a new, quadrilateral format of cooperation of Azerbaijan, Iran, Georgia and Turkey was realized in Baku."

Ilham Aliyev said wide opportunities in the transportation sphere are emerging for businessmen.

"As a result of the construction of the Astara-Rasht railway and the full launch of the North-South transport corridor in the future, thousands, and maybe tens of thousands of new jobs, must be opened, and entrepreneurs must open these jobs. I am confident that trade turnover will increase dramatically both in bilateral and multilateral formats,” the head of state added.

President Aliyev noted that business opportunities in the energy sphere are expanding.

“We broadly discussed this yesterday with President Hassan Rouhani, and relevant instructions were given to ministers that our plans in the field of power industry should be implemented soon. This is absolutely real, and we will achieve this,” he emphasized.

The head of state noted that a big flow of tourists is expected.

“Every year hundreds of thousands of people travel from Azerbaijan to Iran and from Iran to Azerbaijan. Not only goods, but also passengers will be transported after the opening of the railway. Therefore, big investments should also be put in the tourism infrastructure. Turning to businessmen of Azerbaijan and Iran, I invite them to this work. I am confident that mutual investments in Iran and Azerbaijan, investments in tourism infrastructure, construction of hotels and other tourism infrastructure will not be lost - on the contrary, they will bring good incomes,” the Azerbaijani president added.

The head of state said a memorandum of understanding was also signed yesterday on development of blocks in the Caspian Sea.

“This decision is also of historic significance. In general, every visit of President Rouhani to Azerbaijan is of great importance, as well as my visits to Iran. As part of these visits, many documents have been signed, and all of them are being implemented. I can say there is no such an issue that we agree upon but do not see its result. This visit is also historic, because during this visit, two historic documents were signed on the blocks in the Caspian Sea and on construction of the Astara-Rasht railway,” President Aliyev said.

“Meanwhile, yesterday we exchanged views with President Hassan Rouhani on issues that have not been resolved so far. All our meetings are effective and fruitful. We constantly keep in the spotlight those issues that have not yet been resolved," the president emphasized.

The Azerbaijani president noted that one of the issues to be solved is the cooperation in the banking and financial spheres.

“Relevant instructions were given yesterday. I am confident that this issue will be resolved before the next meeting. The increase in trade turnover, joint activity in the energy sphere are the main issues currently on the agenda for the next period. We are very pleased that recently, businessmen from Iran have been showing an even greater interest in Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani economy. We are always glad to see our Iranian brothers. They can successfully operate in Azerbaijan, both as investors and as contractors. The main thing is the unity of our peoples, the preservation of interstate relations at the highest level, and the future opportunities of projects implemented at our initiative. We are creating a new reality in our region. The Iranian-Azerbaijani ties have already turned into an important factor for regional security, stability and cooperation. We did it in a short period of time,” President Aliyev said.

The head of state expressed gratitude to President Hassan Rouhani for his attention and warm attitude towards Azerbaijan.

“I am confident that the visit will have a good result, and we all will witness this. Thank you,” the Azerbaijani president concluded.