Implementation of North-South Int’l transport Corridor intensifies Azerbaijan-Iran relations - analysis

Implementation of North-South Int’l transport Corridor intensifies Azerbaijan-Iran relations - analysis

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Nov. 1

By Khumay Aghajanova - Trend:

Turkmenistan’s Ashgabat city hosted the 15th Summit of Heads of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member-states on November 28, within which the presidents of several countries met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and discussed the bilateral cooperation issues.

One of the important meetings was held between the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Iran. The signed "Agreement defining the conditions for the transit of natural gas through the Islamic Republic of Iran" is of great importance.

The mutual understanding on intensification of bilateral ties in all spheres, joint use of the Zangazur corridor, and other issues were also reached.

Advisor at the Academy of Public Administration under the President of Azerbaijan, political analyst Zaur Mammadov told Trend that the ECO summit, held in Ashgabat with the participation of 10 countries, is of great importance.

“The Azerbaijani President met with the leaders of Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey within the summit,” the analyst said. “The further development of bilateral relations was discussed during the summit.”

Mammadov added that special attention must be paid to the meeting between the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Iran.

“The presidents of the two countries stated about the further development of relations between the countries,” the analyst said. “An important document, which stipulates that Azerbaijan will receive the Turkmen gas through Iran, was signed.”

Mammadov said that President Ilham Aliyev called the document historic.

“Azerbaijan has once again proved that it plays an important and central role in the North-South and West-South transport corridors for the supply of oil, gas, and non-energy goods,” the analyst added.

Mammadov said that the supply of the Turkmen gas to Iran and Azerbaijan will play an important role in resolving the political and economic issues between the countries, will contribute to the further diversification of the North-South transport corridor.

The analyst also said that the views of ECO member-states on the joint use of the Zangazur corridor are also important.

“In his speech, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed the importance of the Zangazur corridor, which will establish direct routes between our country and the region,” Mammadov said.

Head of the South Caucasus Political Scientists' Club Ilgar Valizade told Trend that the Azerbaijan-Iran relations are multilateral, they include both political and economic dialogue and dialogue in the religious sphere.

“The events show that Iran is interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in all spheres,” the head of the South Caucasus Political Scientists' Club said. “The trade turnover between the countries has been growing. At the same time, the joint implementation of transit projects gives certain advantages for both sides.”

Valizade said that the implementation of the North-South corridor has greatly intensified bilateral relations within two months.

“The rapid opening of the Zangazur corridor will increase the efficiency and expand the capabilities of the North-South corridor,” the head of the South Caucasus Political Scientists' Club said.

“Iran is interested in the efficient activity of this corridor connecting Azerbaijan and the region to operate,” Valizade said. “Iran has been recently trying to develop road infrastructure in the border regions with Azerbaijan.”

The head of the South Caucasus Political Scientists' Club said that Armenia is not such an important partner for Iran.

“Iran is establishing close relations with Azerbaijan not only in the ECO but also on the platform of the Caspian states,” Valizade said.

The head of the South Caucasus Political Scientists' Club said that there are also relations between Iran and Azerbaijan in the format of Islamic cooperation.

“Some 90 percent of Iran's border with the South Caucasus falls on Azerbaijan, less than 10 percent - on Armenia,” Valizade added.

Commenting on the topic to the Iranian media outlets, a member of the Energy Committee of the Iranian Parliament Hadi Beiginejad said that the trilateral Turkmen gas swap deal among Iran, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan will help strengthen friendly relations among Iran and neighboring countries.

Beiginejad added that the gas swap deal will allow Iran to break the deadlock of energy diplomacy with neighboring countries.

“At the same time, the Turkmen gas swap deal for Azerbaijan shows the strong will of the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum to continue diplomacy in the economic and energy sectors,” Beiginejad said.

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