Baku, January 18, AZERTAC
“A pharmaceutical plant, which will be built in Baku, is one of important projects implemented in the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan. This project is a bright example of successful cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran,” said Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan and Chair of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Ali Hasanov as he met with an Iranian delegation led by Minister of Cooperatives, Labour, and Social Welfare Ali Rabiei.
Ali Hasanov noted that relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Islamic Republic of Iran are developing day by day. “Iranian state and nation is our friend and brother. We share common religion and there are a lot of similarities in languages, customs and traditions, as well as history and culture,” said Ali Hasanov.
The Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that Iranian companies participate in a number of projects in Azerbaijan.
“Today Azerbaijan speedily develops. As of 2003, the poverty rate in the country made 49 per cent against 5 per cent today. Economy’s dependency on the oil has substantially reduced. 70 per cent of GDP is produced by non-oil sector of the country. One of the main purposes of Azerbaijan is to be among developed countries. This is a goal set by the President of Azerbaijan, and we shall succeed.”
Ali Hasanov brought into insight President Ilham Aliyev’s independent policy, which leans back on national interest of Azerbaijani people. “Our countries demonstrate one position in international issues and protect each other,” he said.
“Iranian and Azerbaijani Presidents frequently meet and exchange reciprocal visits. Even if, there are forces, which would like to harm relations between our countries, they plans will go in vain,” according to Ali Hasanov.
Ali Hasanov highlighted that the only problem of Azerbaijan is the unresolved the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh problem. As a result of the Armenian occupation, Azerbaijan has more than a million of refugees and IDPs. He noted that despite international organizations had adopted numerous decisions and resolutions on the settlement of the conflict, Armenia ignores and does not fulfil them.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always positively approached to Azerbaijan’s objective position during discussions of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at the international events and, especially, the UN meetings, and demonstrated adherence to Azerbaijan during voting,” he added.
“Presently, we live in a complex period. As President Ilham Aliyev noted, today there is big necessity in Islamic solidarity. President Ilham Aliyev declared 2017 a Year of Islamic Solidarity in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is a tolerant country. Unlike in Armenia, people of various creeds enjoy peaceful living in Azerbaijan. They have the same equal rights as citizens of Azerbaijan,” stressed Ali Hasanov.
He expressed confidence that relations between Azerbaijan and Iran will develop further.
Ali Rabiei highlighted that the Iranian delegation headed by him consists of influential persons in the Iranian Parliament, members of the friendship groups, chiefs of committees and members of the Presidium.
“This testifies to intention of Iran to further develop relations with Azerbaijan. We sincerely rejoice when we see development of Azerbaijan day by day, landscaping and renovation works, construction of new buildings and raising of the living standards in the country.”
He emphasized need to further develop cooperation. “There is wide potential for development of relations in the humanitarian sphere. We are ready to expand cooperation on rehabilitation of disabled persons, preparation of prosthesis, and other areas,” Ali Rabiei said.
“Great works are carried out for improvement of the transportation and road infrastructure. We are also implementing joint projects. Azerbaijani itinerary is a reliable and safe direction for us. Presently, works are going on for laying the Resht-Astara (Azerbaijan)-Astara (Iran) railway. This will contribute to both the opening of new work places in the two countries and benefits for people using these itineraries, as well as in bringing the profit. At the same time, there are real opportunities for cooperation in the sphere of marine passenger and cargo transportations,” he added.
The two also discussed economic and humanitarian cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran, as well as other issues of mutual interest.