Baku, February 23, AZERTAC
Following a ceremony of signing documents, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani have made statements for the press.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev:
- Thank you very much, dear Mr. President.
First of all, I want to thank you for the hospitality extended to me and the delegation.
I would like to take this opportunity to once again cordially congratulate you and the Iranian people on the lifting of sanctions against Iran. Azerbaijan has always been against these sanctions and expressed its opinion from all high platforms.
Mr. President, you have provided the media with great detail regarding the issues we discussed. Indeed, there was an extensive exchange of views on many issues today. We have displayed unanimity. We are very pleased that Iranian-Azerbaijani relations are developing successfully and rapidly. Our relations rest on a very solid foundation. For centuries, our people have lived and worked together. We are united by history, culture, a common history and religion. Our relations rest on this solid foundation. In fact, Iranian-Azerbaijani relations have risen to the level of strategic cooperation. We always support each other in all international organizations we are members of. Our trade relations have excellent prospects. Today, we have broadly discussed the events taking place in the international arena, as well as the issues related to our bilateral relations. We have agreed to step up our efforts against international terrorism. We will continue to support each other in the international arena.
Regional issues were also discussed today. It was announced yesterday that the United States of America and Russia had reached the decision to stop the war in Syria. We welcome this agreement. We have repeatedly stated that normalization of the situation in Syria first required a ceasefire. Then there should be peace and the Syrian people should determine their future, their own destiny themselves.
I want to note again that during our discussions today, our views on many issues coincided. All countries should treat each other with respect and not interfere in each other's affairs. Only then will wars end and there will be fewer standoffs. Today, you have also witnessed the signing of many documents. The implementation of these documents will further strengthen our ties. The documents on many areas point the way to the future. The essence of these documents is very positive. One part one of them serves bilateral ties and the other is aimed at multilateral and regional cooperation.
Today, very important steps have been taken to create the North-South transport corridor. By commissioning this road, we will link continents by means of excellent transport infrastructure. The task that falls on Azerbaijan will be completed before the end of this year, and we will lay our railroad to the border with Iran.
The oil and gas sector has excellent prospects. Iran makes investment in Azerbaijan’s oil and gas fields. We have had a wonderful exchange of views on further cooperation. We have also discussed joint development of oil and gas fields in the Caspian Sea and expect good results. The Caspian Sea is our common asset. The Caspian Sea should continue to be a sea of cooperation, security and peace.
In the field of energy, we have been doing a great job. There are excellent prospects. Cooperation in this area is not limited to the Iranian-Azerbaijani cooperation. This project can also be joined by neighboring countries, and then it will turn into a beautiful transnational and regional project.
There are excellent opportunities for mutual investment. Currently, both countries are going through serious economic reforms and improving the business environment. This will usher ample opportunities for mutual investment. There are excellent opportunities for future activities in the financial, banking, insurance, tourism and pharmaceutical sectors.
President Rouhani has said that we are already heavily involved in a trilateral format, and the geography of these formats will gradually expand. This is our valuable joint contribution to regional cooperation. It shows the intention of both countries. We want the region and the world to live in peace, prosperity and cooperation. Today, Iran and Azerbaijan are playing a stabilizing role in our region. The stronger our unity, the higher the level of security in the region. President Rouhani has noted said that this is our fifth meeting in the past two years. Taking this opportunity, Mr. President, I would like to invite you to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan.
In conclusion, President Ilham Aliyev expressed his gratitude for the hospitality again.