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President Ilham Aliyev met with President of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi in Tashkent VIDEO

Tashkent, November 9, AZERTAC

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met with President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi in Tashkent.

Greeting the President of Azerbaijan, President of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi said:

- In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

I am very glad that we were able to meet with you and discuss bilateral ties and issues of interest to us within the Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization. Fortunately, our relations are at a satisfactory level and our work and projects in various areas continue successfully.

We are also very happy that Karabakh returned to its ancestral territory after many years. This is Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan was able to restore its territorial integrity. We hope that Karabakh will be reconstructed and restored. In this process, as before, we are ready to support you in the reconstruction of Karabakh and offer our services, including in the engineering and technical fields. Iranian companies are ready to help our dear friends from Azerbaijan in the reconstruction of Karabakh and the development of Azerbaijan in general.

We observe that the situation in the areas of transport and transit is improving day by day. The transport business between our countries is increasing. This is what you and we are aiming for. The Aghband route over the Araz River and the ongoing projects implemented there in agreement with each other meet the interests of both countries. This guarantees transport links between Azerbaijan, Iran and Nakhchivan and eliminates concerns in this area.

We are sure that, contrary to the wishes of our rivals, our relations are improving day by day, and the countries that want to hinder our relations cannot implement their plans and are disappointed.

We are sure that the bonds between Azerbaijan and Iran are not only diplomatic neighborly relations, but very deep ties between the two nations.

Our peoples are close from the heart and our relations are unbreakable. Therefore, our leaders are very serious about the development of these bonds. I repeat once again that I am deeply glad to meet you.

x x x

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said:

- Dear Mr. President, I am glad to see you too. It is a good opportunity for discussing important issues of bilateral agenda and regional cooperation. I recall our previous meetings and the very serious impetus we give to steady development of our relations after every meeting. I want to express gratitude to you for your congratulation on restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty across all our territories.

We carried out an anti-terror operation in September, which put an end to separatism in Azerbaijan. It paved the way for more active development of Azerbaijan and creates a favorable environment for the whole region. You mentioned the start of construction of bridges over the Araz River near Aghband. It is a very promising project.

During the next three years after the Second Karabakh War, Armenia refused and continues to refuse to abide by its obligations and ensure passage to Nakhchivan through the major part of Azerbaijan. It is their own choice. I believe they made a gross mistake.

I am happy that as a result of the interaction of Iranian and Azerbaijani representatives, we agreed on the passage of railway and motorway routes along the south bank of the Araz River. I am sure that this project will be completed in a shorter span of time and become another direction of the North-South Transport Corridor. As a result, we will have two routes: the one over the Astara River and the other one over the Aghband area. Both routes will help cement brotherly relations between Iran and Azerbaijan and be accessible for our neighbors and partner countries.

I would like to mention frequent and regular contacts between high-level representatives of the two countries. The visits of the Iranian Foreign Minister, Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, my representative and your affording a time to receive them indicates the lasting development of our relations.

In previous years, we witnessed the attempts of extra-regional forces to interfere in friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Iran. These attempts were in vain. I am confident that our enemies will not achieve their goals. Iran and Azerbaijan will continue to successfully cooperate and strengthen relations.

x x x

During the meeting, the sides discussed construction of a railway and road over the Araz River in the direction of Aghband and of the corridor through Iran’s territory. At the same time, they shared their views on increasing the traffic capacity of railway infrastructure in the territory of Azerbaijan for the North-South Transport Corridor and its construction simultaneously with the Rasht-Astara railway.

The presidents also discussed energy cooperation, highlighted the importance of the 3+3 format and touched upon cooperation within international organizations.

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