TEHRAN, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday called for a reinforcement of Iran’s relations with Azerbaijan during his meeting with visiting Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, official news agency IRNA reported.
“We hope we can take advantage of the opportunity created by new international conditions to further develop the relations between the two countries,” Rouhani said.
The President celebrated the establishment of a cease-fire in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh region, noting Iran is ready to play a constructive role in fostering stability in the region by helping strengthen the truce.
He suggested that the Iran-Azerbaijan border should be exploited to amplify economic and commercial ties.
Rouhani also called for speeding up the process of joint projects between Iran and Azerbaijan, such as the Rasht-Astara railway, the Khoda Afarin Dam, and the building of power plants.
Bayramov, for his part, described Iran as a “friendly” and “brotherly” neighbor, and called for a boost in bilateral relations.
“Azerbaijan’s borders with Iran are borders of friendship and development, and we believe that the revival of these borders can bring about new cooperation projects between the two countries,” he said.
The Azerbaijani top diplomat pointed to the Rasht-Astara railway project as the basis for an increase in cooperation with Iran, expressing hopes for the removal of obstacles caused by U.S. embargoes in order to accelerate the joint projects between the two countries.
Bayramov condemned the assassination of top Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh as “not acceptable at all.”
Iran and Azerbaijan signalled willingness to reach a preferential trade agreement during Rouhani’s visit to Azerbaijan’s capital Baku last year. Enditem