Azer­bai­jan, Tur­key, Iran seek to bol­ster ties

Azer News - - Front Page - By Amina Nazarli

Azer­bai­jan, Tur­key, Iran pledge to strengthen peace, sta­bil­ity in the re­gion, fol­low­ing the tri­lat­eral meet­ing of For­eign Min­is­ters of Azer­bai­jan, Iran and Tur­key, El­mar Mam­mad­yarov, Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif and Mev­lut Cavu­soglu in Baku.

Azer­bai­jan, Tur­key, Iran pledge to strengthen peace, sta­bil­ity in the re­gion, fol­low­ing the tri­lat­eral meet­ing of For­eign Min­is­ters of Azer­bai­jan, Iran and Tur­key, El­mar Mam­mad­yarov, Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif and Mev­lut Cavu­soglu in Baku.

The fifth tri­lat­eral meet­ing be­tween the for­eign min­is­ters since 2011, dis­cussed a broad range of is­sues in var­i­ous eco­nomic fields in­clud­ing tran­sit, trans­porta­tion, en­ergy, and cus­toms.

Prior to the main event, Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev re­ceived del­e­ga­tions of both coun­tries.

Dur­ing the meet­ing with Javad Zarif, the Pres­i­dent ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion with the level of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries and noted that good re­sults were achieved in im­ple­men­ta­tion of joint projects.

Il­ham Aliyev noted that the Ira­nian for­eign min­is­ter’s visit to Azer­bai­jan for the sec­ond time in a month in­di­cates to high level of re­la­tions, adding that the visit cre­ates good op­por­tu­nity for dis­cussing the agenda of the two coun­tries’ bi­lat­eral re­la­tions.

Touch­ing upon the tri­lat­eral meet­ing of the Azer­bai­jani, Turk­ish and Ira­nian for­eign min­is­ters, the head of state stressed the im­por­tance of hold­ing these meet­ings on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, and as­sessed the meet­ing of the min­is­ters of the neigh­bor states as a good ini­tia­tive.

Zarif also stressed the im­por­tance of hold­ing the meet­ings in this for­mat and ex­pressed con­fi­dence that they would con­tinue in the fu­ture.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, the sides ex­changed views on the prospects of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions in the bank­ing, en­ergy, trans­porta­tion, trade and in­vest­ment spheres.

While re­ceiv­ing Mev­lut Cavu­soglu, Pres­i­dent Aliyev de­scribed the Azer­bai­jan-Tur­key bi­lat­eral re­la­tions as ex­cel­lent, em­pha­siz­ing the sig­nif­i­cance of reg­u­lar high-level re­cip­ro­cal vis­its in strength­en­ing ties be­tween the two coun­tries.

The head of state hailed the im­por­tance of the fact that the two coun­tries con­tin­u­ously sup­port and stand by each other.

Point­ing to the launch of the Baku-Tbil­isi-Kars rail­way, the head of state de­scribed the project not only as re­gion­ally, but also an in­ter­na­tion­ally im­por­tant event.

Cavu­soglu re­called his re­cent meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Aliyev and the launch of the Baku-Tbil­isi-Kars rail­way this year, ex­press­ing con­fi­dence that im­por­tant projects will be im­ple­mented un­der the lead­er­ship of the heads of state in the years to come.

Re­sults of tri­lat­eral meet­ing

Baku State­ment was adopted fol­low­ing the fifth tri­lat­eral meet­ing on De­cem­ber 20 ac­cord­ing to which the sides reaf­firmed their com­mit­ment to fur­ther en­hanc­ing sol­i­dar­ity and co­op­er­a­tion based on deep-rooted his­tor­i­cal, re­li­gious and cul­tural com­mon­al­i­ties and shared val­ues.

The min­is­ters un­der­lined their com­mit­ment to fur­ther ex­pand­ing co­op­er­a­tion to pro­mote eco­nomic progress and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. The par­ties also agreed to con­tinue close con­sul­ta­tions on re­gional and global is­sues of com­mon in­ter­est at dif­fer­ent lev­els and plat­forms.

They also agreed to im­ple­ment joint projects and pro­grams in the fields of en­ergy, trans­porta­tion, bank­ing, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion, in­dus­try, agri­cul­ture, tourism and en­vi­ron­ment, with a fo­cus on new projects for the de­vel­op­ment of trans­port and tran­sit po­ten­tial in the re­gion.

They wel­comed the com­mence­ment of the Baku-Tbil­isi-Kars rail­way link project which di­rectly con­nected the three coun­tries, stat­ing that the project cre­ates fa­vor­able con­di­tions to in­crease the tran­sit po­ten­tial on var­i­ous routes.

As for the re­la­tions among the bank­ing net­works, all par­ties agreed to share their ex­pe­ri­ence and in­for­ma­tion on in­ter­na­tional bank­ing pro­ce­dures while com­bat­ing money-laun­der­ing and the fi­nanc­ing of ter­ror­ism. The min­is­ters also stressed the im­por­tance of in­creased co­op­er­a­tion to fight against ter­ror­ism, sep­a­ratism and vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism as well as other forms of crimes.

More­over, Tur­key and Iran wel­come the can­di­da­ture of Baku for host­ing World EXPO-2025 in Azer­bai­jan.

Ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence ded­i­cated to the re­sults of the fifth tri­lat­eral meet­ing, Mam­mad­yarov said that the par­ties agreed to con­tinue hold­ing meet­ings in the tri­lat­eral for­mat, ex­pand co­op­er­a­tion and use the po­ten­tial in en­ergy, trans­port, tourism and other spheres.

The Azer­bai­jani of­fi­cial noted that the min­is­ters also dis­cussed the Pales­tine-Is­rael con­flict.

“As you know, a doc­u­ment will be adopted to­mor­row on this is­sue at the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly. We will vote in fa­vor of that doc­u­ment,” added Mam­mad­yarov. “Azer­bai­jan’s po­si­tion on Al-Quds was voiced by Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev at a sum­mit in Is­tan­bul. That's where we stand on this.”

Touch­ing upon the en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion, the min­is­ter said that the TANAP pipe­line will be put into op­er­a­tion in 2018. The en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Azer­bai­jan and Iran is grow­ing day by day, stress­ing that elec­tric­ity ex­change is be­ing ex­panded among the three coun­tries.

“At our next meet­ing in Is­tan­bul, we will in­vite peo­ple from both the pri­vate sec­tor and the eco­nomic sec­tor and dis­cuss ways to fur­ther ex­pand co­op­er­a­tion,” noted the of­fi­cial.

Mean­while, the next tri­lat­eral meet­ing of Azer­bai­jani, Ira­nian and Turk­ish for­eign min­is­ters will be held in Tur­key, ac­cord­ing to Cavu­soglu.

“We dis­cussed is­sues re­lated to fur­ther ex­pan­sion of co­op­er­a­tion. We will host the next sum­mit, and also bring to­gether busi­ness­men. Maybe a busi­ness meet­ing will be held,” he said.

Cavu­soglu un­der­lined that there are strong ties of friend­ship and broth­er­hood be­tween the three coun­tries: “This tri­lat­eral for­mat will be ex­panded, and to­day's meet­ing was very use­ful.”

Speak­ing about the en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion, the Turk­ish FM said that Azer­bai­jan and Iran are im­por­tant coun­tries for Tur­key in terms of this field.

Tur­key im­ports nat­u­ral gas from Iran and in­tends to in­crease the vol­ume of pur­chases, he noted. Cur­rently, Tur­key is the big­gest gas cus­tomer of Iran and im­ports 30 mil­lion cu­bic me­ters per day from its eastern neigh­bor.

One of the most im­por­tant en­ergy projects – con­struc­tion project of the Trans Ana­to­lian Nat­u­ral Gas Pipe­line (TANAP) – is cur­rently be­ing im­ple­mented be­tween Tur­key and Azer­bai­jan, said Cavu­soglu.

TANAP project en­vis­ages trans­porta­tion of gas from Azer­bai­jan’s Shah Deniz field to the western borders of Tur­key. The gas will be de­liv­ered to Tur­key in 2018 and af­ter com­ple­tion of the Trans Adri­atic Pipe­line's con­struc­tion nat­u­ral gas will be de­liv­ered to Europe in early 2020. The length of TANAP is 1,850 kilo­me­ters, with an ini­tial ca­pac­ity of 16 bil­lion cu­bic me­ters of gas. Around six bil­lion cu­bic me­ters of this gas is meant to be de­liv­ered to Tur­key, with the re­main­ing vol­ume to be sup­plied to Europe.

In turn, Zarif said that Iran, Tur­key and Azer­bai­jan have de­cided to in­volve the pri­vate sec­tor in tri­lat­eral eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, not­ing that the tri­lat­eral for­mat of co­op­er­a­tion is a use­ful method for co­op­er­a­tion in the re­gion.

Say­ing that Iran Azer­bai­jan and Tur­key en­joy a va­ri­ety of spheres for co­op­er­a­tion, Zarif called for in­volv­ing the pri­vate sec­tor in co­op­er­a­tion in var­i­ous fields of econ­omy, en­ergy, and tran­sit.

For­eign Min­is­ters of Azer­bai­jan El­mar Mam­mad­yarov (M), Iran Mo­ham­mad Javad (L) and Tur­key Mev­lut Cavu­soglu (R) shake hands prior to the tri­lat­eral meet­ing.

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