A meeting has been held between President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi in Ashgabat.
President Ilham Aliyev: Hello.
President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi: Greetings. How are you?
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, I am very well.
President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi: Are you well?
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much, I am alright. It is a pleasure to see you.
President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi: I am also happy to meet you at the ECO Summit. The Summit of the heads of state of the ECO member states has been an excellent opportunity for us to meet. Your officials, both the Deputy Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, have had excellent contacts with the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister. The Deputy Prime Minister's visit to Tehran was very successful. According to the information I have, very positive discussions were held at these meetings. I am confident that such contacts and discussions will contribute to developing relations between our two countries. The issues arising in the relations between our countries can be resolved within the framework of such contacts and visits.
Our relations with the Republic of Azerbaijan are not only neighborly. They are the relations of our hearts. The hearts of the peoples of the two countries beat together. We have a union of history and civilization. All this brings us even closer together. We must never allow others to interfere in our relations. We must resolve our problems, work together to advance our relations and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation. Experience so far shows that when we discuss our issues ourselves, we manage to resolve many of them and overcome the obstacles. Let me tell you with certainty and confidence that one of the first countries to recognize and support the independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan was the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The position of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the Karabakh issue was also transparent and unambiguous. The position of all officials in Iran's state bodies, starting from the supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution, was that the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan should not be compromised, and the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan should be ensured. We are confident that the talks and discussions between the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan with their Iranian counterparts will further deepen, move forward and strengthen our relations. Please, we are at your service.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much, dear Mr. President, I am pleased to see you. I am delighted that such a wonderful opportunity has arisen for the meeting. This is our first meeting. I am confident that this meeting will give a powerful impetus to the development of Iran-Azerbaijan relations.
President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi: This will definitely be the case.
President Ilham Aliyev: We attach great importance to relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Our peoples are brotherly peoples. We have lived together for centuries. Our relations are also quite broad. Our peoples share a common history and culture. This is excellent ground. We are writing the modern history of bilateral relations on this basis.
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The sides hailed the high level of relations and pointed to the existence of good-neighborly and friendly ties between the two countries.
During the conversation, the sides discussed cooperation issues between Azerbaijan and Iran within the North-South transportation corridor and the Zangazur transportation corridor. It was emphasized that as a result of implementing the Zangazur corridor, Iran would also benefit from it by using this transportation hub.
The sides noted that the geopolitical situation in the region had changed after the historic victory of Azerbaijan in the Second Karabakh War and stressed the importance of regional countries' participation in the resolution of regional issues.
The presidents also discussed issues of creating an energy hub between the two countries and between Azerbaijan, Russia, and Iran. The sides also exchanged views on cooperation, economic and trade relations within international organizations.
During the conversation, the presidents reiterated that Iran-Azerbaijan relations were historical and pointed to the friendly ties between the two peoples.
At the end of the meeting, the "Agreement defining the terms of transit of natural gas through the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran" was signed with the participation of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Iran.
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After the signing of the agreement, the heads of state were interviewed by the Iranian media.
President Ilham Aliyev: We have had a great conversation. As friends and brothers, we have exchanged views on Iran-Azerbaijan relations. We have decided that from now on, Iran-Azerbaijan relations will develop in all areas. Our peoples are fraternal peoples, our countries are fraternal countries, and the issues discussed show today again that Iran-Azerbaijan relations are very high.
Correspondent: A document has been signed. What would you say about that?
President Ilham Aliyev: The document has been signed, and it is vital. It is a historic document. It shows again how deep Iran-Azerbaijan relations are. Azerbaijan will receive Turkmenistan's gas via Iran. This is an excellent basis for trilateral cooperation and shows our intentions. The signed document is of great significance in terms of economy and energy security. Thank you.
Correspondent: Mr. President, you have been working hard. Today, you had talks with the Muslim country of Azerbaijan. What is your take on that?
President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi: Our relations with Azerbaijan are cultural, friendly and sincere. The history of our relations is ancient. There should be no misunderstanding in this relationship. We had a good meeting with the esteemed President of the Republic of Azerbaijan today and discussed issues of interest between the two countries. The gas agreement signed today between Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan will serve the development of relations between our countries, the relations between two and three countries. It is necessary to take serious and numerous steps in this area, and thanks to the two countries' will, the relations between us, including cooperation in the economic, trade, transit and cultural spheres, should aim to expand the ties between the two countries. The history of our relations is ancient and must continue to expand and develop.
Correspondent: Thank you.