Azerbaijani and Iranian foreign ministers meeting in Tehran. July 4, 2022

Azerbaijani and Iranian foreign ministers meeting in Tehran. July 4, 2022

Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey Pushing To Resolve Differences

7/5/2022

Foreign ministers of Iran, Azerbaijan, and Turkey are to meet in Tehran soon in a regional format, Iran’s foreign minister announced on Monday.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the announcement at a joint press conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov who arrived in Tehran for an official visit Monday.

Iran’s top diplomat also said that high-level experts from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, and Turkey will also be meeting soon in the '3+3' format and their meeting will be followed by a meeting of the foreign ministers of these countries in Tehran or another Iranian city.

The dates of the two summits, as well as Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's planned visit to Tehran, are to be decided during the Azerbaijani foreign minister’s visit, Turkey’s official news agency Anadolou reported Monday.

Bayramov said at the press conference that Baku supports Iran's suggested formats, including the 3+3 format, for the summits.

During the press conference, Amir-Abdollahian said “misunderstandings” between Tehran and Baku have cleared up in the past ten months.

Tensions rose between Iran and its northwestern neighbor in September 2021 after Azerbaijan's arrest of Iranian truck drivers and its joint military drills with Turkey and Pakistan, which began September 12 in Baku, about 500km from the Iranian border. This was followed by Iranian military exercises near the Azeri border.

Tehran also has serious concerns over growing relation between Baku and Tel Aviv in recent years. Israel is one of Baku’s major oil customers and has reportedly been allowed to use Azerbaijan’s airbases. The topic was not brought up in the press conference Monday.

The Iranian foreign minister stressed the importance of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and added that Tehran “reaffirms its support for the peaceful settlement of the ongoing Karabakh conflict based on the well-known principles of the international law."

“We are prepared as before to continue our support and assistance in this regard, so that the remaining issues [between Azerbaijan and Armenia] would be resolved on the basis of respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the involved parties and through political dialogue,” he said.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev announced last month that the two countries will set up border security and delimitation commissions to settle their decades-long conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Amir-Abdollahian described energy and transit as "two key areas of cooperation" between Tehran and Baku and said the two sides will sign their final agreement on power swap during Iranian Energy Minister Ali Akbar Mehrabian’s upcoming visit to Baku while his Azeri counterpart told reporters that the volume of trade between Tehran and Baku increased by 30 percent in 2021 but could still grow more.

According to Azerbaijan’s Apa TV, Bayramov also met with the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and discussed joint projects in the fields of energy and transport and emphasized the importance of creating new transport links between Azerbaijan’s East Zangezur economic region and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic through Iran as part of the north-south transit corridor.

The settlement of the conflict and delimitation of their borders has huge impacts on Iran’s northwestern transit roads and trade. Iran’s border with Azerbaijan increased by 132-kilometer after Azerbaijan’s victory against Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh War and a Russian-brokered deal between Azerbaijan and Armenia in November 2020.

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