Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian have discussed cooperation and regional issues, the ministry reported on March 8.
In a phone conversation, the ministers emphasized the importance of the next meeting of the two countries’ State Commission for Economic, Trade, and Humanitarian Cooperation, which will be held in Azerbaijan on March 9-10. In this regard, the visit of a group of Iranian businessmen and a delegation to Azerbaijan was praised.
The parties also focused on regional issues, as well as the situation in Ukraine.
The senior officials exchanged views on the progress of talks in Vienna on Iran’s nuclear program, as well as other issues of mutual interest.
The sides congratulated each other on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Iran.
It should be noted that the year 2022 will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Iran.
Azerbaijani-Iranian relations entered a new age of rapprochement in late 2021.
Iran was one of the 10 signatories of the final declaration of the 15th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) which, amongst many other clauses, incorporated a congratulatory part dedicated to Azerbaijan’s victory in the 2020 war and the restoration of its territorial integrity. On top of that, a new gas swap deal was signed by Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Iran, which is perceived as another indication that the recent political rupture has been left behind.
On November 28, 2021, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan signed a trilateral agreement on swapping gas supplies in Ashgabat. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi.
The agreement envisages deliveries of 1.5 to 2 billion cubic meters of gas each year, with Turkmenistan supplying gas to Iran and Iran delivering an equal quantity of gas to Azerbaijan. Thus, under the trilateral deal, Turkmenistan will sell 5-6 million cubic meters of gas per day to Azerbaijan. These volumes are expected to increase in the future.
After liberating its lands from Armenian occupation in the 44-day war in 2020, Azerbaijan regained control over a 132-km section of the Azerbaijan-Iran border. The re-establishment of control over the state border opened up new prospects for deeper cooperation between the two countries.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran in 2021 was $440.8 million.
By Vugar Khalilov