Foreign Ministers of Russia and Azerbaijan on prospects of two triples and five
The head of the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov is visiting Moscow to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Azerbaijani-Russian diplomatic ties. At a press conference following the meeting of the heads of the foreign ministries of the two countries, Sergey Lavrov and Elmar Mammadyarov assessed regional cooperation in the Russia-Iran-Azerbaijan, Russia-Azerbaijan-Turkey formats, and also within the framework of the Caspian Five.
"We held a meeting of the 'triple' at the level of the presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran. The format seems promising to us both in terms of increasing economic cooperation and developing transport and logistics infrastructure. Of course, we are interested in its continuation. Turkey is also a close partner of Azerbaijan and Russia. In the near future there will be the next Russian-Turkish summit at the level of presidents. We will discuss the most diverse areas of our interaction - trade, economy, investment, joint infrastructure projects and much more, including, of course, foreign policy cooperation. First of all, it will be about helping to resolve the Syrian crisis through the implementation of our joint initiative, which Iran has joined, on a ceasefire and the promotion of a political dialogue that is developing on the Astana platform between the Syrian government and the armed opposition. therefore, we can talk about another promising 'triple' - Russia-Turkey-Iran. Combinations can be very different, depending on the needs of a particular moment. We will be ready to develop such cooperation both through bilateral and multilateral channels. The main thing is the added value and consideration of the realities developed in this region," Sergei Lavrov said.
"At first we met in Baku at the level of foreign ministers. Then we met in Baku at the level of the presidents,"Elmar Mammadyarov reminded. "One of the main issues is the North-South transport corridor. It is economically very important, it is real and very interesting. This, of course, is a factor of stability that can contribute to the region. "
Azerbaijan also supports the idea of cooperation in the Russia-Azerbaijan-Turkey format. "This format may be connected to the economic component, because the Turkish side will complete the construction of the railway section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars road to the border with Georgia until the summer of this year. This road connects the railway tracks with the Turkish railway transport communications, up to the Mediterranean Sea. If we introduce the famous Berlin-Baghdad railway from the last century, I think that there are great prospects. And in this context, the Russia-Azerbaijan-Turkey format itself is very interesting."
As for the interaction of the Caspian Five, according to Elmar Mammadyarov, any visit and communication at the highest level always help to progress in resolving the issues: "The visit of the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to Tehran was very intensive, many issues were discussed, including the issue of the Caspian Sea. Three out of five countries have a unified position. We can say that the fourth party shares the idea of the middle line, although there are questions of calculating these points. I think that sooner or later we will approach this issue in the context of how the middle line issue should be resolved, what we agreed with Kazakhstan and Russia. There are positive moments for moving forward."
Sergey Lavrov agreed with his Azerbaijani counterpart: "Most of the components of the draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea are coordinated. Experts continue to work on the remaining issues. There's not so many of them. One of the main issues is the definition of waters under the sovereignty of each state. There are a number of methods that can be applied. We agree that the methodology, which will eventually be chosen, should meet the principle of fairness as much as possible, so that none of the five Caspian countries feel uncomfortable. I think that we will be able to achieve the result on this route. "