Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan and Iran create new reality in region
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani took part in an Azerbaijani-Iranian business forum in the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku yesterday.
The forum featured a video reflecting the work carried out in Azerbaijan’s Neftchala industrial park.
Ilham Aliyev and Hassan Rouhani launched the Khazar automobile plant built by Azermash OJSC jointly with the Iran Khodro company in the Neftchala industrial park.
Then a video reflecting the production process at the automobile plant was shown, followed by a video about the cargo terminal in Iran’s Astara city, where Azerbaijan invested as part of the International North-South Transport Corridor project.
The relations between Azerbaijan and Iran are of great importance not only for the two countries, but also for the region and the world because the projects implemented on the initiatives of the two countries are of great importance for the entire region and the Eurasian continent, President Aliyev said at the forum. The president noted that today friendly and fraternal relations between Azerbaijan and Iran are at the highest level.
“We meet regularly with President Rouhani. Over the last four years, we have had 11 meetings. This figure itself shows how closely we cooperate and what kind of mutual trust exists between us. It is natural because our peoples have lived and worked together for centuries,” the head of state added.
According to the Azerbaijani president, a shared history and culture between the two countries is a key factor for present-day relations. “It is a great pleasure for us to see these relations growing fast,” Aliyev noted.
“Since our political relations have reached such a high level, of course, we can implement any economic and transport projects and that’s what we’re doing. We personally control all the tasks we have given. I’m glad that members of the intergovernmental commission and all officials perform their duties honorably,” he said.
President Aliyev said that he also discussed with his Iranian counterpart the development of trade relations.
“We think the current level of trade relations does not reflect the level of our ties. Therefore, my recommendation to businessmen participating in this business forum is that we must cooperate even more closely,” the head of state said.
The head of state underscored the need to take practical steps in order to increase the mutual trade turnover. “I hope our mutual export will also increase in the coming years. There are opportunities to achieve this,” Aliyev added.
He also noted that one the unsolved issue is cooperation in banking and financial sector: "Relevant tasks were given yesterday. I’m sure that they will be solved till the next meeting. Increase of trade turnover, joint operation in energy are priority today. We are very pleased that Iranian businessmen are interested in Azerbaijan’s economy. They can operate as investors and contractors in Azerbaijan. There are all opportunities for these activity. We create new reality in our region. Iran-Azerbaijan relations have already become a significant factor for regional security, stability and cooperation. We did it, even in a short period".