Moscow, Baku and Tehran preparing trilateral summit
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has confirmed that preparations are underway for the meeting between the leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia.
"Yes, preparations for such meeting are underway," TASS cited him as saying.
Peskov did not specify the date and the location of the meeting. "We will inform you about it when the dates are finally coordinated and confirmed," he promised.
At the same time Vladimir Putin's press secretary noted that the negotiations will be held at the beginning of the second half of the year.
On April 7, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif informed about preparations for the trilateral meeting between Vladimir Putin, Ilham Aliyev and Hassan Rouhani in Baku. Zarif said that Rouhani will be happy to take part in the meeting.
Iranian ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohsen Pak Ayeen said yesterday that Hassan Rouhani may visit Azerbaijan at the beginning of the second half of 2016.
A senior research fellow of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Sazhin, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the meeting of the three presidents will also be devoted to a number of pressure points in international life and world politics. "The first thing that concerns Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia is the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and I think that it will be discussed for sure," he believes.
"The second issue is the stabilization of the legal status of the Caspian Sea. There was a summit on the adoption of founding documents on the Caspian Sea status in 2014 and another one is planned for 2016. For Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran it is important to close the Caspian issue," Vladimir Sazhin stressed.
The third topic is the implementation of the infrastructure project North-South, which will unite the three countries by a single transport system in the future. "Currently, there are questions about how to reach full production capacity for the North-South corridor. This is a very ambitious project, the countries have been working on it for a long time and now there is not very much left to build: the railroad in Iran and the infrastructure," the expert noted.
Finally, the presidents will inevitably turn to the situation in the Middle East. "The most important thing is the problem of combating terrorism. First of all, Russia and Iran are actively involved in the fight against Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusrah in Syria. This issue is bound to be discussed at the trilateral summit," Vladimir Sazhin expects.
A Milli Majlis deputy, political scientist Asim Mollazade, also expects that a discussion of the North-South project will be the key issue of the summit. "The main topic is a regional and economic cooperation and it is important to create the North-South transport corridor. I think the role of Azerbaijan is quite high in this respect and it is ready to cooperate with both Iran and Russia. I believe that the talks on this topic will be devoted to the establishment of stability in the region that will strengthen the economic cooperation, including in the transport corridor construction," he said.
As for the Caspian issue, it will be focused on the coordination of Iran's position with the position of other Caspian countries. "Today, there are no longer any problems in the Caspian Sea area. I hope that the agreement on the Caspian Sea, which has already been reached between Azerbaijan and Russia, will force Iran to join the developed principles and cooperate with all the Caspian states," Asim Mollazade noted.