Iran, Azerbaijan Confer on Developing Transit, Trade Ties

Iran, Azerbaijan Confer on Developing Transit, Trade Ties

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Following the improvements in Iran and Azerbaijan political ties, heads of the Iran-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Commission stressed broadening transit and trade ties.

During a meeting held between the heads of the Iran-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Commission in Astara on Tuesday, Iran's Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash and First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev discussed different bilateral agendas for increased trade and transit and reached some agreements in this regard.

The two sides agreed to increase traffic, open a new border terminal in the next 4 months, and increase investment by 60% for the construction operation of a rail dock.

The problems of truck drivers were also decided to be resolved through a joint committee between the two countries within the next two months.

Bazrpash said that after a break in bilateral relations due to the unfortunate incident that happened at the Azerbaijani embassy in Tehran, the problem has now been resolved.

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi has emphasized strengthening and developing relations with Azerbaijan, and part of this objective was achieved in this meeting, the roads minister said.

Pointing to the long border of Iran with the Republic of Azerbaijan (about 800 km), Bazrpash added that the transport network of Iran and Azerbaijan is a large network and the two countries have many plans to complete the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

It was decided that a temporary border terminal of Iran in Astarachay should be established as soon as possible with the customs and border surveillance system of Iran, he continued.

It was also agreed to operate the new border terminal in the next 4 months, which will provide a good capacity for the transit of trucks between the two countries.

The narrow width of the existing terminal and the old bridge as well as restrictions imposed on the part of Azerbaijan prevented easy traffic with long queues. With the construction of the new bridge, some of these problems would be reduced, Bazrpash stated.

An increase of transit had been another agenda for negotiation. Iran's request was to increase the capacity at the Bileh Savar Border and at the Astara border, which was agreed by Azerbaijan.

In this meeting, it was decided to increase the daily traffic capacity, which will facilitate traffic and increase trade between Iran and Azerbaijan.

The Rasht-Astara railway, whose construction is getting started, reaches this important rail dock, he added.

According to Bazrpash, agreements were also reached in energy, gas swap, and defense.

Considering the huge capacities between the two countries, there are unique opportunities for the development of economic relations, he stated. 

Azeri first deputy prime minister, for his part, appreciated Bazarpash and the Iranian delegation for their efforts to expand relations and said, “We are looking forward to (the implementation of) the agreements between the two countries in various economic fields.”

Azerbaijan believes in the development of stable and continuous cooperation with Iran and follows this political policy, Shahin Mustafayev added.

He also emphasized the determination of the two countries to carry out unfinished projects and called for launching other necessary projects.

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