Iran and Azerbaijan, having managed to clear up misunderstandings on certain issues, are now determined to improve relations, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says.
In a Saturday telephone conversation with his Azeri counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov, the Iranian foreign minister hailed the two countries’ relations as close and brotherly.
He said Iranian and Azerbaijani authorities prudently cleared up the misunderstandings that arose in the recent months, which were coupled with activities of certain parties that do not favor cordial relations between the two neighbors.
Having settled misunderstandings, ” the top Iranian diplomat pointed out, “We can now move towards further expansion of bilateral cooperation.”
In a phone call with his Azerbaijani counterpart last month, Amir-Abdollahian called for more positive steps toward settlement of possible issues between the two countries.
He praised Baku’s release of two Iranian truck drivers detained in September was a constructive move to clear misunderstandings, expressing Tehran’s keenness to improve and broaden mutual relations.
Amir-Abdollahian also said on Thursday that Iran and the neighboring Republic of Azerbaijan enjoy the necessary will to overcome obstacles on the path of friendly relations.
“Positive neighborly relations continue between Tehran and Baku,” he said, adding that he and his Azeri counterpart keep their close contacts and “positive consultations.”
In his Saturday conversation with Bayramov, the Iranian foreign minister said Tehran supports a 3+3 format cooperation mechanism -- comprising of the three South Caucasus countries, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan plus Russia, Turkey and Iran – and believes that regional problems can be resolved through intra-regional strategies.
Baku ready for expansion of all-out ties with Tehran: Bayramov
The Azerbaijani foreign minister, for his part, said Tehran and Baku should not allow others to take advantage of any possible misunderstandings between them but they should rather solve issues in a friendly and brotherly atmosphere.
Bayramov added that his country is ready to boost all-out relations with Iran.
Tension broke out between Tehran and Baku in October after the Iranian foreign minister issued a warning concerning certain provocations by the Israeli regime near Iran’s borders with Azerbaijan.
The regime, he said, had used the flare-up of tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region last year to establish a presence in parts of Azerbaijan.
The Iranian Army’s Ground Forces recently held military exercises codenamed Fatehan-e Khaybar (Conquerors of Khaybar) in the northwestern part of the country.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev criticized Iran’s exercises. Tehran hit back by saying that holding drills is part of the national sovereignty, warning that Israel’s anti-Iran activities in neighboring countries will not be tolerated.
Tensions started to diffuse after Azerbaijan released the two Iranian truck drivers whose arrest had strained ties between Baku and Tehran.
The move marked a thaw between the two countries a week after their foreign ministers agreed to resolve the issue through dialogue.