Tehran, Baku Can Play Effective Role In Maintaining Regional Sec.

Tehran Times, Iran
Aug 1 2004

Tehran, Baku Can Play Effective Role In Maintaining Regional
Security: Khatami

TEHRAN (IRNA) — President Mohammad Khatami said here Saturday that
Baku and Tehran could play effective role in restoring security and
stability to the region given the historical and cultural bonds
between the two countries.

In a meeting with visiting Azeri Foreign Minister Elmara Mammadyarov,
Khatami added the region belongs to all its countries and therefore,
the regional countries should cooperate to restore stability and
develop it.

Pointing to the determination of the two countries’ officials to
expand mutual relations in recent years, he said the agreements
signed by Tehran and Baku will ensure mutual interests and deepen
bilateral cooperation.

Touching upon crises in the region, Khatami expressed hope that the
existing problems would be resolved through wisdom and adoption of
proper policies.

For his part, the Azeri foreign minister submitted to Khatami a
letter of invitation from his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev to pay a
state visit to Azerbaijan.

Mammadyarov cited the achievements made during late Azeri president’s
visit to Iran and called for efforts to be made to ensure bilateral
and regional interests. The Azeri official briefed Khatami on the
political and economic situation of his country, saying “Azerbaijan
republic, since its independence, has embarked on strengthening its
infrastructures. We do hope that we will attain progress and
development given the independence and numerous natural resources in
the country.” Iran, Azerbaijan Call For Expansion Of Ties

Iran’s Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi also in a meeting with his
Azeri counterpart, discussed possible avenues for bolstering of
bilateral ties in various fields.

Mammadyarov assessed talks on legal regime of the Caspian Sea as
positive, adding the Caspian Sea should be the sea of friendship and
cooperation among the littoral states.

He hoped littoral states would reach a consensus on the legal regime
of the sea.

“Tehran regards as important its ties with Azerbaijan Republic
particularly both from economic and geopolitical points of view and
considers the common borders as borders of friendship and peace,”
Kharrazi said. Kharrazi termed trade and economic cooperation between
the two countries as “progressive” and added, “Iran and Azerbaijan
have launched good cooperation in various fields including transfer
of electricity, development affairs, road-building, construction of
power plants and energy. “Such cooperation can further expand.”

The two sides also exchanged views on regional issues, including

Kharrazi stressed that as a friendly country, the Islamic Republic of
Iran is ready to contribute to settlement of Karabakh dispute.

He said Tehran pursues settlement of Karabakh dispute within
framework of the charters of the UN and of the Organization of the
Islamic Conference (OIC).