Leaders of Iran, Azerbaijan seek to boost trade

Updated: 2016-08-08 09:05


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Leaders of Iran, Azerbaijan seek to boost trade

An Azerbaijan state flag flutters in the wind on an oil platform in the Caspian Sea east of Baku, Jan 22, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

BAKU - Leaders of Iran and Azerbaijan discussed ways to boost trade in Baku on Sunday before a trilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who arrived on Sunday, talked with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on ways to bolster cooperation in commerce, industry, energy and transportation, the official AZERTAC news agency reported.

The two sides signed six bilateral documents including an intergovernmental protocol of intent on cooperation on the North-South international transport corridor project.

"The crucial goal of Iran and Azerbaijan is to develop a free trade," Rouhani said at a joint press conference with Aliyev.

"Iran is negotiating with the Eurasian Economic Union on custom tariffs, and is interested in reaching similar agreements with Azerbaijan in this regard as well," he said.

He underlined cooperation in the banking sector, saying that "We try to enhance banking ties to a level which lead to the development of mutual trade and economic relations in all fields."

The two countries were developing cooperation in investment, industry, technology, car manufacturing and pharmaceutical fields, he said.

The Azerbaijani president said that his country made important steps to accelerate the construction of the North-South transport corridor, noting that by the end of this year Azerbaijan will construct the railway line to the border with Iran.

"Today we have signed a memorandum to speed up the construction of the transport corridor. The Azerbaijani side wishes to take part in the financing of this project," Aliyev said.

"This issue will also be discussed tomorrow at the trilateral meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran," he added.

Putin, in an interview with AZERTAC news agency on Friday, has said "Our talks will focus on a flagship project -- the International North-South Transport Corridor."

The transport corridor, with a total length of 7,200 km, aims to provide the best possible opportunities for transporting transit cargo from India, Iran and the Gulf States to Azerbaijan, Russia and further to northern and western Europe, said Putin.

The tripartite meeting scheduled for Monday is expected to focus on trade, energy, communications, transportation, environment as well as on the situation in Syria and on the threat of the Islamic State terror group.

During his two-day visit to Baku, Rouhani will hold separate meeting with Putin to exchange views on issues of mutual interest, local media reported.