Iran, Azerbaijan to mull border issues

By: Sara Rajabova

Iran and Azerbaijan will discuss ways of resolving problems related to the Bilasuvar border checkpoint at the Azerbaijan-Iran border.

The Iranian delegation, led by the governor of Ardabil province Majid Khodabakhsh, will visit Azerbaijan soon for discussions.

Arjang Azizi, deputy head of the Ardabil province for international affairs, said on November 10 that the purpose of the visit is to develop relations between Iran and Azerbaijan, especially in the economic sphere, IRIBNews reported.

He added that during the meeting with Azerbaijani officials, the governments will also discuss issues related to the supplying of agricultural products from Ardabil to the Russian market.

Furthermore, Azizi said an Iranian delegation of 20 members will include representatives of private companies, adding that the delegation will leave for Russia after visiting Azerbaijan.

Moreover, Iran and Azerbaijan plan to build a bridge at the Aslanduz-Horadiz checkpoint, in a bid to develop trade relations between the two countries and to improve customs activities.

Arsalan Fatehpur, chairman of the economic commission of the Iranian parliament, said Iran is interested in the further development of relations with Azerbaijan, especially in the trade sphere, adding that, therefore, they want to build the bridge in Gulibeyli village.

He said experts from Iran’s Roads and Urban Development Ministry conducted a survey in the region last week in preparations to build the bridge. Fatehpur noted that as a result, the construction site of the bridge has been determined.

He voiced his hope that its construction will begin soon, as both countries are interested in this project.

Iranian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohsen Pak Ayin earlier said the bridge would be built over the river Araz and shorten the travel time from Iran to Ganja, as well as to Georgia.

Azerbaijan and Iran earlier reached agreement on the opening of the border checkpoint at Aslanduz.

There are six border checkpoints on the Iranian-Azerbaijani border, including Julfa, Shakhtakhti, Astara, Bilasuvar and Imishli. The Horadiz border checkpoint has not operated for some time.

Since February 2010, Iran unilaterally abolished the visa regime for citizens of Azerbaijan, with the exception of journalists.

Azerbaijan and Iran also agreed within an intergovernmental commission to simplify the visa regime and introduce disposable 30-day visas for Iranian citizens in the territory of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The charge for the visa stands at ten euros.

Iran and Azerbaijan have had diplomatic relations since 1918. Iran recognized Azerbaijan’s independence in 1991, and diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1992.

SOURCE: AZER NEWS

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