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Azerbaijan, Iran Discuss Bilateral and Regional Issues

By Nigar Bayramli March 8, 2024

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Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, during an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in the Saudi city of Jeddah on March 5, 2024. / MFA.gov.ir

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian discussed bilateral and regional issues, during an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on March 5.

The ministers discussed restoring operations at the Azerbaijani Embassy, following a court verdict against an individual who committed a terrorist attack on the embassy, Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry's press service reported.

The work of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Iran was suspended after an armed attack on January 27, 2023. The head of the Security Service was killed in the attack and two employees of the diplomatic mission were injured.

After interrogating the suspect, the Iranian foreign ministry as well as the judicial and security officials stressed that the attacker had attacked for personal and family reasons. In February of this year, the terrorist was reportedly sentenced to death.

During their meeting, the Iranian diplomat expressed satisfaction with the development of bilateral relations, saying that "fortunately, a new chapter has opened in the relations between the two countries, promising opportunities for mutual cooperation. There are many prospects for collaboration that benefit both nations."

Amir-Abdollahian conveyed his congratulations on the successful completion of Azerbaijan's presidential elections and the re-election of President Ilham Aliyev for the new term. Noting the significance of these elections held across all territories of Azerbaijan, the Iranian minister commended the democratic process.

In turn, the Azerbaijani foreign minister highlighted the upcoming 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-29) in Azerbaijan this year as an additional opportunity for cooperation.

Bayramov also provided insights into the current state and prospects of the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The ministers expressed concerns over third-party involvement by Armenia in the region, deeming it detrimental to peace and stability. The arms supply to Armenia by certain states was highlighted as a potential threat to the peace process.

They also exchanged views on enhancing high-level contacts and emphasized the importance of the Azerbaijani-Iranian intergovernmental joint commission on economic cooperation. The ministers discussed plans for the development and growth of regional transport and communication corridors in the region.

The meeting concluded with an exchange of views on various bilateral and regional issues, reinforcing the ongoing cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran in addressing common challenges and fostering regional stability.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Amir-Abdollahian spoke about the attack on the Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran, saying that an agreement was reached on the return of Azerbaijani diplomats to Iran.

"At the meeting with my Azerbaijani counterpart, we discussed the court verdict against the person who killed an employee of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Iran. We agreed to take measures in the near future in connection with the dispatch of the diplomatic delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Iran."

Iran and Azerbaijan relations were strained in the recent years over issues including Baku's close ties with Israel and the attack on the Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran. Last October, the Iranian foreign minister stressed that Tehran and Baku agreed on the active development of bilateral relations.