Azerbaijan, Iran leaders confident of growing ties

BAKU - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev expressed confidence in expanding ties during talks in Baku Wednesday, the Azerbaijani presidency said.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 17 Nov 2010, 6:35 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:15 AM

Ahmadinejad was in the Azerbaijani capital ahead of a summit Thursday of the leaders of the five Caspian Sea littoral nations — Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.

The summit will seek to address overlapping claims to the vast energy riches of the Caspian Se but is expected to be overshadowed by a meeting between Ahmadinejad and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev amid an unprecedented breakdown in bilateral relations.

In a meeting ahead of the summit, Ahmadinejad and Aliyev “expressed confidence in the further development of bilateral relations,” the Azerbaijani presidential administration said in a statement.

The statement said the two leaders “underlined that bilateral communications between Azerbaijan and Iran are developing in various spheres” and “exchanged opinions on bilateral and international problems.”

No other details of the talks were provided.

Ahmadinejad earlier praised ties with neighbouring Azerbaijan and said he hoped for progress during the Caspian Sea summit, in an interview with Azerbaijan’s Lider television channel quoted by local news agencies.

“Azerbaijan and Iran are fraternal nations and states, our links are on a very good level and at present our relations in the areas of economy, policy and culture are developing,” the Trend news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as telling the channel.

“I hope that at the Baku summit big steps in line with the legal status of the Caspian Sea will be taken,” Ahmadinejad added.

Despite growing trade links, relations between Baku and Tehran have been difficult since Azerbaijan broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991, with disputes over energy reserves in the Caspian Sea and the status of a large Azerbaijani minority in Iran.

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