Press TV, Iran
July 2 2011

'Tehran keen to expand ties with Baku'

Iranian Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani has said Iran is
interested in expanding economic and political cooperation with the
Republic of Azerbaijan.

Larijani made the remarks during a meeting with Azeri President Ilham
Aliyev in Baku on Friday.

He said that the Islamic Republic is also keen to boost parliamentary
relations with its neighbor.

The Iranian parliament speaker described Tehran-Baku relations as
satisfactory and called for the expansion of Iran-Azerbaijan ties in
all areas, particularly the economic sector.

Aliyev called Azerbaijan's ties with Iran `brotherly and cordial,'
adding that economic transactions between the two countries need to be

The Azeri president said that the Iran-Turkey-Azerbaijan trilateral
meetings should continue since regular talks between their officials
could help enhance their relations.

In a meeting with Azeri Parliament Speaker Oktay Asadov earlier in the
day, Larijani stated that at the beginning of the war in Afghanistan,
which has lasted nearly 10 years, the US and its allies claimed they
came to the region to combat terrorism and drug trafficking, but the
region is still struggling with both these problems.

Commenting on the failure of the Minsk Group to resolve the
Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, Iran's Majlis speaker noted that foreigners'
efforts to mediate between Azerbaijan and Armenia have not borne fruit
because the foreign mediators have been pursuing their own interests.

Larijani, who travelled to Azerbaijan at the head of an Iranian
parliamentary delegation, also held a meeting with the leaders of
various political factions of the country.


From: A. Papazian