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Azeri president arrives in Tabriz

Tabriz, East Azarbaijan, Jan 26, IRNA -- Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and his entourage arrived in Iran's northwestern provincial capital city of Tabriz on Wednesday.

They were welcomed upon their arrival by the Tabriz governor- general and other local officials.

Aliyev is scheduled to hold talks with the province's governor- general and will later inspect the Tabriz Tractor Manufacturing Company, Azeri consulate and Maqbaratol Shoara (poets' tomb).

photo: ISNA

Aliyev in this visit is accompanied by the Azeri ministers of foreign affairs, industries, education, health and development.

The Azeri president and his delegation were officially seen off on their departure for Tabriz by Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, Cooperatives Minister Ali Soufi and Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific Affairs Mohsen Aminzadeh.

Aliyev arrived in Tehran on Monday for an official three-day visit at the invitation of President Mohammad Khatami and in response to the latter's visit to Azerbaijan in August 2004.

While in Tehran Aliyev held talks with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, President Mohammad Khatami, Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and several other senior officials focusing on bilateral and regional cooperation.

The two countries' officials signed nine memoranda of understanding (MoUs) and issued a joint press statement before their departure from Tehran.

Khatami,Aliyev stress continuation of Caspian Sea talks

Tehran, Jan 26, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev here Wednesday stressed on continuation of talks to determine the legal regime of the Caspian Sea.

Talking to reporters after signing 10 documents on expansion of bilateral cooperation, Khatami said negotiations in regards to the legal regime of the sea are underway in a friendly atmosphere and with understanding.

"The (important) issue is that this valuable sea belongs to its five littoral states which will benefit from its resources through safeguarding this god-given asset," he added.

He noted that economic issues were top on the agenda of bilateral talks between Iran and Azerbaijan, saying the two countries will make efforts to begin broad cooperation while stressing on trade ties.

The Iranian president said Tehran and Baku enjoy potentials to complete development of their economies and expressed hope that the sides would witness outcomes of their economic agreements in the near future.

Shifting to mutual cooperation on the North-South corridor, Khatami stated that joint cooperation between Russia, Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan would entail "important outcomes".

"This corridor can be more activated through connection of Azerbaijan's railways to Iran and very important connecting roads between the two countries."

He pointed to a memorandum of understanding signed between the two states on Wednesday on expansion of railway cooperation and assessed connecting the North to the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea via Iran and Azerbaijan as an important development in the region.

"It will be also the most appropriate way from the West and the North to Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent," Khatami said.

Not only Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan would enjoy benefits of the North-South corridor but it would be a strategic way for international economy which should be taken seriously.

Aliyev said mutual relations between the two countries would receive important and positive developments regarding economic, political and cultural agreements reached during his Tehran visit.

He said Azerbaijan's foreign policy attaches importance to consolidation of ties with Iran.

The Azeri president added ties between the two countries entered a new phase, noting talks on the legal regime of the Caspian Sea would be continued in the future.

The two countries are holding very friendly and sincere negotiations on the sea and would reach very positive results in this regard, he stressed.

... Payvand News - 1/26/05 ... --

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