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Iranian President meets Russian and Azeri counterparts, urges dialog for all regional disputes

Report by Press TV; photos by Islamic Republic News Agency

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for efforts to resolve all regional disputes through dialog and diplomacy. Rouhani made the remarks during a trilateral meeting with his Russian and Azeri counterparts, Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev, respectively, in Azerbaijan's capital of Baku on Monday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L), Azeri President Ilham Aliyev (C) and Russian President Vladimir Putin pose for a photo during their meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, August 8, 2016.

During the summit, Rouhani said Iran pays particular attention to the expansion of ties with the regional countries.

"The development of all-out relations with neighboring countries is [one of] the priorities of Iran's foreign policy," he said, adding that the Islamic Republic welcomes any "idea and initiative to increase interaction and cooperation with its neighbors."

The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic is based on cooperation, synergy and finding ways to fulfill common interests, he said, adding that Tehran follows "a win-win policy."

The Iranian president said interaction among Tehran, Moscow and Baku can help develop and promote the latent capacities and capabilities of the three sides and create new opportunities to counter the existing challenges in the region.

"It goes without saying that such arrangements are not against any country or third party and are merely a framework for dialog focused on the development of regional cooperation among the three countries," Rouhani said.

He pointed to the close bilateral relations and consultation between Iran and Russia, saying that in recent years, relations between the two countries have spanned different areas such as the resolution of the standoff over Iran's nuclear program, reaching a nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries followed by the implementation of the deal, and constructive cooperation to manage the foreign-backed crisis in Syria.

The Iranian chief executive added that the Tehran-Moscow cooperation on the nuclear issue and the Syria crisis can serve as an example and model for collaboration in other areas of common interest and can even be applied to trilateral ties.

He highlighted the importance of interaction and cooperation among Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan, adding that all countries must work together to achieve common objectives.

Rouhani noted that terrorism, extremism, meddling by trans-regional countries in the internal affairs of the regional states and using sanctions as a tool to advance their political agendas are major plights, whose elimination requires the cooperation of the three countries.

The Iranian president said Iran and Azerbaijan have taken constructive steps to boost bilateral ties, adding that the ties between Tehran and Moscow are also on the right track.

He further proposed that Iran host the next ministerial and summit meetings among the three countries.

Putin, for his turn, said the summit has opened a new chapter in the relations between the three states, stressing the need for finding joint solutions to the threat of terrorism facing the region.

The Russian president also called for the formulation of the Caspian Sea's legal regime, saying that finalization of the legal regime of the sea will benefit all littoral countries.

Aliyev, for his part, said Azerbaijan follows an independent policy and while referring to the dispute between Baku and Yerevan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, said one million Azeris have been expelled by Armenia from their land.

He said the Caspian Sea has rich oil and gas resources, adding that the sea's littoral states should work to protect its resources.

The Azeri president said the North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) - an ambitious intercontinental multi-modal route that would link St. Petersburg to Mumbai - is a huge project in the region, expressing hope that it would be launched as soon as possible. The NSTC primarily involves moving freight from India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia via ship, rail and road.

The three presidents signed a final statement at the end of the Baku summit.

Rouhani arrived in Baku on Sunday for a two-day official visit at the head of a high-ranking delegation.

He held talks with the Azeri president on the same day about ways to bolster relations in different fields. Senior Iranian and Azeri officials also signed six documents and memoranda of understanding to strengthen cooperation in various sectors. The agreements were inked in the presence of Rouhani and Aliyev.

Earlier on Monday, the Iranian and Russian presidents discussed issues of common interest and avenues for strengthening bilateral cooperation.

Related Article:

Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan vow to create NSTC - Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan have vowed to work together to prepare the grounds for the construction of a North-South Transit Corridor (NSTC) which is expected to provide a faster and more efficient trade connectivity between Europe and South East Asia. (Press TV)


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