NAKHICHEVAN (News.az)—Foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey on Wednesday pledged further cooperation between the three countries in a declaration signed in Nakhichevan.
The declaration followed a meeting between the ministers, Elmar Mammadyarov of Azerbaijan, Ali Akbar Salehi of Iran and Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey.
In the declaration, adopted at the end of their talks, the ministers expressed their backing for further discussions of important regional and international issues and welcomed Azerbaijan’s election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, APA reported.
They stressed the importance of resolving the Karabakh conflict with respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and international law.
The ministers agreed in the declaration to hold meetings of subcommittees on different areas of cooperation. A subcommittee on trade, industry and investment will meet in Turkey in May, a subcommittee on transport will meet in Azerbaijan in June, a subcommittee on energy will meet in Iran in September and a subcommittee on tourism and culture will meet in Iran in October.
The ministers noted the potential to link the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to the Nakhichevan-Julfa-Tabriz railway, two routes currently under construction. The declaration also contained a pledge to consider easing the visa regime.
Mammadyarov described the meeting as very important and effective for all three countries.
“It was a very good meeting, informative,” he told a press conference with the two other ministers. “We covered global issues and signed the trilateral declaration.”
Meetings in the same trilateral format will be held by the countries’ ministers of tourism and by other ministers too, Mammadyarov said.
The next meeting of the three foreign ministers will be held in the city of Van.
Davutoglu told the press conference that the meeting had a positive effect on regional relations.
“Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran have already taken significant steps towards deepening relations. A separate meeting of businessmen from the three countries is planned alongside the meeting of ministers in Van. Customs procedures will be reviewed here as well,” Davutoglu said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that the three countries were linked by history.
“We are three states, three bodies with one spirit. This is, of course, reflected in the agreements among all three countries. We will continue our consultations on a regular basis,” he told the press conference.
The Iranian minister said that the three countries had a combined population of more than 170 million which created a large market potential.