Abbaseli Hasanov: Azerbaijanis suffer from Iran’s bureaucratic obstacles on visa issue

Abbaseli Hasanov: Azerbaijanis suffer from Iran’s bureaucratic obstacles on visa issue
# 12 January 2007 11:18 (UTC +04:00)
He stressed that the construction of Shahtakhti Bridge in Nakhchivan will be completed in April.
“This bridge will push forward the economic development of the country. The cooperation in energy exchange between the countries positively influences the seasonal problems in this field. A new line between Ali Bayramli and Parsabad through the region of Astara is being constructed. Iran has allocated $85m-loan for the construction. One of the agreements between the countries is related to the construction of power stations. Additional works are done to supply gas to Nakhchivan without intermission. The ambassador pointed out that the new bridges on customs-check point and main roads are being constructed within the project on North-South corridor. He said that these roads will increase transportation. He also took a stance on delays in this field.
“We have discussed the issue with Iran’s Transportation Minister Muhammad Rehmeti. I’ll probably visit the construction places when returning from Baku. The delay is connected with the amount of works in Iranian territory. Thus, only 7 km of the road is in Azerbaijani territory. Besides, some part of the road crosses mountainous areas in Iran. These areas are being tunneled at present�, he said.
Stating that 7th meeting of Azerbaijani-Iranian intergovernmental commission will be held this year, Abbaseli Hasanov said that he is against formal meetings.
“Baku will host the intergovernmental meeting. I consider that this meeting will make important decisions. The exact date of the meeting has not been set, as the issues to be discussed have not been précised yet�, he added.
The ambassador said that the bilateral negotiations on status of Caspian Sea are successful. He also took a stance on talks in connection with visa.
“Some day visa will be abolished between Azerbaijan and Iran. But it cannot be realized now. Because, the process is not as simple as it seems. It should be regulated on the basis of law. The sides shouldn’t blame each other in this issue. The abolishment of the visa is favorable for the state, as well�, he said.
The ambassador said that Azerbaijanis face lots of difficulties in getting visa.
“Azerbaijanis have to pay $38 more than the contract says. The fare is $40 in the contract. Iran side demands health certificate. Azerbaijanis pay $38 more to get the visa to Iran�, he said.
Abbaseli Hasanov noted that Azerbaijanis face the same problem in Imam Khomeyni airport in Tehran.
“The airport issues one-time visa for $50. It is a problem for Azerbaijanis as it is impossible to guess what one will face during the trip. For example, an Azerbaijani, arriving in Tehran to be operated, fell and broke his leg and arm. It was impossible to extend the visa time as it was bought from the airports. He was taken to Baku and then back to Tehran. This bureaucracy makes obstacles for people. I have appealed to the Iran government on the issue�, he said.
The ambassador also said that the relations on educational field are not satisfactory and some necessary measures will be taken for the development of the relations. Touching upon the issue concerning the rights of Azerbaijanis living in Iran, the ambassador noted that these problems concern to the citizens themselves.
“Iranian officials say that 52% of the population is Azerbaijanis. If half of the population is Azerbaijanis why, they do not solve the problems themselves. The religious leader of the country Seyid Ali Khomeini, most of the members of the government is Azerbaijanis. There are over 90 Azerbaijani parliamentarians in Iran parliament. I repeat again, this is the issue concerning to Azerbaijanis living in Iran. We do not interfere to this issue and do not let anyone interfere to our work,� the ambassador stressed. /APA/
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