I congratulate the Azerbaijani people and APA readers on the New Year's Eve. We can say that the relations between Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan have developed on the rising tempo over the past year. Important steps have been taken to further strengthen the good relations between the two countries. We have reached agreements and cooperation in many areas, Iranian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told in a statement on the outcomes of 2017, APA’s Tehran bureau reports.
He said presidents Hassan Rouhani and Ilham Aliyev have held 11 meetings between so far.
“Three of them were held in 2017. Azerbaijan and Iran showed an exemplary and persistent behavior being good neighbors and having deep relationships between their peoples. This friendship between the two countries has played an important role in promoting peace, stability and security in the region, as well as the further strengthening of friendship between the peoples of Azerbaijan and Iran. These relations are undoubtedly important to all the countries in the region and are not directed against any third country,” Ghasemi noted.
Answering on the possibility of a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through negotiations in 2018, Ghasemi said that we must not lose hope for the restoration of economic development, sustainable peace, stability and security in this unstable region of the Caucasus.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has expressed concern about this since the first days of tensions between the two neighboring countries of the Caucasus. Therefore, as the most serious and the first mediators between the two neighboring countries, we have made and are making great efforts to ensure the ceasefire. We hope that the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia will be resolved in 2018. Iran wishes all the peoples of the region stability and development. It uses and will use all means to ensure stability and reduce tensions,” the spokesman said.