Iran ready to act intermediary in resolving Karabakh conflict ambassador

Interview with outgoing Iranian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohsen Pak Ayeen

Q. What were your impressions of Azerbaijan during your stay in the country? What contributions did you make to the development of bilateral relations?


A. I’m ending my mission with pleasant impressions of Azerbaijan. Actually, I didn’t feel like a stranger. Our traditions and cultures are quite akin and almost the same. I traveled to different parts of Azerbaijan and visited quite a few places of interest, sanctuaries and tourist destinations. I visited the sanctuaries in Ganja, Goygol, Gabala, Shaki, Gakh, Shamakhi, Nakhchivan, Guba and Gusar districts, and other places.


There’s been much progress in bilateral relations in recent years. The two countries developed mutual trust at the highest level and our relations are growing successfully, in almost all areas—trade, transit, energy, oil and gas, tourism, healthcare, industry, etc. I’m glad to have played a part in expanding bilateral ties during my mission.


Q. - What attracted your attention most here? What will you miss the most about Azerbaijan after returning to Iran?


A. I was frequently visiting the tomb of Imam Reza's sister Ukeyma Khanum (Bibi-Heybat Mosque) in Azerbaijan. I will miss friendly and hospitable people of Azerbaijan and this sanctuary that has spiritual flavor to me.


Q. Iran and Azerbaijan are intending to build the North-South transport corridor. At what stage is construction work now?  


A. The construction of the bridge over Astarachay that will connect the railway lines of the two countries are going on and it should be completed by the end of this year. The construction of 8km railway line in the Azerbaijani section and 2km railway line in the Iranian section should be also completed by the end of 2016. Iran will commission the Qazvin-Rasht railway in 2017. Azerbaijan also intends to take part in financing this project. A joint commission and a working group have already been set up in this regard.


Q. Iran’s ambassador to Armenia expressed readiness to assist in settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict upon the request of the parties. Do you consider it necessary to involve new mediators? How can Iran contribute to the resolution of the conflict?


A. Iran is ready and has always offered to act as an intermediary in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. However, at the request of the parties to the conflict, this mission was entrusted to another institution. We think that the intermediary institution and countries should be more active in the resolution of the conflict. Of course, Iran always stands ready to positively contribute to the conflict’s solution.  


Q. What measures and projects are expected to be realized for promoting the relations between Azerbaijan and Iran in the near future? Are mutual visits planned?


A. Further expansion of ties in all fields between Iran and Azerbaijan - friendly and neighboring countries having strategic partnerships is always on the agenda. Thus, mutual visits are natural. Further information on such visits and projects will be provided in the near future.


Q. Where will you work after leaving Azerbaijan?


A. I will continue my mission in the structure of the Iranian Foreign Ministry.  (apa)

16.09.2016 15:46 / Hits: 599 / Print
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