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Iran-Azerbaijan Joint Border Commission kicks off work in Baku

Senior Iranian and Azeri foreign ministry officials started a meeting of the two countries' Joint Border Commission in Baku on Monday.

During the meeting, Azeri Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov underlined the two countries’ determination to further develop bilateral relations, and said, “The future of ties between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan is bright and there are no problems in the relations between the two countries.”

He called the two countries’ borders as the borders of friendship, and expressed the hope that the two-day meeting aimed at reorganizing border affairs would help further improve the relations between Tehran and Baku.

Iranian Ambassador to Baku Mohsen Pakayeen who was present in the meeting also confirmed Khalafov’s remarks, and said, “The presence of the Iranian delegation in Baku shows the two sides’ confidence in each other.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Director-General for Legal Affairs Alireza Jahangiri heads the Iranian delegation in the meeting. Iran has recently enhanced efforts to boost political, economic and cultural ties and cooperation with the regional and neighboring countries, specially the Central Asian states.

In October 2012, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad traveled to Baku to attend the 12th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). The Iranian and Azeri presidents met on the sidelines of the Summit, where both leaders reiterated the necessity for exploring new avenues to develop bilateral ties and cooperation. Also, the Iranian officials have many times voiced Tehran's readiness to help resolve the dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Despite facing strong international pressure, the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders have failed to agree on the basic principles of ending the Karabakh conflict put forward by Russia, the United States, and France in 2011. Armenia and Azerbaijan thus remain officially at war over Karabakh and the dispute is a major source of tension in the South Caucasus region wedged between Iran, Russia and Turkey.