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Presidents of Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan Hold Summit in Iran

Nov. 1, 2017 (EIRNS)—The summit was held in Tehran on Nov. 1. The leaders met in both bilateral and trilateral formats, and discussed several issues, including Syria, joint efforts in the fight against terrorism, and economic cooperation. On the latter, they especially discussed infrastructure projects, including the construction of a main railway line—the western branch of the North-South Transport Corridor—as well as cooperation in the energy sector. They also shared opinions on current international problems.

The talks demonstrate how far relations among the three countries, which at many times had been tense over the years, have progressed, especially concerning economic cooperation. Russian President Vladimir Putin met in bilateral sessions with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"We are very pleased that, apart from our bilateral relations, our two countries play an important role in securing peace and stability in the region,"

Iranian President Rouhani told Putin in his welcoming remarks. In later talks, Rouhani noted Russian-Iranian cooperation in fighting terrorism, especially in Syria.

"Iranian and Russian cooperation has had a great impact in fighting terrorism in the region. The joint cooperation and consultations are very important in the final stages too."

Ahead of the talks, Putin thanked Rouhani for organizing the meetings. The Iranian Presidency reports that Putin made reference to attempts to dismantle the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal with Iran. Putin was quoted by Associated Press as saying:

"Unilateral dismantling of the nuclear deal under any excuse is not acceptable. The lack of acceptance of international commitments by some countries is not acceptable."

On the same day of the visit, Russia’s state-controlled oil company, Rosneft, signed a road map with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to build joint oil and gas projects worth $30 billion. Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said that the two countries would sign a memorandum of understanding to support the new pipeline project, which will bring Iranian gas to India.

The day before the visit, a Russian company broke ground on two new power plants due to be built at the Bushehr nuclear facility in Iran.

In his meeting with Azerbaijan’s Aliyev, Putin noted,

"I am very pleased to see you in Tehran. We talk frequently, we talk on the phone. Because there is a special relationship between our countries. Our relations are at strategic partnership level."

Putin also noted that the trade volume between Russia and Azerbaijan in the first nine months of the year had increased by 62%.

For his part, Aliyev said:

"We give a new impetus to the development of relations, we are very glad that in the economic sphere the trade turnover is growing. This shows great mutual interest of the business structures of the two countries. Our relations with Russia are of a strategic nature. We cooperate in all areas: in the humanitarian, economic, energy, transport, and military-technical areas. Therefore, these are comprehensive relations of friends, neighbors and close partners."

Following the meeting of Putin, Rouhani, and Aliy

ev, the Iranian President said at their joint press conference that "Mr. Putin proposed holding the next summit in Russia, and we agreed with this. I thank Mr. Putin, and we announce that the next summit will be held next year in Russia."

Putin told the media,

"We discussed different issues in the sector of stability, fighting crime and terrorism. But the issues of economic nature are at the forefront, of course."