Today.Az » Politics » Part of Azerbaijani-Iranian border not controlled due to Armenian occupation
06 December 2017 [15:39] - Today.Az
By Rashid Shirinov
A part of the 132-kilometer Azerbaijani-Iranian border remains uncontrolled due to the occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, and this causes serious concern, chief of Azerbaijan's State Border Service (SBS), Colonel General Elchin Guliyev said in Tehran.
He made the remarks during the meetings held within his visit to the Iranian capital on December 2-4 at the invitation of the country's major general, Border Guard Commander Ghasem Rezaee. Within the visit he held meetings with Rezaee and chief of the General Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, Colonel General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri.
Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions from Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly 1 million were displaced as a result of the war. Due to the occupation, the state border between Azerbaijan's occupied lands and Iran remains uncontrolled to this day.
During the meetings in Tehran, Guliyev and his interlocutors stressed importance of the decisions made at the meetings of Azerbaijani and Iranian presidents, the development and strengthening of historical, religious, cultural and economic relations between the two countries, as well as high level of ties between their border structures.
The parties also exchanged views on conditions at the state border, border crossing points and the Caspian Sea. They noted the importance of joint efforts to combat border security threats, including international terrorism, drug trafficking, smuggling, illegal migration and other cross-border crimes.
The sides also exchanged views on the organization of activity at the Astara railway checkpoint as an integral part of the International North-South Transport Corridor, which is of great economic importance for both countries, as well as simplification of procedures for cargo and vehicles’ crossing the border and strengthening border security measures.
The parties also noted the expediency of extending the work of the Astara and Bilasuvar border checkpoints for convenient travel of Azerbaijani and Iranian citizens, as well as in order to develop tourism.
As a positive indicator of mutual cooperation, the sides stressed the growth in the volume of vehicles and persons that crossed the state border in 2017, as well as halving of cases of the state border violations.
Today, bilateral relations between Iran and Azerbaijan are at a high level. The neighboring countries are developing relations in many areas, especially in trade and economy. The trade turnover amounted to over $200 million in January-October 2017, of which more than $180 million accounted for the imports from Iran, according to Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee. In this regard, it is highly important to maintain effective security measures on the Azerbaijani-Iranian state border.