Azerbaijan and Iran agree to restore relations “through dialogue” | New

Relations between Baku and Tehran have deteriorated in recent weeks following allegations that the IDF was active in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan says it agreed to resolve a diplomatic crisis with Iran through dialogue, weeks after relations deteriorated following claims from Tehran that the IDF was active in the country.

The breakthrough came during telephone talks between Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

“The parties noted the nefarious rhetoric observed recently, which does not correspond to the level of friendly relations between our countries, and the need to resolve all disputes through dialogue,” the statement said.

“The ministers stressed the importance of always respecting the principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty of countries.

Iran’s foreign ministry also confirmed that the two sides agreed to rely on talks to resolve the tensions.

Iran last month protested what it said was the presence of its arch-enemy Israel in Azerbaijan and pledged to take all necessary measures.

In early October, Iran staging military exercises near its border with Azerbaijan, drawing criticism from officials in Baku, who denied Tehran’s claims.

Israel is supplying arms to Azerbaijan and the two countries have strengthened their military alliance in recent months.

Last year, high-tech drones provided by Israel helped Azerbaijan defeat neighboring Armenia in a six-week war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Azerbaijan and Iran have long disagreed over Tehran’s support for Armenia in the decades-long dispute over the region, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, even by Armenia, but which is populated and until recently controlled by ethnic Armenians.

Last year’s war ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire that saw Yerevan return swathes of territory, including part of Azerbaijani 700 km (430 miles) border with the Iran which for decades was under Armenian control.

Azerbaijan’s recent decision to impose a “road tax” on Iranian trucks passing through areas it has recaptured has also fueled tensions between Tehran and Baku.

Earlier this month, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said the number of Iranian transit vehicles passing through these roads had gradually reached zero after the deployment of taxes.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s statement on Wednesday said the two sides agreed that it was “necessary to establish a direct dialogue” on transit issues.

During talks with Armenian Foreign Minister Araray Mirzoyan in Tehran last week, Amir-Abdollahian said the two men agreed to finalize the construction of a transit road that would not cross Azerbaijani soil. The road is expected to be launched later this year.

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