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Trilateral meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia

August 8, 2016, Baku

Vladimir Putin, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Iran Hassan Rouhani held a trilateral meeting.

The three presidents concluded their meeting by adopting a declaration affirming their intent to develop trilateral cooperation.

The declaration covers cooperation areas such as joint efforts to fight terrorism, settle regional conflicts, work together on the Caspian Sea, and develop ties in the energy sector, transport and other areas.

The three presidents agreed to establish working groups in the cooperation areas of mutual interest.

Earlier in the day, Mr Putin had separate bilateral talks with the presidents of Azerbaijan and Iran.

* * *

Speech at the trilateral meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: President Aliyev, President Rouhani, esteemed colleagues.

First of all, I would like to second the words of gratitude that the President of Iran expressed to President Ilham Aliyev for his initiative to organise this trilateral meeting.

Azerbaijan and Iran are good neighbours and important partners for Russia. We have amassed a rich history of productive cooperation. No doubt, today we are opening a new chapter in our relations by embarking on cooperation in a trilateral format. We believe the need for this format is clear: the three countries have a shared interest in coordinating approaches on a broad range of regional and global issues, and in continuing to promote multifaceted practical cooperation on trade and the economy.

I would also like to note that all countries, or at any rate many countries, are facing similar problems. I am referring to the continued global economic crisis and persisting tensions. For our nations this is especially relevant because the tensions I have just mentioned exist on our borders both in Afghanistan and the Middle East. The area of instability and ongoing conflicts, the mounting terrorist threat, primarily from ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist organisations, pose a real danger to us.

In order to search for ways to resolve these problems we need to develop closer cooperation between our countries. The main areas of trilateral cooperation are mapped out in the declaration that we will adopt following today’s summit.

I would like to emphasise some issues that Russia considers important. For example, we consider it expedient to step up the exchange of information on the activities of international terrorist organisations. This is needed in order to more effectively curb the transit of militants, weapons and drugs via our territories.

We hope that trilateral dialogue on Caspian issues will help us complete work on the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea ahead of schedule. I am convinced that signing and implementing this convention is in the interests of the five Caspian states.

The prospects of cooperation on transport infrastructure are promising. I am referring to the plans to create a Western wing of the North-South international corridor.

In the energy industry priority should be given to the implementation of projects for the exploration and development of oil and gas deposits, first of all in the Caspian region.

We are ready to discuss mutually beneficial projects on the joint use of pipeline infrastructure for the transit of raw materials.

Naturally, more attention should be paid to cooperation in the areas of culture, tourism, youth exchanges and education. We need to promote direct ties between the regions of our three states.

I am convinced that in the future cooperation between neighbours – Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran – will be pragmatic and mutually advantageous. It will meet the vital interests of our nations and create fresh opportunities for the dynamic development of the entire Caspian region.

Needless to say, we still have a lot to do, and Russia – let me assure you of this, colleagues – is prepared to work together. Thank you for your time.

August 8, 2016, Baku