Iranian defense minister in Baku for conferring with top Azeri officials

February 22, The Iran Project – Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami arrived in the Republic of Azerbaijan on Wednesday (Feb. 22) for high-profile talks on the bilateral relations and closer military cooperation between the two neighbors.

Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in Baku, General Hatami said Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan have plans to boost their military and defense ties by taking advantage of their neighborliness.

While in Baku, General Hatami held separate meetings with several top Azeri officials including President Ilham Aliyev, Prime Minister Artur Rasizade and his counterpart Zakir Hasanov.

He also attended a joint press conference with his Azeri counterpart.

Talking to General Hatami, Aliyev hailed the expanding military and defense cooperation with Iran, describing his frequent meetings with Iranian officials as a sign of close ties with the Islamic Republic.

For his part, the Iranian minister underlined that Tehran’s foreign policy is based on strong links with the neighbors, particularly the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Describing the current level of relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan at the highest level, Rasizade asserted that he believes that the bilateral ties should expand beyond the current level.

General Hatami, for his part, stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to develop relations with the “friendly and brotherly country of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the officials of my country are insisting on this important goal.”

Talking to his Azeri counterpart, General Hatami said that Iran is after setting up security in the region in the framework of law.

Also, Hasanov stressed that the Republic of Azerbaijan is determined to expand military cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Meanwhile, during a joint press conference, General Hatami said Iran puts stress on protecting all countries’ territorial integrity, describing his meeting with Azeri officials, President Aliyev in particular, as ‘very good’.

The two sides explored avenues for cooperation in joint production of military equipment.