Iran, Azerbaijan inaugurate road bridge in Zangilan
Iran and Azerbaijan kicked off the inauguration of a road bridge in Azerbaijan's Zangilan project after mending ties earlier in the year.
A groundbreaking ceremony marked Thursday the beginning of construction for a road bridge and border-customs infrastructure near Aghband settlement in Azerbaijan's Zangilan district.
This momentous project is being undertaken as part of the Memorandum of Understanding "Between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the establishment of new communication ties between the East Zangazur region and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic through the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran," the Azerbaijani News Agency (APA) said.
Several high-ranking officials from both countries attended the ceremony, including Azerbaijan's Deputy Prime Minister and Co-chair of the State Commission on Cooperation in the economic, trade, and humanitarian fields between Azerbaijan and Iran, Shahin Mustafayev, and Iran's Minister of Roads and Urban Developments and Co-chair of the Commission on behalf of Iran, Mehrdad Bazrpash.
During the ceremony, both co-chairs highlighted the significance of the road bridge and border-customs infrastructure, emphasizing their role in enhancing transit cargo transportation between the two nations and streamlining travel to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
The road bridge, equipped with seven traffic lines, is expected to have a considerable impact on trade and logistics. It is estimated that the facility will be able to handle at least 1,100 freight vehicles daily, thereby easing the movement of goods and people across the border.
Iran and Azerbaijan inaugurated the project of creating a land corridor that will connect the territory of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan through Iran.— Iran Observer (@IranObserver0) October 6, 2023
Another diplomatic win for Iran.
This corridor will prevent Azerbaijan from thinking about further incursions into Armenia, but it… pic.twitter.com/jgHOeciBM9
This development holds promise for businesses and traders on both sides of the border, as it will reduce transportation costs and time, ultimately boosting trade and economic activity.
The ceremony also underscored the longstanding and strong relationship between Azerbaijan and Iran. The cooperation between the two countries in this infrastructure project is seen as a testament to their commitment to regional development and cooperation.
The new road bridge and border-customs infrastructure are expected to significantly contribute to the economy of the region, fostering trade, and connectivity not only between Azerbaijan and Iran but also with the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
At least 1,100 freight vehicles can be accommodated daily at the departure point from the state border, which includes a car bridge with seven traffic lanes.
This comes after Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohamad Baqer Ghalibaf said earlier in the year that the existing misunderstandings between Tehran and Baku had been solved.
Ghalibaf's words came during a press briefing after he made a visit to Turkey to attend the 13th session of the Assembly of Asian Parliaments (APA).
The speaker, touching on a tripartite meeting with his counterparts from Ankara and Baku, stressed that issues related to the transportation and transit of goods and energy were being discussed between the three countries.
Furthermore, the parties also discussed the prospect of holding tripartite meetings at the level of the foreign ministers, defense ministers, and heads of state.
Last year, ties between the two countries had improved after the two countries quarreled over what he described as the unauthorized cargo coming from Iran to Nagorno Karabakh and Baku's apparent "rapprochement" with "Israel."
Azerbaijan had sent a diplomatic notice to Iran's ambassador in August 2021 protesting cargo trucks passing across Iran's territory without Azerbaijan's authorization on their way to Karabakh, since it considers it as a part of its national territory.
Iran accused Azerbaijan of providing a base of intel operations for "Israel." Tehran accused Tel Aviv of exploiting the Karabakh conflict to gain access to Iran's borders via Azerbaijan, while also attempting to inflame tensions between Baku and Tehran.