Azerbaijan is now not excited about securing a land hall via Armenia to Nakhichevan and can as a substitute talk about the difficulty with Iran, a senior Azerbaijani official informed Reuters on Wednesday.
Azerbaijan has lengthy claimed that it has no territorial ambitions towards Armenia, and, as not too long ago as final week, insisted on seizing Armenia’s southern part to satisfy its so-called “Zangezur Hall” agenda.
Talking in occupied Stepanakert earlier this month, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, once more insisted that his nation will set up the “hall.”
In latest weeks, nevertheless, Iran has signaled that it’s working with Azerbaijan to create a land-link to Nakhichevan. A groundbreaking ceremony for a bridge over the Arax River was seen as a begin of such a plan. Tehran has vehemently opposed any modifications to the present regional borders.
“Azerbaijan had no plans to grab Zangezur,” Hikmet Hajiyev, Aliyev’s prime advisor informed Reuters.
“After the 2 sides didn’t agree on its opening, the undertaking has misplaced its attractiveness for us — we are able to do that with Iran as a substitute,” he added.
Tehran and Yerevan have bolstered their ties lately, with the Armenian authorities awarding a $215 million contract to a consortium of two Iranian firms to improve a 32-kilometer (roughly 20 miles) part of the primary freeway connecting Armenia to Iran via the Syunik Province.
A senior authorities official and prime executives of these firms signed a related settlement in Yerevan on Monday within the presence of Armenia’s Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures Gnel Sanosyan and Iran’s Minister of Roads and City Improvement Mehrzad Bazrpash, Azatutyun.am reported.
“We’re very glad that … Iranian firms will perform the development of this highway part,” Sanosyan mentioned on the signing ceremony.
“Our neighbor, Armenia, is essential to us,” Bazrpash mentioned, for his half. “Armenia might play a key position within the framework of the [transnational] North-South transport hall. I hope that the undertaking might be applied quickly.”
The undertaking, co-financed by the Armenian authorities and the Eurasian Improvement Financial institution, covers the freeway part stretching from Agarak, an Armenian city adjoining to the Iranian border, to the Kajaran mountain move, the very best in Armenia. About two-thirds of the highway is to be expanded and modernized whereas the remaining 11 kilometers might be constructed from scratch over the following three years. In Sanosyan’s phrases, the Iranians will assemble 17 bridges and two tunnels within the mountainous space.
One other, for much longer, tunnel deliberate by the Armenian facet will reduce via the Kajaran move. The federal government has organized a global tender for its development, which is able to additional shorten journey time between the 2 neighboring states.
Bazrpash additionally introduced that Yerevan and Tehran have agreed to construct a brand new bridge over the Arax river that marks the Armenian-Iranian border. The 2 governments will arrange a joint working group for that goal, he informed reporters.
The Iranian minister’s presence on the signing ceremony appeared to additionally underscore the geopolitical significance of the undertaking.