Baku (IP)- Explaining his meetings with the officials of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Iranian Foreign Minister, told reporters in Baku on Monday that meeting with Ilham Aliyev was very important and fruitful.

Iran Press/Asia: Mohammad Javad Zarif added: "It is the beginning of a regional tour in the Caucasus region to discuss ways to strengthen stability and peace in the region, as well as bilateral discussions."

FM Zarif also noted: "In the past months, we had very good cooperation with the Republic of Azerbaijan in the bilateral field, and efforts were made to resolve the regional problem, and we had Mr. Araqchi's visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan."

"Meeting with Ilham Aliyev was very important and fruitful. In this meeting we discussed the regional initiative and methods of cooperation in various areas, as well as bilateral cooperation," he noted.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif, noting: "I am glad to host you in Azerbaijan to discuss our plans and also to review what has been done. We are very satisfied with the level of cooperation between our countries. As you know we have numerous meetings on the level of presidents, more than ten, and also on the level of other high-ranking officials. All of those meetings were very productive."

"The two brotherly countries became much closer during the last several years, in the economic area, in the area of transportation, energy and all the projects which today we are focusing on like North-South Transportation Corridor and projects related to energy infrastructure are moving forward successfully. The North-South Transportation Corridor is working. I have just got information that last year we had growth of cargo transportation of almost 20 percent, which is very positive," he added.

FM Zarif also stated: "I want to begin by congratulating you and the people of Azerbaijan for the liberation of your territories. We hope that this will be the beginning of peaceful, normal relations between the countries in the region. I am taking up your suggestion of 3+3 and I will be visiting all the six countries, five-plus Iran. I want to make sure that the vision for peace that you presented will be discussed and will come to fruition because it is in the interest of all of us in the region that the countries in the region could cooperate with each other."

"In addition to being your friends, we are the closest and have the highest comparative advantage. The relations on the two sides of Araz are relations of kinship and friendship has been for all the time. So, in the area of energy, in the area of reconstruction, and in the area of agriculture where we can create living for people who will be going back," added Zarif. 104

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