TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani highlighted the importance of bilateral relations between the Islamic Republic and Azerbaijan and said the security and development of the two countries are dependent on each other’s.

Speaking Thursday at the Azerbaijan-Iran Business Forum in Baku, attended by Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, Rouhani hailed the growing cooperation between Tehran and Baku and said that in his trip to Azerbaijan, the two countries took “strategic and historic” decisions, which would yield major results in the future.

“Relations between Iran and Azerbaijan have progressed greatly in recent years,” he said, adding, “Links between the two nations and the two governments have grown significantly.”

He further highlighted the importance of the ties and said, “Iran has security when Azerbaijan does, too, and Azerbaijan is on the path of development when Iran is on the same path.”

The Azeri president, for his part, called for more efforts to boost economic relations between the two countries on a par with political ties and said the development of the relationship not only serves the interests of both countries but also is to the benefit of other nations.  

During the business forum, Iran and Azerbaijan launched a joint car plant and a railroad connecting Iran’s northern city of Astara to its namesake in the Azerbaijan Republic.

The inauguration of the joint projects of Iran and Azerbaijan came a day after high-ranking officials of the two countries signed eight memorandums of understating (MoUs) to boost cooperation in different fields, including economy and culture.

Heading a delegation, Rouhani arrived in Baku on Wednesday at the official invitation of his Azeri counterpart.

Iran and Azerbaijan have ramped up efforts in recent years to forge a closer partnership in various areas.

In February 2016, Aliyev paid an official visit to Tehran, during which the two sides signed eleven memorandums of understanding and agreements to promote mutual cooperation in a range of fields.