Iran’s Ahmadinejad to Visit Azerbaijan
Amidst ongoing attempts by Tehran to hobnob with its neighbors and defy international censure for its nuclear ambitions, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is bound for Baku next week for a November 18-20 summit of Caspian Sea littoral states.
While in the Azerbaijani capital, Ahmadinejad will spend his time again discussing with Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan ways to divvy up the disputed hydrocarbon-rich sea. The Iranian leader will also hold talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev "and other senior officials, " the Iranian Student News Agency reported on November 9. It is unknown whether, apart from demarcation talks, Ahmadinejad will also try to push for closer economic ties with Baku -- an area that has sparked US concern.
A week ago, Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki traveled to Azerbaijan’s neighbor, Georgia, to scrap visa requirements and open a consulate there.