Iran welcomes Azerbaijan's release of truck drivers

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Iran on Saturday welcomed the release by Azerbaijan of two Iranian truck drivers arrested in September, speaking of a “constructive” decision marking a thaw in ties between the neighboring countries.

Azerbaijan's customs department said Thursday it had handed over the drivers to the Iranian side in a decision “guided by principles of humanitarianism, mutual respect and good neighborliness”.

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Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian hailed the drivers' release as “a constructive step” to “pave the way for dispelling misunderstandings,” according to a statement.

Amir-Abdollahian made his remarks during a telephone exchange with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov.

Baku had accused the drivers of entering the country illegally, bypassing border control to avoid customs duties on cargo transit to Armenia.

Azerbaijan imposed the duties after retaking a stretch of its border with Iran that had been under Armenian control for three decades in a six-week war late last year.

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