BAKU, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Two warships of Iran's naval fleet entered the Baku port on Wednesday for a three-day mission, said the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.
A festive ceremony was held at Baku bay to receive Iran's Damavand destroyer and Joshan missile-launching warship, which carry 200 navy personnel aboard.
This is a first visit of Iranian warships to Azerbaijan after the country proclaimed independence in 1991.
During the visit, the Iranian delegation led by Captain 1st rank Abdulhuseyn Zafari will meet the command of the Azerbaijani Naval Forces, visit the Heydar Aliyev Azerbaijan High Military School, cultural and historical monuments of Baku, as well as hold a friendly soccer match.
The Iranian flotilla departed for Baku from the Caspian port city of Bandar Anzali on Sunday morning. Two vessels were expected to enter the Baku port on Oct. 18 but could not approach due to the adverse weather conditions here.
Rear Admiral Afshin Rezaei Haddad told local media that the visit of Iranian warships was aimed at conveying the message of peace and friendship from the Islamic Republic.
He added that Iran has sent several fleets with the same mission from the country's north and south to the high seas.
"The dispatch of the fleet is meant to demonstrate that the Islamic Republic of Iran is making efforts with all might to enhance security in the Caspian Sea", Rezaei Haddad said. He also stressed that Iran plans similar missions in the next six months, while foreign fleets are also due off Iranian coasts in the future.
Iran has invariably asserted that it uses its naval might for defense and friendly purposes. Enditem