Zarif to Armenian FM: Caucasus peace, a matter of Iran’s national security

26 May 2021 | 08:27 Code : 2002871 From the Other Media Latest Headlines General category
Zarif to Armenian FM: Caucasus peace, a matter of Iran’s national security

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday described the Caucasus as a “vital region,” stressing that lasting peace and security there is a matter of national security for Iran.

Zarif made the remarks in a meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazyan in Yerevan.

He reaffirmed Iran’s principled policy vis-à-vis the Karabakh dispute since the 1990s and underscored the need to respect the territorial integrity of all regional countries as well as peaceful settlement of conflicts, Press TV reported.   

Zarif also pointed to Iran’s efforts over the past months to contribute to a peaceful resolution of regional disputes.

Voicing concerns over the recent confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the top diplomat stressed the need for the parties to the conflict to show restraint, respect each other’s territorial integrity and make efforts to resolve disputes through dialogue. 

He said Iran is unsettled by any tension in the region and highlighted safeguarding internationally recognized borders as well as countries’ territorial integrity as a red line of Iran.  

Zarif also hoped that regional tensions, including the Baku-Yerevan dispute, would further decrease so that countries of the region could move towards stability and increase interactions for the sake of the peoples of the region.  

The Armenian official called for constant consultations and dialogue between leaders of the two countries and expressed hope that bilateral ties would further expand in different sectors.

Referring to the fresh border clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan in recent weeks, he admitted that such incidents go against the stability and calm in the region.

Earlier in the day, Zarif also met with Armenian President Armen Sarkissian and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

Prior to his visit to Yerevan, Zarif went to Baku, where he sat down for talks with Azerbaijan’s officials, including President Ilham Aliyev, on Tehran-Baku relations as well as major issues of regional and international significance.

The top Iranian diplomat's visit to the capitals of the two neighboring countries comes as Tehran has been seeking to further enhance diplomatic efforts especially since last year when fresh clashes broke out between the two ex-Soviet republics over Karabakh, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but has been occupied by ethnic Armenian separatists backed by Armenia since 1992 when they broke from Azerbaijan in a war that killed some 30,000 people.

Six weeks of fighting, which erupted in late September, were brought to a close with a Russian-brokered ceasefire in November that secured territorial advances for Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts.

The two sides, however, accuse each other of violating the fragile ceasefire, with tensions still high after last September’s war.

Armenia’s Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday that one of its soldiers was killed in a border shoot-out with Azerbaijani forces, adding that the shoot-out took place on its eastern border with Azerbaijan.

Later on Tuesday, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defense, however, denied accusations by Armenia that it had fired across the border at Armenian positions, saying the incident involving the death of an Armenian soldier was an accident and it has nothing to do with the Azerbaijani side.

Source: Iran Daily