Iran ready to help establish peace, security in Caucasus: FM Zarif

125’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L-2nd) and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev (R-2nd) meet in Baku on January 25, 2021.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic is ready to work with the Republic of Azerbaijan to establish peace and stability in the Caucasus region.

Zarif made the remarks in a Monday meeting with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in Baku, where he is currently on an official visit as part of a regional tour that will take him to Armenia, Georgia, Russia and Turkey as well.

During his meeting with Aliyev, Zarif declared Iran’s readiness to cooperate in all areas that would lead to the establishment of peace, stability and calm in the Caucasus region.

Just finished extensive and very fruitful conversations in Baku on bilateral ties & regional cooperation with @presidentaz, DPM Shahin Mustafayev & FM @bayramov_jeyhun.

Recipe for sustainable peace lies in inclusive regional arrangements – incl. transit corridors benefiting all.

— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 25, 2021

The top Iranian diplomat also congratulated the Azeri government and nation on their recent victory in the latest round of armed conflict with the neighboring Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, calling for the promotion of bilateral cooperation.

Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but has been occupied by ethnic Armenian separatists since 1992 when they broke from Azerbaijan in a war that killed some 30,000 people.

The latest armed conflict between the two countries erupted on September 27 last year and ended on November 10 through a Russian-brokered truce.

As part of the truce agreement, Armenia returned swathes of territory it had occupied for decades to Azeri control.

The agreement was signed after the Azerbaijani army overwhelmed Armenian forces and threatened to advance on Karabakh’s main city of Khankendi, which Armenians call Stepanakert after a 19th-century Bolshevik militant.

The truce, which was warmly welcomed as a victory in Azerbaijan, has prompted anger in Armenia, with protesters demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif welcomed a six-country regional cooperation platform, proposed by the Azeri president, as a model for promotion of regional cooperation among Armenia, Turkey, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

He also highlighted the positive outcomes of the 14th session of the Joint Iran-Azerbaijan Economic Commission held earlier this month at the Iranian Ministry of Finance, reiterating the Islamic Republic’s readiness to participate in the reconstruction of recently-liberated areas.

Iran and Azerbaijan on January 18 signed a contract to bolster their economic cooperation as Baku welcomed Iran’s increased investment and technical assistance to rebuild regions around Nagorno-Karabakh.

During the Monday meeting, President Aliyev, for his part, hailed Iran’s stance on the recent regional developments and expressed satisfaction over the current level of cooperation between Baku and Tehran.

Pointing to the joint economic projects between the two countries, the Azeri president welcomed the presence of Iranian companies in the reconstruction of Karabakh and said the six-country regional cooperation platform could contribute to peace and serve the two countries’ common interests.

Iran ready to rebuild liberated areas in Azerbaijan: Zarif

Also on Monday, Zarif held talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov on major issues of common interest.

The Iranian foreign minister said his current regional visit aimed to improve peace and tranquility while expressing satisfaction over the current level of Tehran-Baku relations, which followed intensive talks among both sides’ officials.

He said Iran is ready to play an active role in the reconstruction of the liberated regions located along the joint border, noting that the remarks made by the Azerbaijani president earlier in the day indicated the two countries’ resolve to strengthen cooperation.

Bayramov, for his part, said Tehran-Baku ties are based on amity as well as historical and cultural commonalities. He also appreciated Iran’s support for his country’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty.

Upon his arrival at Baku airport on Sunday, Zarif told reporters that the main goal of his visit is promotion of regional cooperation, “which is of high importance” to the Islamic Republic, and expansion of bilateral relations with countries in this region.

“Iran already enjoys very cordial and close relations with these countries,” he added.



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