Zarif: settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is important for Iran’s national security

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YEREVAN, January 27. /ARKA/. The settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is very important from the point of view of Iran’s national security, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said at a joint press briefing with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Tuesday.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is the closest country to the conflict zone, which, unfortunately, took place in Nagorno-Karabakh. And over the past 30 years since the beginning of this conflict, the country has faced a wave of refugees and instability on its border. Therefore, for us the settlement of this conflict is very important from the point of view of our national security,” he said.

The minister noted that after the recent aggravation of the conflict in Karabakh last summer and autumn, Iran made great efforts to present a regional solution.

“I had several telephone conversations with Mr. Lavrov, while our special representative, our deputy foreign minister traveled to the region and presented our peace plan to end the conflict in Karabakh. And we are very glad that the efforts of the Russian Federation have found a solution, which is very similar to what we had proposed, and that it has been put into practice,” he said.

Zarif stressed that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev are moving towards de-escalating the conflict and resolving this issue.

“Therefore, I think that today conditions have been prepared for the prosperity of Karabakh, cooperation and interaction, the ground has been prepared in order to reduce suffering and historical disagreements through interaction on economic and transport projects, to save people’s lives,” he said.

On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijani armed forces, backed by Turkey and foreign mercenaries and terrorists, attacked Nagorno-Karabakh along the entire front line using rocket and artillery weapons, heavy armored vehicles, military aircraft and prohibited types of weapons such as cluster bombs and phosphorus weapons.

After 44 days of the war, on November 9, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a statement on the cessation of all hostilities. According to the document, the parties stopped at where they were at that time. The town of Shushi, the districts of Agdam, Kelbajar and Lachin were handed over to Azerbaijan, with the exception of a 5-kilometer corridor connecting Karabakh with Armenia.

A Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed along the contact line in Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor. Internally displaced persons and refugees are returning to Karabakh and adjacent regions, prisoners of war, hostages and other detained persons and bodies of the dead are being exchanged.

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