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Iran Foreign Minister in Baku as Part of Caucasus Tour

Monday 25 January 2021
Iran Foreign Minister in Baku as Part of Caucasus Tour

Alwaght- Iranian Foreign Minister has arrived in Republic of Azerbaijan's capital on Sunday in the first leg of his regional tour of Caucasus, which will take him to Russia and Turkey as well.

Upon his arrival at Baku airport on Sunday, Mohammad Javad 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,” Zarif added.

He noted that he will hold talks with Azerbaijan's top officials on Monday about the reconstruction of Karabakh and ways to promote stability in the region.

The top Iranian diplomat expressed satisfaction that Azerbaijan has regained its territories after a recent armed conflict with the neighboring Armenia, saying, "We are interested in helping people of the liberated lands return to their places of residence as soon as possible."

Zarif noted that he will also raise this issue with Azeri authorities.

Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it 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.

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 said north-south and north-west international transportation corridors as well as transit of commodities will be among other issues to be discussed with Azeri authorities.

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.

Iran’s Finance Minister Farhad Dejpassand said after signing the contract that it will be focused on how the two neighboring countries would be able to expedite current joint projects while introducing mechanisms that could lead to a finalization of future cooperation plans.

"Persian Gulf needs dialogue, trust building among regional countries"

In response to a question about Iran's ties with the Persian Gulf littoral states and the best way to thwart the existing tensions, Zarif said, "We have always believed that the Persian Gulf region needs dialogue and cooperation and building trust among the Persian Gulf regional countries. Our arms have always been and will be open to neighbors in this regard."

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Saturday that Zarif will travel to Azerbaijan, Russia, Armenia, Georgia and Turkey at the head of a delegation.

He added that the top Iranian diplomat is scheduled to discuss bilateral issues, the latest developments in the Caucasus, joints projects and ways of promoting peace and stability in the region with his counterparts and other top officials of these countries.

 

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Iran Zarif Azerbaijan

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