Iran’s Raisi says peace, security in Caucasus is important for Tehran | Techno Glob

Tehran, Iran

Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi said on Tuesday that Tehran was “sensitive” to developments in the Caucasus region and that peace and security in the region were important to his country.

Raisi made the remarks at a joint press conference after two hours of delegation-level talks with visiting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Tehran.

Iran’s president said regional issues should be resolved by regional authorities, adding that foreign interference “only worsens things”.

He said the Caucasus region was “a part of Iran’s history, civilization and culture” and that peace and security in the region was “very important to Iran”.

Pashinyan arrived in Tehran on Tuesday morning from Sochi where he participated in trilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Raisi said the Armenian leader’s visit to Iran would be a “turning point” in the development of bilateral relations between the two sides.

He noted a 43% increase in trade exchange between Iran and Armenia in the past few months and said that bilateral trade is targeting to reach $3 billion.

Pashinyan said “comprehensive negotiations” are underway between officials of the two countries to strengthen trade and economic ties.

He said he briefed the Iranian president on the outcome of the tripartite talks held in Sochi on Monday that would ease tensions between the two estranged neighbors.

The meeting came a day after Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian held phone talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jehun Bayramov, during which the two officials discussed bilateral and regional issues, Iran’s foreign ministry said.

Amir-Abdollahian emphasized the importance of respecting the territorial integrity of countries in the region, including Azerbaijan, in a statement that noted that Iran opposes Israel’s “alien presence” in the region in a covert context.

He said that Iran supports the resolution of the long-standing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Karabakh region through a regional mechanism with a 3+3 format.

Tensions recently flared again in the disputed Karabakh region between Azerbaijan and Armenia, after two years of deadly conflict that have left thousands dead.

Although Karabakh was liberated from Armenian occupation nearly three decades after the 44-day war, Azerbaijani forces regained control of parts of the territory, although Armenia continues to make territorial claims over the region and violate a Russian-brokered ceasefire.

Iran shares a 44 km border with Armenia that runs from Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan region in the west to Azerbaijan’s tripoint in the east.

Iranian officials are concerned about changes to Armenia’s borders amid the latest flare-up, with a top Iranian diplomat raising the issue with his Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts in recent months.

Last month, Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran “emphasizes” the need to “protect the territorial integrity” of all countries, including Azerbaijan and Armenia.

He said the border between Iran and Armenia must be preserved “without any change”, calling it a “historic connecting road”.

Meanwhile, according to state media, Iran’s Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bakar Ghalibaf is scheduled to visit Baku later this month, where he will hold talks with Azerbaijani officials.

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