Transregional interference "detrimental" to peace, stability in Caucasus: Iranian president
TEHRAN, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Monday that transregional interference could be "detrimental" to peace and stability in the Caucasus region, calling for resolving the region's issues through dialogues and cooperation among regional states.
He made the remarks in two separate meetings with visiting Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers in the Iranian capital of Tehran, according to statements from his office.
Speaking to Armenia's Ararat Mirzoyan, Raisi said "Iran attaches great importance to the security of Caucasus countries," voicing Iran's readiness to contribute to the resolution of problems between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The Armenian foreign minister, for his part, appreciated Iran's "explicit and strong" positions toward the Caucasus region's developments, stressing the need for holding meetings and talks among the regional countries at the "present critical period" through Tehran's assistance.
In his meeting with Azerbaijan's Jeyhun Bayramov, Raisi said Iran always maintained that dialogues among neighboring countries were the solution to regional issues, highlighting the necessity to respect all countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Azerbaijani foreign minister said his country supported Iran's position on preventing transregional interference in regional issues and praised Iran for its support for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.
On Monday evening, the two ministers took part in a meeting, which was also attended by the foreign ministers of Iran, Russia and Türkiye, to discuss the South Caucasus region's issues.
At the meeting, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian voiced his country's support for peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia, according to Iran's official news agency IRNA.
Amir-Abdollahian also warned of the risk of the region turning into an arena for "a tug-of-war among world powers," stressing that security in the region should be ensured through regional mechanisms.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at loggerheads over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, since 1988. Peace talks have been held since 1994 when a cease-fire was agreed on. But there have been sporadic minor clashes since then.