|Rouhani says Caucasus peace benefits region||
TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that peace, security, and stability in the Caucasus region is beneficial for all regional countries.
Iran has always taken measures to boost peace in the region, Rouhani said in a meeting with the visiting Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian who arrived in Tehran on Monday for talks with high-ranking Iranian officials.
The president said Iran believes that disagreements between countries should be resolved politically.
The president also said that cultural affinities between the two countries can serve as a proper ground to boost mutual relations.
Foreign Minister Nalbandian also held a meeting with Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani in which they discussed a number of bilateral issues.
Iran, Armenia keen to expand relations
At a joint press conference with his Armenian counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran is prepared to help boost peace and stability in the Caucasus region.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that our region should serve peace and friendship for all regional countries, and once again I announce Iran’s preparedness to help [boost] peace, stability, and cooperation,” Zarif stated.
Iran-Armenia ties are ‘old-rooted’
Zarif described relations between Tehran and Yerevan as “old-rooted” and “strong,” and said that the two countries enjoy deep and cultural affinities.
He went on to say that the two countries have similar views on many international issues, and appreciated the Armenian government for its support to Iran at global forums.
He also expressed hope that Iran and Armenia would take measures to expand their relations in all areas.
Nalbandian praises Iran’s ‘balanced stance’ on Armenia-Azerbaijan dispute
Foreign Minister Nalbandian also told reporters that he had held fruitful discussions with Zarif on various issues, including ways to boost ties in areas of transportation and energy as well as cultural and educational cooperation.
He added that his country attaches great importance to strengthening ties with the Islamic Republic.
He added that the two officials had discussed the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh during their meeting, and hailed Iran’s “balanced stance” over the dispute.
Iran has several times extended an offer to mediate between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the dispute, which has dragged on since ethnic Armenian forces took control of the region during a war in the early 1990s, through diplomatic channels.
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