Iran, Turkey, Russia can help restore Azerbaijan-Armenia peace: government

September 29, 2020 - 16:33

TEHRAN — Government spokesman Ali Rabiei has said Azerbaijan and Armenia should resolve their dispute peacefully, noting that Iran, Turkey and Russia can help the two countries resolve their issues.

“We believe that the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia can find a peaceful way to accommodate the displaced and return to the pre-occupation era by getting inspired and energized from the history of their civilized coexistence in the pre-colonial centuries and by relying on their cultural commonalities,” Rabiei said on Tuesday.

“The Islamic Republic is ready to help with establishment of sustainable peace in this region,” the spokesman said during a press conference in Tehran.

Violent clashes erupted on Sunday morning between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the volatile Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but controlled by Armenian forces. 

The two countries accused each other of starting the clashes as their militaries exchanged fire along their borders in the disputed region. They both declared martial law and general mobilizations in efforts to prepare their people for war.

Clashes continued into the third day on Tuesday, despite international calls for a ceasefire and ahead of a UN Security Council emergency meeting over the escalation.

Military officials from both sides confirmed that fighting went on throughout the night, each claiming to have inflicted military and human losses on the other side.  

The death toll from clashes rose to 95 on Monday, with Karabakh confirming the loss of 84 forces. 11 civilians were also reported dead, including nine in Azerbaijan and two on the Armenian side.

“The Islamic Republic’s stance with regard to the necessity of observing and recognizing the Republic of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity is very clear and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s government has on numerous occasions underlined this legitimate right within the framework of international law and UN resolutions,” Rabiei said.

“We also believe that the dispute between the two neighbors, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia, has a peaceful resolution. Therefore, Iran, Turkey, and Russia can help the two neighbors with the execution of UN resolutions in order to resolve their issues in peaceful ways,” he added.

Soon after the clashes broke out, Tehran voiced readiness to employ all of its capacities to help achieve a ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia and facilitate talks between the two warring sides.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is closely and worriedly monitoring the military clashes between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement on Sunday.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also urged Azerbaijan and Armenia to exercise restraint, and invited the two sides to agree on a ceasefire and launch negotiations.

In separate phone conversations with his Azeri and Armenian counterparts on Sunday, Zarif expressed concern about the flare-up of tensions, saying the Islamic Republic is ready to use all its capacities for the establishment of ceasefire, start of dialogue, and restoration of peace and calm.

MH/PA

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