Zarif talks with Dutch, Austrian counterparts

October 2, 2020 - 14:35

TEHRAN — Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has had a phone conversation with his counterparts from the Netherlands and Austria to discuss a whole range of issues.

In separate conversations, Zarif spoke with Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok and Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg on Thursday, according to the Foreign Ministry website.

The foreign ministers of Iran and Austria expressed concern over the recent flare-up of hostilities between the republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

During the talks, the sides exchanged views about mutual relations, especially in the consular domain, measures adopted by countries in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, the latest developments pertinent to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as well as the situation in the region.  

Among the issues which came up for discussion during Zarif’s phone talks with his Austrian counterpart were the developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The two sides expressed concern over the recent flare-up of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan over that region.

The Nagorno-Karabakh region is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it has an Armenian population because ethnic Azeris fled the territory in 1992 when separatists seized it in a move supported by Yerevan after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

It is unclear what caused the renewed fighting, which is the heaviest since the 1994 ceasefire, and there are growing fears international powers could be dragged into the conflict.

On Wednesday French President Emmanuel Macron said he was "extremely concerned by the warlike messages" coming from Turkey, a staunch ally of Azerbaijan.

Turkey says it is "fully ready" to help Azerbaijan recover the enclave.

MH/PA

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