Tehran, Kiev hold second round of talks on downed Ukrainian plane

October 20, 2020 - 14:55

TEHRAN – Iran and Ukraine on Monday held the second round of negotiations about the Ukrainian passenger plane which was accidentally shot down on January 8 near the capital Tehran.

The meeting was co-chaired by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Baharvand and Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgheniy Yenin, according to the Foreign Ministry website.

During the meeting, Baharvand, as the head of the Iranian delegation, expressed sympathy with the families of victims of the incident, saying the plane was shot down due to human error.

“Iran’s stance is based upon transparency, as it has nothing to hide about this incident and is ready to genuinely inform the Ukrainian people and delegation about details of the incident,” he stated.

The Ukrainian airliner was shot down shortly after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport on January 8, killing all 167 passengers and 9 crew members.

On January 11, the Armed Forces General Staff released a statement saying the plane was mistakenly downed near the airport. 

The incident happened a few hours after Iran fired dozens of ballistic missiles at a U.S. airbase inside Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani.

The airplane had been mistaken for an invading missile. Iran sent the black box of the passenger plane to France for decoding in July.

According to Baharvand, Iran and Ukraine are two friends that have sadly experienced such incident. He said the two countries should now reach an agreement at the negotiating table.

Baharvand also reaffirmed Iran’s determination to punish those at fault, ensure justice, and pay compensation to the families of victims.

For his part, the Ukrainian deputy foreign minister commended the Islamic Republic of Iran for its warm welcome despite the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

He hailed as positive the first round of negotiations in Kiev, and praised the Islamic Republic for its cooperation and efforts to ensure justice.

Another meeting was also held on Monday between the Ukrainian side and the Iranian side, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi.

During the meeting, Yenin and Araghchi discussed a range of issues of mutual interest between Iran and Ukraine, reviewed the latest developments in bilateral ties in political, economic, cultural, educational and consular fields, and weighed plans for the promotion of relations.

Participants in the meeting also expressed the two countries’ stances on major regional and international issues such as the developments surrounding the Iran nuclear deal, the illegal and unilateral sanctions imposed by the U.S. on Iran, the developments in the region, the national and international consequences of the outbreak of COVID-19, and the ways to tackle the pandemic. 

The third round of Iran-Ukraine political negotiations is set to be held in Kiev.

Also on Monday, Yenin met separately with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

During the meeting, the two diplomats discussed the process of talks on the Ukrainian plane crash.  

Zarif voiced his regret over the tragic incident. The foreign minister also hailed as positive and constructive the first round of negotiations on the aerial incident, and expressed hope that the negotiations would immediately produce the appropriate and desired results through cooperation and interaction between the two countries. 

The two diplomats also talked about Iran-Ukraine relations and ways to broaden cooperation in various fields.

MH/PA

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