Iran’s deputy FM holds talks with Turkish counterpart over Nagorno-Karabakh war

November 1, 2020 - 11:42

TEHRAN – At the end of his regional tour, which included several countries, Seyed Abbas Araghchi, the deputy foreign minister of Iran for political affairs, arrived in Ankara late on Friday to hold talks over the ongoing war between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

In Ankara, the deputy minister met with his Turkish counterpart, Sedat Onal. Following the meeting, Araghchi described the position of countries involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict toward Iran’s peace initiative as “positive.”

During his tour, Araghchi presented Iran’s initiative to establish peace in the conflict zone. He held discussions with officials in Baku, Moscow, Yerevan, and finally in Ankara.

“Given the capacities of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region and its close relations with the countries of Azerbaijan and Armenia, it is capable of having an effective presence to resolve this crisis, and it, after conducting detailed studies, has presented an initiative to achieve a lasting peace in the Caucasus region, which is important to all regional countries,” pointed out Araghchi, adding that the regional approach of Iran’s initiative is a prominent feature that engages the main players in the region to resolve this crisis.

The Iranian diplomat added, “We do not reject other mechanisms such as the Minsk Group, our initiative is not a substitute for the Minsk initiatives but a complement to it, and we seek to contribute to the current efforts of the Minsk Group through a regional approach and engaging all effective regional players to resolve this crisis.”

Araghchi gave more details about the Iran peace initiative, describing it as “realistic” and based on the principles of international law.

According to the deputy foreign minister, these principles include respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, inviolability of borders, the need to end occupation, the need to respect the rights of minorities, the return of refugees, non-interference, and the withdrawal of foreign agents from the region.

“We expect these principles to be initially agreed upon, followed by a ceasefire and the start of negotiations,” said Araghchi, noting that all of the four countries involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh war – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, and Turkey – have viewed the Iranian peace initiative as positive.

The Iranian diplomat, who embarked on the regional tour as the special representative of the Iranian president, pointed out that Iran is waiting for its initiative to be reviewed by the four countries.

“We are waiting for a response from the four countries in a short time to complete it [initiative] in a way that is accepted by all and paves the way for resolving the crisis,” Araghchi said.

However, the Iranian diplomat stated that implementing the Iranian initiative is no easy task.

“Immediately implementing the initiative is not easy but we are not disappointed and will move forward with our efforts,” Araghchi remarked.

The deputy minister described his talks in Ankara as “frank and productive.”

“Frank and productive discussion with Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal in Ankara. Iran and Turkey are two major players with undeniable role in peace and stability of the region,” he tweeted following a meeting with Onal.

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