Zarif holds phone talks with Turkish counterpart ahead of Caucasus tour

January 20, 2021 - 21:19

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke by phone with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday night.

“During the phone call, the two sides discussed the latest developments in bilateral relations in various areas of mutual cooperation,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a short statement on Tuesday.

In remarks on Wednesday, Zarif described his phone call as “good.”

“We are talking to Turkey. Last night I had a good telephone conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu,” Zarif told the Iranian Akharin Khabar news website.

The conversation comes before an imminent visit by Zarif to a number of Caucasus countries and Russia.

The tour includes Baku, Moscow, Yerevan and Tbilisi. Zarif did not say whether his telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart had something to do with his imminent tour but he said he will travel to countries that can contribute to resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis.

“I intend to travel to countries that can work together to help the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis and the situation of peace and stability in the region,” Zarif said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Friday that the Iranian foreign minister will pay a visit to Moscow on January 26 to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

She added that the two foreign ministers are expected to continue exchanging views on international issues including the situation around the Nagorno-Karabakh region and also the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as well as the situation in Syria, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf region.

Zarif said that the dates of his trips to the Republic of Azerbaijan, Russia, Armenia, and Georgia have already been set and he is waiting for the result of his Covid-19 test.

Iran and Russia enjoy close coordination in various fields, which is evident from the number of Zarif’s visit to Russia since he took office. So far, he has paid 31 visits to Russia five of which took place in 2020.

The Russian foreign minister has said that the high number of Zarif’s visits to Russia is indicative of a very good relationship between Tehran and Moscow. The upcoming visit will take place ahead of major JCPOA developments as the new U.S. administration has publicly expressed interest in rejoining the nuclear pact, though it is yet to provide any plan to reenter the pact.

SM/PA

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