Zarif holds talks in Armenia

January 27, 2021 - 22:19

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held talks on Wednesday with high-ranking Armenian officials including his counterpart Ara Aivazian and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the third leg of the top Iranian diplomat’s regional tour.

In his meeting with Aivazian, Zarif discussed issues of mutual interest regarding reciprocal ties and regional developments, highlighting the cordial and good neighborly relations between Tehran and Yerevan.

The chief diplomat noted that both Iran and Armenia enjoy age-old civilizations and a long history, according to a statement issued by Iran’s Foreign Ministry.

“Zarif described Armenia as an important neighbor for Iran and added Tehran-Yerevan relations are a symbol of interaction and dialogue between the followers of two faiths. Iran’s foreign minister underscored the significance of territorial integrity, independence and national sovereignty of all countries in the region, including Armenia. He said it is necessary to observe the rights of all ethnic groups in the region,” the statement said.

The Iranian foreign minister underlined that Armenia’s territorial integrity is Iran’s red line, describing as a brave move the decisions by the Armenian government and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to move toward the future.

“Zarif voiced regret over the human losses inflicted during the recent conflict in the region and said Iran stands ready to offer whatever assistance and make any efforts in that regard. He expressed hope the humanitarian issues caused by the conflict will be resolved as soon as possible,” the statement continued.

The chief Iranian diplomat also denounced the presence of terrorists and foreign fighters in the region, adding the presence of such troops is a cause for concern for both countries.

He said Tehran is ready to work with Yerevan and other neighbors in that regard and to help boost economic development in the region by tapping into the opportunity created and by taking the common interests of regional countries into account, according to the statement.

Aivazian, in turn, emphasized the significance of close political, economic and trade ties with Iran.

Foreign Minister Aivazian described Iran as Armenia’s fourth economic partner. He also touched upon the importance of regional stability and security, and highlighted Iran’s key role in the region.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry also put out a statement on the opening remarks of Aivazian during his meeting with Zarif.

“The Armenian-Iranian agenda is, indeed, quite comprehensive, based on the centuries-old friendship uniting our two peoples. This friendship is the best example of intercultural dialogue, an example of different religions and civilizations living side by side, based on mutual trust and respect. That is the key for achieving peace and stability in the region,” the Armenian statement quoted Aivazian as saying.

The Armenian foreign minister also valued the high level of political dialogue with Iran, close trade and economic ties, and cooperation in spheres of mutual interest, describing his meeting with Zarif as “a good opportunity to exchange views on the prospects of multifaceted cooperation and to outline further steps.”

“Iran is the fourth trade partner of Armenia, thus, naturally, the promotion of trade and economic cooperation has a special place in our agenda,” the Armenian foreign minister said.

He pointed out that the main subject of his talks with Zarif has been regional security and stability.

Aivazian described Iran as an important country in the region. “We respect Iran's approach of building relations with its immediate neighbors,” he continued.

During the Armenia-Azerbaijan war, which broke out in late September, Iran presented a peace initiative that called on both sides of the war to resolve their differences through dialogue. Iran also expressed readiness to facilitate such dialogue.

SM/PA

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