Iran,Turkey and Russia help to solve Azerbaijan Armenia conflict over Karabakh: spokesman

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Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei says Iran, Turkey and Russia can help solve the Azerbaijan-Armenia territorial conflict, which has erupted into the worst spate of fighting between the two sides in years.

“We still believe that the conflict between the two neighboring countries of the Azerbaijan Republic and the Armenia Republic has a peaceful solution and Iran, Turkey and Russia can help those two neighbors patch up their differences peacefully in line with the United Nations’ resolutions,” Rabiei said at a regular press conference in Tehran on Tuesday. He added that Iran has repeatedly voiced respect for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and Armenia and, in general, the national sovereignty of all countries. Iran believes that both countries should hold negotiations to find a peaceful solution to the Karabakh conflict, he said, adding, “We do not regard any other solution as beneficial to regional nations.” The government official once again expressed Iran’s readiness to make utmost efforts to promote sustainable peace in the region. Rabiei emphasized that Azerbaijan and Armenia are able to find a peaceful way to resettle the displaced and return to the pre-occupation era by relying on history, coexistence of civilizations in the pre-colonial centuries and their cultural commonalities, saying, “The Islamic Republic is ready to help establish lasting peace in this region.” He added that Iran is following the recent conflict closely and with concern. Karabakh 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. A heavy exchange of fire between neighbors Armenia and Azerbaijan in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory continued into the third day on Tuesday, despite extensive international calls for a ceasefire and just ahead of a UN Security Council emergency meeting over the escalation. Military officials from both sides confirmed that fighting went on throughout the night, each claiming to have inflicted military and human losses on the other side. The flare-up is due to the failure of diplomatic negotiations within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, led by France, the US, and Russia. The key sticking point is Azerbaijan’s demand that Armenia withdraw its military forces from Karabakh and let Azeris return to their homes, while Yerevan is apparently satisfied with the stalemate because it allows the status-quo to continue.

In a Twitter post on Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacted to the latest round of military confrontation in South Caucasus, emphasizing that the Islamic Republic is ready to do all in its power to restore peace to that region, because “our region needs peace now.” The top Iranian diplomat called for “an immediate end to hostilities,” and urged “dialogue to resolve differences.”

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