Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict res­o­lu­tion in fo­cus of Tehran talks

Azer News - - Karabakh Conflict - By Rashid Shiri­nov

Azer­bai­jan and Iran have dis­cussed the bi­lat­eral mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion and re­gional se­cu­rity dur­ing the of­fi­cial visit of Azer­bai­jani De­fense Min­is­ter, Colonel Gen­eral Zakir Hasanov to Iran.

Head­ing a high-rank­ing mil­i­tary del­e­ga­tion, Hasanov ar­rived in Tehran on April 15 at the in­vi­ta­tion of his Ira­nian coun­ter­part, Bri­gadier Gen­eral Hos­sein De­hghan.

At the meet­ings with the po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary lead­er­ship of Iran, Hasanov dis­cussed the ways of strength­en­ing of Iran-Azer­bai­jan mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion, the NagornoKarabakh con­flict, re­gional se­cu­rity, and talked about de­vel­op­ing bi­lat­eral ties in dif­fer­ent fields be­tween the neigh­bor­ing coun­tries.

Dur­ing the talks on April 16, Iran’s De­fense Min­is­ter De­hghan told Hasanov about the need for closer mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Iran and Azer­bai­jan and for ef­forts to block the third par­ties seek­ing to un­der­mine Tehran-Baku ties.

De­hghan noted that in­ten­sive meet­ings be­tween the lead­ers and se­nior of­fi­cials of the two coun­tries in­di­cate that the mu­tual po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and cul­tural ties are in­creas­ing.

In ad­di­tion, Iran’s De­fense Min­is­ter called for peace­ful set­tle­ment of the Ar­me­nia-Azer­bai­jan NagornoKarabakh con­flict. De­hghan ex­pressed hope that Azer­bai­jan and Ar­me­nia would not per­mit the third par­ties and for­eign­ers to in­ter­fere in the con­flict which only es­ca­lates the ten­sion. He noted that there is no ca­pac­ity for a new cri­sis in the re­gion.

Azer­bai­jan and Ar­me­nia for over two decades have been locked in con­flict, which emerged over Ar­me­nian ter­ri­to­rial claims to Azer­bai­jan. Since the 1990s war, Ar­me­nian armed forces have oc­cu­pied over 20 per­cent of Azer­bai­jan's in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized ter­ri­tory, in­clud­ing NagornoKarabakh and seven ad­ja­cent re­gions.

The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil has adopted four res­o­lu­tions on Ar­me­nian with­drawal from the oc­cu­pied lands of Azer­bai­jan, but they have not been en­forced to this day.

Fol­low­ing the meet­ing with Iran’s De­fense Min­is­ter, Zakir Hasanov vis­ited an ex­hi­bi­tion high­light­ing Iran's de­fense in­dus­try achieve­ments in Tehran.

The De­fense Min­is­ter viewed mil­i­tary prod­ucts man­u­fac­tured by the coun­try's de­fense in­dus­try com­plex, in­clud­ing weapons and mil­i­tary equip­ment used by the Ira­nian armed forces.

Later in the day, Hasanov met with Sec­re­tary of the Supreme Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil of Iran Ali Shamkhani, who ex­pressed his coun­try’s sup­port for Azer­bai­jan’s ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity.

Shamkhani said Iran op­poses the change of bor­ders by means of force and backs a ne­go­ti­ated res­o­lu­tion of prob­lems, restora­tion of sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity in the re­gion.

Not­ing that ter­ror­ism and the use of force pose a threat to the re­gion and the world as a whole, the par­ties stressed the im­por­tance for Azer­bai­jan and Iran to in­ten­sify ef­forts to com­bat such chal­lenges.

On April 17, Azer­bai­jani De­fense Min­is­ter met Speaker of the Is­lamic Con­sul­ta­tive As­sem­bly (Par­lia­ment) of Iran Ali Lar­i­jani.

The Speaker re­it­er­ated that Iran sup­ports the in­de­pen­dence, sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of Azer­bai­jan.

Hasanov, in turn, in­formed Lar­i­jani about the on­go­ing negotiations on the set­tle­ment of the Ar­me­ni­aAzer­bai­jan Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict, in par­tic­u­lar about the in­ci­dents that have oc­curred re­cently on the con­tact line be­tween the troops.

The sides also dis­cussed prospects for the de­vel­op­ment of Azer­bai­jan-Iran co­op­er­a­tion in the mil­i­tary and mil­i­tary-tech­ni­cal sphere, and con­sid­ered re­gional, global and a num­ber of is­sues of mu­tual in­ter­est.

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