Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution in focus of Tehran talks
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.