Rouhani & Aliyev

Iran’s Rouhani hopes for lasting peace in disputed Karabakh

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has expressed hope that the ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh would last to help end the conflict in the disputed region.

“Efforts must focus on maintaining the ceasefire in the Karabakh region,” Rouhani told his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev in a meeting on Thursday on the sidelines of the 13th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey.

The new spate of clashes, involving heavy artillery and rockets, broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Karabakh on April 1. At least 110 people have been killed in the worst clashes to grip the region in decades.

The two sides agreed to a ceasefire on April 5 but continue to accuse each other of violating the truce.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian president urged all regional countries to join hands in the fight against common threats posed by terrorism, extremism and violence.

He also called for further promotion of Tehran-Baku ties.

The Azeri president, for his part, described Iran as a close friend of his country and hoped for more enhanced ties with the Islamic Republic.

Also on Thursday, Rouhani attended a meeting with Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, during which he reaffirmed Iran’s support for the Afghan government and nation.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran always seeks stability and peace in Afghanistan and will stand by the people of the country forever,” Rouhani said.

He also underlined the need for the further promotion of Tehran-Kabul ties.

Abdulah, for his part, praised Iran’s support for his country and expressed Afghanistan’s keenness to shore up ties with the Islamic Republic.

On the sidelines of the OIC summit, the Iranian chief executive also met with Indonesian Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla.

In the meeting, Rouhani praised Indonesia’s support for the rights of the Palestinian nation.

He also described as “instrumental” Tehran-Jakarta cooperation in fighting terrorism and extremism as well as settling regional woes.

Rouhani also criticized certain Western countries for creating terrorist groups for their own political gains, saying these groups are now posing a threat to their sponsors.

He also lashed out at certain regional countries for following suit in supporting terrorist groups.

The Indonesian official said Tehran and Jakarta have been always advocating peaceful relations between Muslim countries, and underscored the need for bilateral cooperation between the two sides in the battle against terror.

He also called on OIC member states to play a more active role in this regard.

Rouhani also sat down with President of Algeria’s Senate Abdelkader Bensalah and Oman’s State Council’s chairman Yahya bin Mahfouz Al-Mundari on the sidelines of the OIC summit.

By Press TV