Rouhani in phone talks with Erdogan: Karabakh crisis should be resolved through dialogue

Iran’s president says the current crisis between the Republic of Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region must be resolved through dialogue, emphasizing that military conflict cannot help settle this issue.

Hassan Rouhani made the remarks in a Thursday phone call with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during which the Iranian side highlighted the necessity of maintaining the security of Iran’s border areas close to Azeri and Armenian territories.

“Our position on this issue is totally clear and we believe that war is not a solution and [the ongoing crisis] must be resolved through dialogue and negotiations,” Iran’s chief executive said.

As two “powerful regional countries,” Rouhani said, Iran and Turkey can join their forces and help, in cooperation with Russia, to restore peace and security in the region so it can bear witness to establishment of calm on the back of respect for the international law and regional states’ territorial integrity.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but is populated by Armenians and sought after by the Armenian secessionists.

On September 27, the separatists sparked a firefight by targeting Azeri forces.

Around 1,000 have reportedly died from the two sides during the violence. The flare-up has proven the deadliest to erupt between the two sides since 1992, when Armenians invaded the region with Yerevan’s backing and forced Azeris into a retreat.

Rouhani’s call came a day after Armenia’s prime minister alleged he could see no diplomatic resolution to the conflict at this stage. “There is victory and there is defeat. There is no middle ground,” Nikol Pashinyan said in a televised address.

The Iranian president separately regretted that the country and Turkey’s business ties have been suffering from the United States’ illegal and unilateral sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic as well as the coronavirus pandemic. He hoped that bilateral trade would claw back its former level thanks to renewed increase in air and road freight between the two sides that would pay full notice to standing anti-virus protocols.

Turning to the issue of terrorism, Rouhani called the phenomenon “a great danger” for the region. He hoped that the countries’ cooperation with Russia with the aim of remedying Syria’s crisis help resolve the Arab country’s woes, spell an end to terrorism, and restore Damascus’ sovereignty to the entire Syrian territory.

Tehran, Ankara, and Moscow have been holding talks together with Syrian representatives in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana in order to help end the foreign-backed violence that has plagued the Arab nation since 2011. The talks have led to creation of four de-confliction zones in the violence-hit country towards bringing about an all-Syria ceasefire.

Erdogan, for his part, reiterated Ankara’s support for Tehran in the face of Washington’s pressure, saying his country would do its utmost to expand its commercial and economic ties with the Islamic Republic.

The Turkish head of state also expressed hope that the countries’ cooperation would prove helpful towards restoring calm to Nagorno-Karabakh.


Source: Press TV