Iranian president: No need for foreign assistance in South Caucasus

Iranian president: No need for foreign assistance in South Caucasus

The peoples of the South Caucasus can resolve their own problems without foreign countries interfering, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said during a meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian this week, the ISNA news agency reported.

"There are no problems that regional countries will fail to resolve themselves without foreign countries interfering in their internal affairs," he said.

Ahmadinejad also stressed the need to establish long-term stability in the region.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including Nagorno Karabakh and the seven surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.

The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the United States - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's resolutions on the liberation of Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

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