Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 17
By Umid Niayesh, Temkin Jafarov - Trend:
Iran appreciates the involvement of regional countries in peaceful resolution of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Iran's ambassador to Azerbaijan, Mohsen Pak Ayeen told Trend on Jan. 17.
Commenting on possible Iran-Turkey cooperation in helping to resolve the long-lasting conflict, Pak Ayeen noted that the conflict can be resolved using capabilities of regional states.
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 the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Speaking about Azerbaijan-Iran relations, the ambassador noted that both countries have strong religious and cultural ties, which are the main factors in boosting bilateral relations.
"There are some differences in viewpoints, but they can't affect the deep ties of the two countries," Pak Ayeen said.
Speaking to Iranian media in early January, Pak Ayeen said that relations between Azerbaijan and Iran developed significantly in 2013 due to the activity of both countries' presidents, as the ties expanded in the political, economic and cultural spheres.
"There were periods in 2012 when relations between Azerbaijan and Iran were tense," he said at the time. "But the situation was resolved by the presidents of the two countries in 2013. Mutual trust and stable relations were established."
The ambassador also said that the relations between the parliaments of the two countries strengthened in 2013.
Edited by: Saeed Isayev