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In Baku, Iran’s Zarif discusses regional peace, cooperation with Azeri president

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meets Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in Baku on May 25, 2021.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is in Baku as part of his tour of the region, has sat down for talks with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

Zarif arrived in Azerbaijani capital on Monday evening for key discussions with senior Azeri officials on Tehran-Baku relations as well as major issues of regional and international significance.

During their meeting on Tuesday morning, Zarif and Aliyev reiterated the two neighbors' intentions for the reinforcement of the already cordial ties.

The implementation of a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan was also at the heart of the conversation.

Zarif will next travel to Yerevan for a series of discussions with Armenian officials.

The Iranian top diplomat's visit to the capitals of the two neighboring countries is viewed as part of Iran’s diplomatic efforts to enhance peace and stability in the region, particularly in the wake of last year's deadly flare-up in Nagorno-Karabakh, the region of dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but has been occupied by ethnic Armenian separatists backed by Armenia since 1992 when they broke from Azerbaijan in a war that killed some 30,000 people.

The conflict re-erupted in late September, becoming the worst fighting in the region in decades.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry unveiled aspects of the Islamic Republic’s initiative for the resolution of the conflict back in October 2020, saying the proposed plan sought to promote “lasting peace.”

After six weeks of deadly fighting in and around Karabakh, Yerevan and Baku eventually agreed on November 9 to end hostilities under a Russia-brokered deal that secured territorial advances for Azerbaijan in Karabakh and seven surrounding districts.


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