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Iran frowns on US-Armenia 'Eagle Partner' war games

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian considers war games currently underway between the US and Armenia to be counterproductive to solving current tensions in the region.

The presence of foreign forces in the region serves to further complicate the regional situation, the top diplomat told his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan in a phone call on Wednesday.

Amir-Abdollahian was referring to the so-called "Eagle Partner" military exercises that kick-started between the US and Armenia on Monday.

The 10-day drills involve 85 US and 175 Armenian troops. It is taking place at two training grounds near the Armenian capital of Yerevan.

The drills come at a time of high tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Karabakh, while acknowledged as a part of Azerbaijan by the international community, has a predominantly Armenian population that has persistently opposed Azerbaijani governance since a separatist war in 1994.

Tensions over the region took a turn for the worse earlier this week when the two sides accused each other of amassing troops close to their joint border.

The Iranian foreign minister urged that such disputes be tackled at their roots towards the realization of sustainable peace in the region.

He considered the most effective means of achievement of comprehensive regional peace to be lying in recourse to regional negotiations and mechanisms as the 3+3 format that features Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia plus Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

For his part, the Armenian official deemed taking the place of whatever change to the South Caucasus region's borders to be unacceptable.

The top diplomats, meanwhile, addressed the available means of expansion of bilateral relations between Tehran and Yerevan, expressing satisfaction with the underway trend of the ties' development.

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