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Iran praises 3+3 as 'effective' mechanism for resolving issues in Caucasus region, rejects foreign interference

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) meets with Armen Grigoryan, the secretary of the National Security Council of Armenia, in Tehran on October 3, 2023. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran’s foreign minister has underlined the sovereignty and territorial integrity of regional countries, supporting the 3+3 format as an effective mechanism for resolving disputes in the Caucasus region without foreign interference.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remark in a meeting with Armen Grigoryan, the secretary of the National Security Council of Armenia, in Tehran on Tuesday as the two discussed the latest developments in the region and the 3+3 cooperation format, which includes the three South Caucasus countries of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan plus Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

Amir-Abdollahian underscored the Islamic Republic’s principled and unchanging policy to safeguard international borders and territorial integrity of regional countries.

The top Iranian diplomat emphasized the need to resolve regional issues through cooperation among countries of the region, calling the 3+3 format an “effective mechanism to resolve regional issues without interference of foreign powers.”

Amir-Abdollahian also expressed Iran’s readiness to send humanitarian aid to the internally-displaced people in Nagorno-Karabakh, a landlocked disputed region in Caucasus that lies within Azerbaijan’s borders.

The region has always been internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan though it is mostly populated by ethnic Armenians, who have resisted Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over the territory.

Last month, Azerbaijan launched an operation to seize control of the breakaway territory and end a three-decade-old conflict. The operation ended on September 20, after the Azerbaijani military routed Armenian forces in 24 hours and made the separatists agree to lay down weapons, under a Russian-mediated ceasefire.

In the meeting, Amir-Abdollahian expressed his satisfaction with the growing trend of Iran-Armenia relations and expressed hope that the volume of trade between the two countries will increase to the targeted level of three billion dollars by expediting the implementation of joint agreements.

The Iranian foreign minister also placed a premium on devising a comprehensive and long-term cooperation document to expand and deepen bilateral relations.

Grigoryan, for his part, lauded the growing economic relations between the two countries and in line with the goals set by Tehran and Yerevan.

The Armenian security chief expressed his gratitude for the principled positions of Iran in supporting the territorial integrity of Armenia and welcomed the 3+3 negotiation framework.

“Armenia is determined to expand and deepen its relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Grigoryan said, adding, “It regards as important and constructive Iran's role in the developments in the South Caucasus and the establishment of lasting peace [in the region].”

Earlier in the day, Armenia received more than 50 tons of humanitarian aid from Iran, including tents, blankets, food, heaters, sanitary packages and other basic needs for displaced people.

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