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Foreign Affairs

Zarif: Iran welcomes cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a message on Saturday that Iran welcomes cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh, urging neighbors to engage in substantive dialogue.

"Iran welcomes cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh as step toward peace," Zarif wrote in his Twitter account on Saturday.

"We urge our neighbors Azerbaijan and Armenia to engage in substantive dialogue based on respect for international law and territorial integrity," he added.

"We appreciate constructive efforts of our Russian neighbors," Zarif noted.

Earlier, President Hassan Rouhani expressed deep concern about vicious cycle of violence in Karabakh, saying that the conflict should come to an immediate end and not to spread to the region.

"Nothing can be resolved by conflict and bloodshed," Rouhani said.

Rouhani said that Iran cannot tolerate the shelling of its soil by the warring sides in Armenia and the Azerbaijan Republic.

Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Iran has filed its official complaint to Armenia and Azerbaijan over the bullets and rockets shot at Iran and will never forgive any act against Iranians' security.

The dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan was originally erupted over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh and changed into a six-year war (1988-1994), Armenia took control of the region, as well as seven counties around it. Some 35,000 people were killed and 800,000 were displaced.

In May 1994, the two countries accepted a ceasefire, but international efforts of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), aka Minsk Group, have been fruitless so far.

Minsk Group has failed to restore peace to the region, which suggests that for some reason, some Western countries are not willing to put an end to the conflict. They definitely have some interest in the region and can save them only when the region is facing conflict.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA


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