Foreign intervention could turn Karabakh fighting into regional war: Rouhani
Iran Press TV
Tuesday, 06 October 2020 5:45 PM
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warns that any intervention by third countries could turn the armed clashes underway between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia into a regional war, saying Tehran stands ready to help resolve the Yerevan-Baku conflict within the framework of international law.
"Security, stability and peace in the region, particularly on the [Iran's] northern borders, are highly important to us," Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday. "This conflict and the continuation of border insecurity should not prepare the ground for the infiltration of some terror groups [in the region]."
He stressed the importance of putting an immediate end to the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and said, "Iran is ready to take any measure to patch up the differences between Baku and Yerevan in accordance with international law and regulations and the two countries' recognized borders."
The Iranian president further raised concerns that the military conflict may turn into urban warfare that would lead to the killing of civilians and their displacement, in what would be a "very painful and dangerous" development.
Rouhani stressed the importance of maintaining security in Iran's common border with Azerbaijan and Armenia and protecting the lives of civilians in rural areas.
Since late September, heavy clashes have been underway between Azerbaijani and Armenian military forces over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Both sides blame each other for initiating the fighting in the Caucasus Mountains.
For years, the two neighbors have been locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh mainly inhabited by ethnic Armenians. Though a ceasefire was agreed in 1994, Baku and Yerevan continue to accuse each other of shooting attacks around the enclave.
During a telephone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Wednesday, the Iranian president called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to show restraint and reject any foreign interference over the Karabakh dispute, warning that the region cannot tolerate a new war.
Rouhani voiced concern about the ongoing fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory and underlined the need for regional peace, stability and security.
Azerbaijan will not allow insecurity in neighboring states: Aliyev
The Azeri president, for his part, hailed Iran's stance on the importance of maintaining the territorial integrity of countries and settling the ongoing fighting in the Karabakh region, saying Baku regards Tehran's security as its own.
Azerbaijan would not allow the conflict to trigger insecurity in its neighboring countries, Aliyev added.
He noted that Tehran and Baku can promote cooperation in the fight against terrorism in the region and said it is very important for all regional countries to preserve peace and stability.
Iran, Russia FMs discuss Karabakh conflict
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov also on Tuesday exchanged views about the latest developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
During their phone call, their second since Friday, the top Iranian and Russian diplomats expressed "serious concern about the unprecedented escalation around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Reuters quoted Russia's Foreign Ministry as saying.
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