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Iran Press TV

Russia deputy FM says Moscow weighing Iran initiative to end Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 03 November 2020 4:52 PM

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko says Moscow is mulling over Iran's initiative for the resolution of the conflict over Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Islamic Republic's proposal was made during a four-nation visit last week by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi to Azerbaijan, Russia, Armenia and Turkey, Interfax news agency quoted Rudenko as saying.

"We're looking carefully at it," Rudenko told journalists.

Speaking upon his arrival in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku on October 27, Araqchi announced parts of the initiative to end the Karabakh conflict, saying the proposed plan aimed to promote "lasting peace" and settle the decades-long dispute between Baku and Yerevan.

He said, "In several stages, this plan can lead the situation to a lasting peace and end the existing conflict and, of course, the occupation of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan."

Araqchi described the end of the occupation of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan as an "important element" in Tehran's proposed plan and said, "The protection of minority rights and humanitarian rights is another basis for Iran's initiative to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict."

In a Friday meeting with Foreign Minister of Armenia, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, in Yerevan, the senior Iranian diplomat said the Islamic Republic seeks to help establish a lasting ceasefire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

During the meeting, the Iranian diplomat presented the country's peace proposal to the Armenian foreign minister and said Tehran has the potential for cooperation with the warring sides to help establish a ceasefire in the disputed region.

The escalation began on September 27 after Armenian separatists — who have been seeking to break the region away from Azerbaijan for around three decades — opened fire on Azeri soldiers. More than 1,000 people, including more than a 100 civilians, have reportedly died in the violence.

The violence has been rated the worst to plague Nagorno-Karabakh since 1992, when Armenians invaded the region and forced Azeris into a retreat.

A humanitarian ceasefire, brokered by the United States this time, was violated on October 26 within hours of coming into force with Armenia and Azerbaijan accused one another of violating the truce.

Two earlier Russia-brokered ceasefire agreements collapsed immediately after taking effect.

A number of stray shells and projectiles have crossed the Iranian border, prompting stern warnings from Tehran.

Some reports have emerged about the deployment of terrorists from Syria and Iraq to the conflict zone near the Iranian border.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Tuesday referred to the conflict as "a bitter incident and a threat to the security of the region."

"This military conflict must end as soon as possible. Of course, all the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia must be liberated and returned to Azerbaijan," while the security of Armenians must be preserved and international borders must be respected by the warring sides, Ayatollah Khamenei said.

"Terrorists who, based on reliable reports, have entered the region should avoid approaching the Iranian border, and if they do approach the border, they will definitely be dealt with decisively," the Leader warned.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that combat operations continue in the Zangilan and Gubadli regions of Nagorno-Karabakh near the border with Iran, and in the Aghdere and Khojavend regions in the north and east of the conflict zone.

Azerbaijan said its positions on the border with Armenia had been fired on with mortar bombs and small arms and that the city of Fizuli, between Nagorno-Karabakh and Iran, and surrounding villages were being shelled.

However, Armenian Defense Ministry official Artsrun Hovhannisyan said fighting was continuing in the eastern part of Nagorno-Karabakh.

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