Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Armenia: Iran - Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be solved only by regional countries

PanARMENIAN.Net - Since the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Iran believes that the problem can be solved only by regional countries, Iranian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohammad Bagir Behrami stated.

“Iran thinks that a country far from the region only pursues its own interests and perceives the conflict as a way to realize its interests. Non-regional countries want to enhance their prestige in the region, as well as in the energy sector and when dealing with ethnic issues.

From this point of view, the conflicting parties should solve the problem through an independent decision. Iran has conditions for a positive influence on the discussions over the conflict for various reasons. First, the Iran Islamic Republic is the closest country to the conflict zone and it is aware of the conflict's causes. Moreover, the country worked on a just solution to the problem in the past. Since the early stage of the conflict, Iran has sought to remove obstacles preventing the conflicting parties to achieve a result that can suit both sides.

Any agreement reached in the region, directly or indirectly affects Iran. Therefore, Iran must join these discussions as an honest mediator. Iran has a very good potential to hold discussions between the conflicting parties.

Of course, Iran cannot remain indifferent to a conflict near its borders. Now, the region has become a place for non-regional countries to square their accounts.

Iran offers to view the realities of the problem and study the factors contributing to the prolongation of the conflict. Iran believes in honest mediation through protecting the countries' territorial integrity and mutual respect, and may take positive steps to discuss the conflict with the parties involved in it.

In any case, Iran wants to resolve the conflict through discussions and mutual understanding, and considering conscience in the conflict resolution is a condition,” Trend News cited the Ambassador as saying.

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan broke out in 1988 as result of the ethnic cleansing the latter launched in the final years of the Soviet Union. The Karabakh War was fought from 1991 to 1994. Since the ceasefire in 1994, sealed by Armenia, NKR and Azerbaijan, most of Nagorno Karabakh and several regions of Azerbaijan around it (the security zone) remain under the control of NKR defense army. Armenia and Azerbaijan are holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group up till now.

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