News ID: 271555
Published: 0249 GMT July 15, 2020

Zarif: Iran ready to help ease Armenia-Azerbaijan tensions

Zarif: Iran ready to help ease Armenia-Azerbaijan tensions

Iran expressed its readiness to help soothe tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the wake of deadly border clashes between the two South Caucasus countries, calling on both sides to engage in dialogue.

Irans Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held separate telephone conversations on Tuesday with his Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts, Elmar Mammadyarov and Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, respectively.

During the calls, Zarif advised both sides to exercise restraint and initiate talks aimed at resolving rifts peacefully, Press TV wrote.

The clashes broke out on the volatile Armenia-Azerbaijan border on Sunday and have continued over the past days.

At least 16 people, including four Armenian troops, 11 Azerbaijani servicemen and onecivilian, have been killed in the worst outbreak of hostilities between the two neighbors.

Officials in both countries have blamed each other for initiating the fighting.

For years, the two neighbors have been locked in a conflict over Azerbaijans breakaway, mainly ethnic Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Though a cease-fire was agreed in 1994, Baku and Yerevan continue to accuse each other of shooting attacks around Nagorno-Karabakh.

The latest flare-up, however, occurred far from Nagorno-Karabakh and directly between the two states.


Diplomacy only way out of crisis

In a tweet on Tuesday, the Iranian presidents chief of staff called for calm and voiced Tehrans readiness to play mediator.

Seyyed Mahmoud Vaezi wrote that the skirmishes threaten both countriesinterests as well as regional stability and calm and is cause for worry.”

He said the sole way out of the crisis is a political settlement of the disputes while taking into account the interests and territorial integrity of both states.

With a past record of mediation b/w the two countries and given its neighborly relations, I.R. Iran will spare no effort to help,” he added.


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