Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said on Friday that Iran seeks a cease-fire between Armenia and Azerbaijan over their conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Araqchi made the comment as he met Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan in Yerevan to offer Iran’s initiative for a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
He told Mnatsakanyan that Iran has the necessary capacities for cooperation to work out a peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Mnatsakanyan hailed Iran’s role in maintaining regional stability and peace, stating that Armenia is aware of Iran's concerns about new threats to regional security.
He added that Armenia will carefully examine Iran’s peace initiative.
Araqchi, as the especial envoy of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, embarked on a tour to Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia on Tuesday to present Iran’s initiative for “lasting peace” in Nagorno-Karabakh after weeks of fighting.
He said the proposal is based on humanitarian principles and attention to the demands of the warring parties.
Araqchi met his Russian counterpart Sergei Ryabkov in Moscow on Thursday after a meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister for Central Asia and Caucasus Andrei Rudenko.
“Today in Moscow,” Araqchi said in a tweet, “I had a useful meeting and proposed the Iran initiative.”
“Iran and Russia share common approaches toward the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he added.
Prior to his visit to Moscow, Araqchi met Azerbaijani officials in Baku.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a bitter conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh since Armenian separatists backed by Yerevan seized control of the mountainous region of Azerbaijan in a 1990s war that left 30,000 people dead. Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
The current clashes broke out on September 27 and fighting has persisted despite repeated international attempts to secure a cease-fire.
The fighting has intensified in recent days including with renewed shelling and rocket attacks on civilian areas.
More than 1,200 people from both sides have been reported dead since the fighting began, and thousands forced from their homes.
Azerbaijan has not released military casualty figures and the death toll is believed to be higher, with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying last week close to 5,000 people had been killed.
Putin said on Thursday Russia “is absolutely open with regard to the possibility of handing over,” the occupied lands of the south Caucasus region to Azerbaijan, in an effort to put an end to weeks of heavy fighting.
Putin said he agrees to the return of “these five plus two [surrounding] districts to Azerbaijan, alongside the provision of a specific regime for the Karabakh zone and the securing of a link with Armenia.”
“[We must] find a balance of interests that would suit both sides,” he said, adding that “the interests of both the Azerbaijani people, whom we treat with unwavering respect, and the Armenian people, should be taken into account.”
“Each side has its own truth. There are no simple solutions,” Putin added.
Press TV and AFP contributed to this story.