News ID: 278781
Published: 0708 GMT December 28, 2020

Int’l borders cannot be changed: Zarif told Armenian FM

Int’l borders cannot be changed: Zarif told Armenian FM

Iran’s foreign minister in talks with his Armenian counterpart has once more stressed that international borders are inviolable and should not change under any circumstances.

Mohammad Javad Zarif in a phone conversation with Foreign Minister of Armenia Ara Aivazian on Monday, expressed his regret over the recent conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region and extended his condolences to the bereaved, Press TV reported.

The top Iranian diplomat underlined the position of the Islamic Republic on the inviolability of international borders and the country's sensitivity in this regard.

Zarif also said the end of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh would pave the way for multilateral cooperation in the region, and expressed Iran's readiness to develop economic cooperation with Armenia in the new era.

Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it has been occupied by ethnic Armenian separatists backed by Armenia since 1992 when they broke from Azerbaijan in a war that killed some 30,000 people.

Fierce clashes re-erupted between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces over the disputed Caucasus region in late September. The two sides finally agreed to end hostilities in early October under a Russian-brokered deal, under which Armenia ceded swathes of territory to Azerbaijan.

The agreement was signed after the Azerbaijani army overwhelmed Armenian forces and threatened to advance on Nagorno-Karabakh’s main city of Khankendi, which Armenians have renamed Stepanakert after a 19th-century Bolshevik militant.

The ceasefire, which secured territorial advances for Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts, has been largely holding, despite sporadic ceasefire violations reported by the two sides.

Russia deployed a peacekeeping force of around 2,000 soldiers to Nagorno-Karabakh under the accord.

The truce was seen as a victory in Azerbaijan and prompted anger in Armenia, with protesters demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

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