A handout picture made available by Russian Foreign ministry press service shows (L-R) Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Jeyhun Aziz, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan pose for a photo during the second regional 3+3 regional meeting in Tehran, Iran, 23 October 2023. EFE/EPA/RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY PRESS SERVICE HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Iran calls for cooperation in South Caucasus without outside interference

Tehran, Oct 23 (EFE).- Iran on Monday hosted the second meeting of the 3+3 platform with the foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey to promote peace and cooperation in the South Caucasus without outsider or Western interference.

“There is a historic opportunity for all countries in the region. The war in the South Caucasus is over and it is time for peace and cooperation,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hosein Amir Abdolahian told the press.

The head of Iranian diplomacy considered this a “historic” opportunity for the region and supported the peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan, for which he considered mutual recognition of their territorial integrity necessary.

However, the minister added that he considered the participation of Western countries detrimental to the process.

“The presence of outsiders in the region will not only not solve any problems but will also complicate the situation further” said Abdolahian, referring to the United States and European countries.

At his side were Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Jeyhun Bayramov, in their first meeting since Azerbaijan’s victory in Nagorno-Karabakh in September.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been exchanging drafts of a peace treaty for months after three decades of armed conflict over control of Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as Azerbaijani but until recently populated by some 120,000 Armenians.

This second meeting of the 3+3 platform was also attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, while Georgia did not participate, nor did it attend the inaugural meeting in Moscow in 2021.

The five countries agreed to respect sovereignty, the peaceful settlement of disputes, the inviolability of internationally recognized borders and the prohibition of the use of force, according to a joint statement.

The next meeting of the platform will be held in Turkey on a date to be determined. EFE