Friday, December 8, 2023

Iran says ready to send observers to Armenia-Azerbaijan border

The Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces has expressed Tehran’s readiness to dispatch observers to the frontier between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia and help relieve tensions between the two northwestern neighbors.

In a meeting with Secretary of Armenia’s Security Council Armen Grigoryan, held in Tehran on Wednesday, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri warned that the persistence of tensions in the South Caucasus region will be to the detriment of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan and other regional countries.

Stressing the need for efforts to settle the tensions and disputes in the South Caucasus, the top general said Iran is prepared to help resolve the tensions.

Major General Baqeri also voiced Iran’s readiness to deploy observers to the border between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The developments and security issues in the South Caucasus will affect the whole region’s security, he noted, stressing that the defense and military capabilities of a country should not be enhanced with the purpose of offense.

“Peace and calm in the region would benefit all countries. The regional security must be ensured by the regional countries, as the presence of extra-regional forces upsets regional calm,” the Iranian general added.

Warning about the policy of outsiders to foment division and unrest in the region, the commander urged that the regional states should settle their differences through dialogue.

Commenting on a recent joint military exercise between Armenia and the US, Major General Baqeri stated, “The presence of new actors from outside the region will add to complication and instability.”

The separatist government of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, backed by Armenia, announced last week it would dissolve itself by the end of 2023 after a three-decade bid for independence.

The decision triggered a massive exodus by the ethnic Armenians.

The region and sizable surrounding territories came under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by the Armenian military at the end of a separatist war in 1994. However, the Azerbaijan Republic regained the territories and parts of Nagorno-Karabakh itself after six weeks of fighting in 2020. The area is recognized internationally as part of Azerbaijan.

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