Ahmadinejad to Nalbandian: No Need for NATO in Caucasus

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

TEHRAN (Combined Sources)–There is no need for NATO intervention in the Caucasus region, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian Wednesday during talks in Tehran.

Ahmadinejad criticized the West’s traditional role in the region, saying “experience has shown that the Western countries’ intervention in regional conflicts will make the situation worse.”

He instead explained that security and peace in the region will come as a result of an expansion of relations between the countries of the region.

While in Tehran, Nalbandian also met with the speaker of Iran’s parliament, Ali Larijani, who told the top Armenian diplomat during talks that the Caucasus region needs "new security arrangemen’s" and called for adopting new measures to prevent armed conflicts in the region.

"The events and recent developmen’s in the Caucasus region indicate that the era of unilateralism has come to an end," Larijani told Nalbandian.

Larijani explained that signing agreemen’s with regional countries on establishing security in the region can be very effective in allaying security concerns.

The speaker stated that the Iranian parliament is ready to develop cooperation with regional countries especially Armenia to help set up regional alliances.

The Armenian chief diplomat described Iran as an “important and great neighbor,” insisting that regional countries should resolve tension in the region without the interference of outsiders.

Foreign Minister Nalbandian was in Tehran for a two-day visit that rounded off a series of diplomatic meetings held by Iran’s chief diplomat, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, with the leaders of the region.

Mottaki spent the weekend darting across the region, meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev for discussions on a range of bilateral issues, as well as the conflict in Georgia and the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. He also met with his German counterpart in Berlin Monday night, where he announced that Tehran and Berlin were forming a working group to review the Georgian crisis.

Mottaki told reporters during a joint press conference after his meeting with Nalbandian that Iran is ready to take on a greater role in mediating for a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

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