Iran Ready to Help Resolve Karabakh Conflict, Says FM

TEHRAN (FNA)–Iran is prepared to help its Azeri and Armenian neighbors resolve the longstanding Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian on Friday during talks in Yerevan focusing on economic relations.

Mottaki described peace as the first condition for sustainable development in the region and referring to the two countries’ cooperation and trade relations, he urged the two sides to come up with new ideas to expand ties. The existing level of relations are not ideal, Mottaki said, adding that he hoped that Iran and Armenia will soon sign a free trade agreement to “promote the trend of development in the region.”

The Iranian Foreign Minister also sounded an optimistic note on plans to build a railway linking the two countries and another joint project to construct the Arax hydraulic power plant near the Iranian-Armenian border. He also called on Armenia to use the services of Iranian contractors for “different projects.”

Mottaki referred to the Armenian president’s visit to Iran and said inking new documen’s can open a new season in the two countries relations.

Sarkisian, for his part, described Iran as a good neighbor and a reliable partner for Armenia and welcomed Iran’s efforts to resolve the Karabakh conflict and announced his country’s readiness to pursue the implementation of large infrastructural projects to connect the two countries and join the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea.

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