With war over in South Caucasus, now time ripe for promotion of peace and cooperation

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Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says war has come to an end in the South Caucasus region and the time is now ripe for promotion of peace, cooperation and progress in the region.

Amir-Abdollahian made the statement while addressing the second 3+3 regional platform meeting, dubbed Time for Peace, Cooperation, and Progress in the South Caucasus, in Tehran on Monday.

Pointing to a “historic opportunity” provided now for all countries in the region to boost cooperation, he said the Tehran meeting aims to utilize regional capacities to solve issues, increase collective cooperation and establish peace and achieve economic development and welfare.

The participants — the foreign ministers of the three South Caucasus countries of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan plus Russia, Turkey, and Iran — will have the chance to exchange views about issues in the Caucasus region and ways to improve mutual relations, he noted.

The 3+3 consultative platform was established in an attempt to resolve regional problems through the inclusion of regional countries and the exclusion of extra-regional and Western countries.

The first 3+3 meeting was held in Moscow in December 2021 at the level of deputy foreign ministers and without the presence of Georgia.

The six foreign ministers are expected to discuss regional issues such as the dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The land-locked region has always been internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan though it is mostly populated by ethnic Armenians.

Azerbaijan won the 2020 war, regaining much of the Nagorno-Karabakh. Another battle in September left the entire territory under the control of the Baku government after months of blockade. 

Gaza developments war crime against humanity: Amir-Abdollahian

Elsewhere in his speech, Amir-Abdollahian expressed his deep grief over the humanitarian catastrophe taking place against Palestinians, particularly in Gaza.

The Iranian foreign minister said the ongoing developments in Gaza are “absolute war crime” being committed by Israel against humanity, including the massacre of Palestinian women, children and civilians.

He added that the Palestinian women and children are facing genocide by Israel as the regime is dropping bombs and blatantly violating human rights.

The top Iranian diplomat said the international community must send a strong message to the fake Israeli regime that it needs to urgently stop its war crimes against civilians, especially women and children, lift the siege on Gaza, dispatch humanitarian aid and oppose the forced displacement of people in the Strip.

He also called on the United Nations member states and regional countries to implement the UN resolutions regarding Palestinians’ right to determine their own fate.

Israel waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance groups launched Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, a surprise attack into the occupied territories in response to the Israeli regime’s intensified crimes against the Palestinian people.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, the Israeli onslaught on Gaza has so far killed over 5,087 Palestinians, including 2,055 children and 1,119 women. More than 15,273 people have also been injured.

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