TEHRAN — In an article published on Tuesday, Iranian Ambassador to Ankara Mohammad Farazmand said that Iran welcomes Turkey’s proposed 3+3 format to solve conflicts in the South Caucasus.“Tehran supports the proposal of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in November 2020 to establish a regional cooperation mechanism in the South Caucasus with the participation of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia as three countries in the region and also with the presence of Turkey, Iran and Russia in the form of 3+3.”
In the article, the diplomat noted that Iran welcomed this idea with enthusiasm and made the first diplomatic move to recognize this idea at the level of foreign minister.
“In February 2021, the foreign minister went on a tour of Baku, Yerevan, Moscow, Tbilisi and Ankara, the former Iranian foreign minister stressed the importance of forming this initiative as soon as possible. Yet, except for one country, other countries have agreed in principle to this initiative.”
Farazmand continued, “The ‘3+3 format’ is exactly in line with the principles and foundations of the foreign policy of Iran which is solving the problems of the region by the regional countries, minimizing tensions and developing cooperation and creating a strong region through synergy.”
“President Raisi’s administration, by announcing that the neighbors are the foreign policy priority of Iran, has confirmed these principles and has time and again agreed to the 3+3 initiative (or 2+3 until Georgia is ready to join this group),” the diplomat wrote.
The Iranian ambassador to Turkey reminded, “It is worth mentioning that even during the war between Iran’s two northern neighbors in 2020, the then deputy foreign minister of Iran traveled to Baku and Yerevan, as well as Moscow and Ankara to make a similar proposal to establish a mechanism to control tensions in the Caucasus region and resolving disputes fairly through peaceful means to end the occupation of Azerbaijani territories and establish lasting peace.”
He further noted, “What is important is to maintain the collective will, and the continuous perseverance to bring constructive ideas to bear fruit. Fortunately, for the realization of the 3+3 or (2+3) format, there is a collective will, as well as common interests and a high mutual understanding between the interested parties.”
Undoubtedly, Farazmand noted, establishing peace and stability, ending the nearly 30-year tension in the strategic region of the South Caucasus, and creating opportunities for development, trade, investment, and transport will benefit all the nations in the region.
He also stressed that “the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a country that has good relations with all countries (party to the 3+2/3) format is very hopeful and eager to achieve this mechanism and believes that in this framework, this initiative will broaden political, security, trade, economic and transit horizons, as well as opportunities for cooperation between the nations of the region. The great advantage of this initiative is that none of the eligible parties have been left out. It is worth noting that these three neighbors of the Caucasus, namely Iran, Turkey and Russia, have already gained successful experience in reducing tensions and controlling bloodshed in Syria.”
The article comes at a time when Tehran-Baku tensions have cooled down.
Speaking at his weekly press briefing on November 22, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said tensions between Iran and Azerbaijan are “unwanted,” adding that these have been mainly stirred by the media.
He went on to say that both sides are now past these unwanted tensions.
“Good news is on the way regarding Iran-Azerbaijan,” the Foreign Ministry official added.
When asked about a possible meeting between Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi and his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, in Turkmenistan, Khatibzadeh did not rule out the possibility.
“Bilateral visits on the sidelines of the ECO summit are common, and there could be a meeting, but you should ask the President’s office about that,” the spokesman elaborated.
The 15th ECO summit is set to be held on November 28 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
Khatibzadeh’s comments were made a day after Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mostafayev visited Tehran for talks with the Iranian Foreign Minister, Oil Minister, and Transport Minister.
Mostafayev’s visit was described as “remarkable and constructive,” as he had reportedly reached agreements with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian.
Following the visit by the Azeri Deputy Prime Minister, the two sides announced the signing of several cooperation projects, including the development of oil and gas fields in the Caspian Sea.
Tehran and Baku also agreed to expand cooperation in several transport projects, including the construction of a bridge crossing the river that separates the two countries, the construction of the Rasht-Astara railway, the completion of the terminal building in Astara by the Republic of Azerbaijan, the activation of the Nakhchivan-Mashhad passenger train, and finally the increase in freight traffic between the two countries.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/467349/Ambassador-Iran-welcomes-Erdogan-s-3-3-format