Iran supports 3+3 format in Caucasus, says ambassador
Format comprises 3 Caucasian states – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and their 3 neighbors – Russia, Turkey, Iran
Iran's ambassador to Turkey on Tuesday reiterated his country's support for the 3+3 format in the Caucasus.
The 3+3 format for the region comprises three Caucasian states – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, alongside three neighboring states – Russia, Turkey, and Iran.
In his article written for Anadolu Agency, Mohammad Farazmand recalled that the 3+3 format, which Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised in last November, was welcomed in Iran, adding that his country held contacts with other states in the region in this context.
He also underlined that the initiative is also in line with the basic principles followed by Iran in its foreign policy.
"The initiative in the 3+3 format is based and is in the same direction on the fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran in foreign policy, namely solving regional problems by the partner countries of the region, minimizing tension areas, developing cooperation and creating a strong region through the synergy of the capabilities of the countries in the region," Farazmand stated.
He went on to say that the Iranian government also backed the 3+3 format, adding that when the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Karabakh escalated in 2020, Iran's deputy foreign minister responsible for political affairs paid a visit to Baku, Yerevan, Ankara, and Moscow.
Azerbaijan and Armenia were embroiled in a 44-day conflict over Karabakh last year, which ended with a Russian-brokered agreement on Nov. 10.
During the faceoff, Azerbaijan managed to liberate several cities and 300 settlements and villages that were illegally occupied by Armenia for almost 30 years.
Farazmand said that during these visits, the deputy foreign minister suggested establishing a mechanism that would control the tension in the region and resolve the disputes by peaceful means.
He said that countries other than Georgia accepted this initiative in principle.
- 'Important to protect collective will'
"The important thing is to protect the collective will, to follow the issues constantly and to have perseverance and determination to implement constructive ideas," the Iranian ambassador said.
"Undoubtedly, it is in the interest of all nations of this region to end the 30-year tension in the strategic South Caucasus region and to establish peace and stability, and to create opportunities for development, trade, investment, and smooth transportation."
Iran, Farazmand said, believes that "bright horizons" will open for political, security, commercial, economic and transit cooperation to the nations of the region.
"The biggest advantage of this initiative is that none of the stakeholders are excluded. On this occasion, let us remind you that the three neighboring countries of the Caucasus, Iran, Turkey and Russia, have had a successful experience in reducing tension and stopping the bloodshed in Syria," he asserted.
Syria has been in a civil war since early 2011, when the regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Over the past 10 years, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.
* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev