Iran says welcomes convergence among Caucasus states

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TEHRAN, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Monday that Iran welcomes convergence among the Caucasus states, highlighting the region's "great importance" for Iran, the official news agency IRNA reported.

Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks at a joint press conference with his visiting Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan following their meeting in the capital Tehran.

Expressing welcome to the progress of the peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Iranian top diplomat said the era of the war-based order in the Caucasus has come to an end and an order based on peace has been created in the region.

He also said the two sides talked about their transport capacities and the necessity of removing obstacles to their improved relations.

Iran and Armenia are prepared to raise their annual trade to 1 billion U.S. dollars first and 3 billion dollars later, Amir-Abdollahian noted.

For Mirzoyan, he said Armenia attaches special importance to its historical ties with Iran, adding his visit provides a vision for improving bilateral relations.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at loggerheads over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh since 1988. Peace talks have been held since 1994 when a cease-fire was agreed upon, but there have been sporadic minor clashes between the two sides.

A new round of armed conflict broke out along the contact line on Sept. 27, 2020, before Russia brokered a cease-fire on Nov. 9, 2020.

The two sides have since been discussing a peace deal. Enditem

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