Iranian, Russian defense chiefs meet in Tehran

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TEHRAN, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Defense Minister Mohammadreza Ashtiani met with his visiting Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu here in the Iranian capital to discuss bilateral defense and military cooperation and issues of common interest, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency.

Ashtiani said the decades-long defense and military cooperation between the two countries to ensure regional and global stability and security will continue within the framework of international peace and security.

He said the two countries have undergone successful cooperation in fighting terrorism in West Asia, among others, noting that tackling common regional and international challenges, including the U.S.-led unilateralism, is a priority in the bilateral cooperation.

Iran opposes transregional troops' presence in the region and is ready to retain the territorial integrity of all regional states and keep international borders intact, he noted.

He said Iran views the proposed 3+3 format, comprising three Caucasian states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, and their three neighbors of Russia, Türkiye, and Iran, as a solution for the peaceful resolution of the problems in the Caucasus region.

The Russian foreign minister, for his part, hailed the high level of bilateral strategic relations, stressing that the strategic cooperation between the two countries should expand.

Shoigu said constructive interactions between Russia and Iran will lead to regional stability and security, highlighting the necessity for the continuation of bilateral cooperation and moving toward promoting a multilateral world order.

The Russian minister welcomed resorting to the 3+3 format for the resolution of the Caucasus region's problems, stressing the importance of the presence of regional countries, such as Iran, in the process.

He supported Iran's positions on the Caucasus' developments, criticizing transregional states' presence and activities in the region.

Shoigu said regional countries should work out solutions to their own problems in view of their cultural and historical capacities, calling for the continuation of the quadrilateral cooperation among Russia, Iran, Türkiye and Syria in West Asia and using the capacities of regional organizations, such as the SCO.

Shoigu arrived in Tehran on Tuesday and met with Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Mohammad Baqeri.

Iran and Russia, both under sanctions imposed by the United States, have recently expanded bilateral political and economic relations to counter the U.S. moves. Enditem

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