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EghtesadOnline: President Ebrahim Raisi highlighted the capacities of the Caucasus in guaranteeing lasting peace and security in the entire region.

“Peace and security in the Caucasus region is very important for Iran,” he said in a meeting with the visiting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Tuesday, reported.

He added that the Caucasus region is part of the Iranian history, civilization and culture, which is why the Islamic Republic is vigilant about it.

Raisi described the Armenian premier’s trip to Iran as a turning point in bilateral relations, underlining the administration’s priority policy of expanding cooperation with neighboring countries.

“Along this line, we have had several meetings with Mr. Pashinyan since the beginning of this government and stressed the need for upgrading trade, economic, political and security relations,” he said.

Trade ties between Tehran and Yerevan have grown by 43% over the past months, according to the president.

“In our negotiations, we set the target of $3 billion of economic cooperation and trade between the two neighbors,” he said, adding that with current will of both countries’ authorities, such an objective is attainable.

Raisi also said good relations between Iran and Armenia would definitely lead to better relations at regional and international level.

Pashinyan said Yerevan insists that Iran must be adequately informed of the developments in Armenia’s relations with Azerbaijan and the issue of Karabakh

“We jointly concluded that issues of the region must be addressed by the authorities of regional countries and any foreign intervention in this region would create problems instead of solving them,” he said.

The Armenian prime minister also described his talks as rich and comprehensive.

“A considerable part of our talks were over economic ties and improving the volume of trade, as well as finding ways to expand relations in the such sectors as energy, agriculture, infrastructure and management of water resources,” he said.

Negotiations on extending the electricity and gas swap contracts were fruitful and a memorandum of understanding was signed in this regard, according to Pashinyan.

He also briefed Raisi on the recent Russian-mediated talks between leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan on Monday which concerned renewed clashes between the two nations over borders in the Karabakh region.

“We insist that the Islamic Republic of Iran must be adequately informed of the developments in Armenia’s relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey and the issue of Karabakh,” he said.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at odds over Azerbaijan’s Armenian populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh since the 1990s.

A six-week war in autumn 2020 ended with a Russian-brokered deal that saw Yerevan cede swathes of territory that it had controlled for several decades.

However, despite agreements in both 2020 and 2021 to find a peaceful solution, the worst fighting between the two countries since the 2020 war erupted last month, killing more than 200 people.

In a meeting hosted by Russia in the Black Sea port of Sochi, the two countries agreed not to use force and stick to earlier agreements that sought to end fighting between the two neighbors.

Azerbaijan Ebrahim Raisi