Ankara, Baku, and Tehran call for resolution of Karabakh conflict

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The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh must be resolved in respect of the internationally recognized borders, the Baku Declaration, adopted at the 5th tripartite meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey, Elmar Mammadyarov, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Mohammad Javad Zarif, reads.

"The Ministers, having expressed the common interests in the strengthening of peace and security in the region, noted the commitment to the principles of the international law in this context, including sovereignty, territorial integrity, respect for internationally recognized borders and peaceful settlement of disputes. In this regard, the importance of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement on the basis of the above-mentioned principles as soon as possible was stressed once again, " the declaration reads.

As Anadolu Agency writes in the article Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iran seek to bolster ties, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran discussed ways to enhance their relations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday. "At today's trilateral meeting, we evaluated how to enhance our relations and which steps we can take, especially in the areas of energy and transportation," Cavusoglu said at a news conference in the Azerbaijani capital Baku. Ankara, Baku and Tehran should strengthen ties not only in the areas of energy, economy and transportation, but also in social areas, such as culture and tourism, he added. "Azerbaijan and Iran are two important countries in terms of energy resources. As Turkey, we import natural gas and oil both from Azerbaijan and Iran. "We want to increase the amount of natural gas and oil that we receive from brotherly countries," Cavusoglu said.

Cavusoglu called on Armenia to withdraw from Azerbaijani territories, adding: "Armenia occupies 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories. Armenia must pull out from Azerbaijani territories as soon as possible and learn to respect Azerbaijani's territorial integrity," he added. Turkey reiterates that the dispute needs to be resolved within the framework of international law and Azerbaijan's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Mevlut Cavusoglu hailed the Astana peace talks on Syria and added the process fulfilled an "important" duty to end conflicts in the war-torn country. "We, of course, want to maintain this productive process. We also support the Geneva process," he added. Turkey, Russia and Iran are the guarantor states that brokered a cease-fire in Syria in December 2016, leading to the Astana peace talks that are running parallel to the Geneva talks. "As the conflicts stop, we need to focus on political solution [in Syria]. A persistent solution is a political one," Cavusoglu said.

Cavusoglu said all the groups in Syria, except terrorist organizations such as Daesh and PKK/PYD, should gather for a political solution.He said Syria's constitution needs to be prepared and accepted by the Syrian people. He added Turkey's aim, together with Russia and Iran, is to end chaos in Syria, bring peace there and protect its territorial integrity. "We have achieved significant gains over a year and now we want to crown them with a political solution," Cavusoglu added.

Meanwhile, at the Baku meeting, Turkey and Iran welcomed the nomination of Baku for the World Expo-2025. The Baku Declaration also notes that the ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the strengthening of the common values based on the deep historical, religious and cultural roots, partnerships that will serve peace, security, prosperity and cooperation in the region, underscored their commitment to a  further cooperation in the fields, which contribute to the economic prosperity and sustainable development.

The Ministers agreed to continue the intensive consultations on the regional and global issues of common interest to strengthen the international peace, security and stability in the various international and regional platforms such as the UN, the OIC, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia and the Organization for Economic Cooperation; the ministers welcomed the declaration and the final communiqué of the OIC emergency summit, held in Jerusalem on 13 December.

In addition, the foreign ministers agreed to support the cooperation in the implementation of joint projects and programs in energy, transport, banking, telecommunications, industry, agriculture, tourism and the environment, as well as strengthening the economic and trade cooperation, using existing investment potential and facilitating trade, highlighting the importance of expanding the international transit corridors and the transit potential of the three geographically favorably located countries and taking the important steps to integrate into the international transit system, noted the importance of expanding cooperation to implement the new projects on the development of transport infrastructure and transit potential, stressed the importance of participation of the three countries in the large-scale international transport projects, which are strategically important for increasing the number and quality of competitive transit transportation between Asia and Europe for the socio-economic development, welcomed the launch of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which creates the favorable conditions for the transit potential of the three countries on the East-West, South-West and the North-South routes, noted that three important steps to complete the construction of the Resht-Astara railway were completed as early as possible.

Cavusoglu said the next trilateral meeting will be held in Turkey, where the businessmen of three countries will also come together.