Iran Urges Peaceful Settlement of Karabakh Dispute

Iran’s Foreign Ministry called for a peaceful solution to the dispute in the Karabakh region after an escalation of conflicts between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan.
"We believe that these two neighboring countries should solve their disputes peacefully, and the Islamic Republic of Iran has always expressed its readiness to help settle this dispute (in the Karabakh region)," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said on Monday.

He added that Iran has made no change in its stance on the Karabakh dispute, underlining the need to respect all countries' national sovereignty and territorial integrity and settle disputes through peaceful channels, Press TV reported.

Exchanges of fire between Armenian and Azeri forces began on Sunday near Tavush in the rugged South Caucasus region, with each side accusing the other of encroaching on their territory.

The Azeri Defense Ministry said Monday that four of its soldiers had been killed and five wounded, while Armenia said two of its soldiers were injured on the second day of clashes on the border between the two countries.

The two former Soviet republics have for decades been locked in a simmering conflict over Karabakh – an Azerbaijani territory seized by Armenian separatists in a bloody war in the 1990s.

Some 30,000 people were killed in the conflict, which ended with a fragile truce in 1994. The two sides are still technically at war and have yet to reach a permanent peace agreement on the issue.

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