Tehran, Baku, Ankara Hold Multifaceted Talks

Tehran, Baku, Ankara Hold Multifaceted Talks  Tehran, Baku, Ankara Hold Multifaceted Talks

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Azeri and Turkish counterparts, Elmar Mammadyarov and Mevlut Cavusoglu respectively, held trilateral talks on Tuesday in the city of Ramsar, northern Iran, to discuss issues of mutual interest.

In addition to the current fourth round of talks, the first was also held in Iran, in the northwestern city of Urmia in 2011, with Azeri city of Nakhchivan and Van in Turkey hosting the second and third rounds in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

During the meeting in Van on March 14, 2014, the three top diplomats adopted the Trilateral Sectoral Cooperation Action Plan for 2014-16.

"Discussions are aimed at encouraging closer cooperation between the three Muslim neighbors in various domains," Zarif told reporters upon arrival in Ramsar for the daylong talks.

The Iranian foreign minister noted that cooperation would be focused mainly on tourism, transit and customs affairs.

Underlining the threat to the region posed by extremist and terrorist groups, Zarif said, "The talks are also aimed at ensuring greater coordination in the fight against extremism and terrorism."

On the Armenian–Azerbaijani conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region that has escalated recently, Zarif said, "We believe that any available means should be exploited to help end the clashes."

Nagorno-Karabakh, which lies inside Azerbaijan but is controlled by ethnic Armenians, has run its own affairs with heavy military and financial backing from Armenia since a separatist war ended in 1994.

But the situation along the tense "contact line" deteriorated in recent weeks, leading to clashes in which dozens were killed that drew international calls for an immediate ceasefire. Both sides have reported civilian casualties.