Tehran, Ankara, Baku to Form Committee on Deals

Tehran, Ankara, Baku to Form Committee on DealsTehran, Ankara, Baku to Form Committee on Deals

Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan have decided to set up a permanent committee to follow up on the implementation of their trilateral agreements, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced. The top diplomat made the statement to reporters at the end of the fourth trilateral foreign ministerial meeting of Iran, Azerbaijan and Turkey in Ramsar, northern Iran, on Tuesday.

"Some agreements of the previous meetings have been implemented and some not," ISNA quoted Zarif as saying. "To ensure the implementation of these agreements and future ones, we decided to form a permanent steering committee comprised of the political deputies of the three foreign ministers."

Tehran, Ankara and Baku had met in the northwestern Iranian city of Urmia in West Azarbaijan Province in 2011, in the Azeri city of Nakhchivan in 2012 and in the Turkish city of Van in 2014.

After the trilateral meeting, Zarif, Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and their Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu issued a final statement outlining areas for collaboration.

The need for boosting wide-ranging cooperation, especially within the framework of regional organizations such as the Economic Cooperation Organization and the Islamic Cooperation Organization, the firm commitment of the three states to make coordinated efforts against terrorism, extremism and separatism and the high importance of greater Muslim unity in the face of challenges confronting the Muslim world were stressed in the statement.

Zarif said the three sides adopted the Trilateral Sectoral Cooperation Action Plan for 2016-18 that contains the details of their efforts to develop cooperation in the next couple of years.

On the recent escalation of the dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, he said the three foreign ministers stressed the need for the quick settlement of the conflict through dialogue, based on international law.

Nagorno-Karabakh, which lies inside Azerbaijan, has been under the control of Armenia-backed separatists since a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan ended in 1994. Years of negotiations have brought little progress in resolving the dispute.

But the situation along the tense "contact line" has deteriorated since April 2, leading to clashes in which at least 30 soldiers and civilians have been killed drawing international calls for an immediate ceasefire. Iran has invited both sides of the conflict to prevent another crisis in the region and expressed its readiness to play a role in the peaceful settlement of the tension.