Region Demands Sustainable Peace, Security and Stability

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) at the opening ceremony of the Oslo Forum, June 13. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) at the opening ceremony of the Oslo Forum, June 13.

Promoting security in neighboring countries and the wider region is a foreign policy priority of the government in Tehran and the security of all Middle East nations, including Saudi Arabia, is important for the Islamic Republic, says the foreign minister.

"[Iran] is very secure but, we need a secure environment [across the region], we need a secure neighborhood to be assured of [sustainable] security and reduce our costs, both human and material, for maintaining national security."

Mohammad Javad Zarif made the statement at the opening ceremony of the Oslo Forum in Norway's capital on Tuesday, also attended by EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and former US secretary of state John Kerry, IRNA reported.

Pointing to the ongoing political crisis in and among the Persian Gulf Arab states, Zarif said the deepening conflict has once again highlighted the need for a permanent mechanism for sustainable regional security.

"We believe it is absolutely imperative for our region to resolve ...  disputes between our southern neighbors in the Persian Gulf through dialogue," he said, calling for the creation of "a permanent mechanism for consultation, dialogue and conflict resolution."

The Arab row started on June 5, when Saudi Arabia and some of its allies cut relations with Qatar over its friendship with Iran and support for the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Following the unprecedented crisis, Zarif has sought to play a positive role and help ease tensions among Iran's Arab neighbors.

Last week, he made phone calls to about a dozen counterparts and went to Turkey, which has sided with Qatar in the dispute.

The Oslo Forum is an annual two-day conference on ways to promote international peace attended by armed conflict mediators and peace process actors.

The 2017 event featuring panel discussions, debates and roundtable sessions is themed "peace-making in the new era of geopolitics".

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