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Iran to facilitate peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan amid regional tensions in Middle East.

Foreign Ministers of Iran, Turkey, and Russia to Meet with Azerbaijan and Armenia in Tehran

Peace Talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia to Take Place in Tehran

Foreign ministers from Iran, Turkey, and Russia are set to meet with their counterparts from Azerbaijan and Armenia in Tehran on Monday to discuss progress towards a peace agreement between the two South Caucasus neighbors. The meeting comes as tensions in the Middle East continue to rise. The first meeting of foreign ministers from Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan since the September offensive by Azeri forces in Nagorno-Karabakh will address regional issues “without the interference of non-regional and Western countries,” according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

United States and European Union’s Involvement Annoys Moscow

The involvement of the United States and the European Union in the search for a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan has particularly annoyed Moscow. Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will travel to Tehran for the meeting. Moscow has been seeking to strengthen military and diplomatic ties with countries outside the traditional West since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Lavrov has met with his Iranian counterpart on several occasions since then.

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Russia’s Security Guarantor Role Weakening

Russia considers itself the security guarantor between Azerbaijan and Armenia, but its involvement in the war in Ukraine has led to a weakening of its influence. Last month, Azerbaijan launched a lightning offensive to regain control of Nagorno-Karabakh, where ethnic Armenians had enjoyed de facto independence since the 1990s. More than 100,000 ethnic Armenians were forced to flee, and Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of ethnic cleansing. Azerbaijan, however, denies these claims and states that people are free to stay and be integrated into the country.

The Ongoing Struggle for Peace

Azerbaijan and Armenia have fought two wars in the past three decades and have yet to reach a peace deal despite efforts by the United States, European Union, and Russia. The upcoming meeting in Tehran, known as the 3+3 South Caucasus Platform, was also expected to include Georgia. However, Georgia announced it would not be participating in the initiative.

With tensions running high and regional stability at stake, the meeting in Tehran is a crucial step towards finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. International involvement and support from neighboring countries like Iran, Turkey, and Russia will play a significant role in shaping the future of the South Caucasus region.

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