Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and Iran and their joint press conference

27 December, 2023

On December 27, the tête-à-tête meeting between Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan and Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of Iran took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, which was followed by an enlarged meeting with participation of delegations of the two countries.

Following the meeting, the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Iran held a joint press conference.

The statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia for the press and answers to journalists' questions are presented below.

“Honourable Mr. Hossein Amir Abdollahian, dear friend, 

Your excellency,

Dear attendees, 

I am glad to welcome the delegation headed by Mr. Minister to the Republic of Armenia. This visit can be considered a very good opportunity to summarize the results of our bilateral contacts this year, and in this regard, I must commend the important achievements of our joint work. Undoubtedly, during the visit, there was an opportunity to outline the paths, the specific programs, in the direction of which we should move in the coming year.

I would like to emphasize once again that the government of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian people give particular importance to the warm Armenian-Iranian relations, which have a centuries-old history and are anchored on mutual respect. Such high-level visits are a manifestation of precisely this relationship and the mentioned perception of this relationship.

Dear colleagues,

In our discussions today, we touched upon bilateral cooperation, which includes fields of economy, energy, transport, high technologies and others. Of course, all these areas are very important to us, but I would like to emphasize that, in particular, my esteemed Iranian counterpart and I confirmed our willingness to increase the volume of bilateral trade first to one and then to three billion dollars per year, according to the agreements reached between the Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of Iran.

Signing a contract on the extension of the "Gas-for-electricity" program should be considered an important achievement this year. We hope that as a result of joint steps, we will see tangible progress in the near future and the construction of the 3rd Iran-Armenia power transmission line will be completed.

I also want to stress the importance of the Armenia-Iran intergovernmental commission platform, the next, 18th meeting of which will also provide an opportunity to give a new impetus to our relations and their development.

Touching upon the important topics of infrastructural projects, I want to emphasize and we stressed in our discussions today the need for complete operation of the "North-South Road Corridor" and the international transport routes connecting the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea. In this regard, as well as in terms of the participation of Iranian companies in the economic life of Armenia, we attached importance to the involvement of Iranian companies in the Syunik region in the construction of the 32-kilometer section of the Agarak-Kajaran road, which was announced in October this year during the visit of the Minister of Roads and Urban Development of Islamic Republic of Iran to Armenia.

And, of course, the importance of these programs is not limited only to the bilateral platform. In this context, we also discussed with Minister Abdollahian the "Crossroads of Peace" project initiated by the Government of the Republic of Armenia, the purpose of which, as you know, is to restore and develop regional communications: railways, pipelines, highways, cables, power lines. It is of key importance for us that this process is based on the principles of sovereignty, jurisdiction, reciprocity and equality of countries.

Dear Mr. Abdollahian,

We are pleased to note that the policies and approaches adopted by Armenia and Iran on the issue of full-fledged launch of regional communications are completely in line. In this context, we attach importance to the clear position of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the issue of territorial integrity and inviolability of borders of Armenia, which has been repeatedly expressed by Iran.

Dear attendees,

I also briefed my counterpart and his delegation on the details of the normalization of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, and the developments of the peace process in the South Caucasus. We attach importance to combining the efforts of our partners and friends aimed at establishing lasting peace in the South Caucasus. We also touched upon the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran and other partners in this peace process.

I also briefed Minister Abdollahian on the attacks committed against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and the forced displacement of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the efforts of the Government of the Republic of Armenia to address the needs of forcibly displaced persons, refugees, more than 100,000 people.

To sum up, I would like to highlight the unique role of the Forum of Ancient Civilizations as a platform for bilateral and multilateral dialogue and cooperation. A few days ago, the  latest meeting of this platform took place in Tehran, and now we are discussing the possibility of holding the next meeting in Yerevan. In general, I mainly talked about bilateral relations, but I want to say that our cooperation, as in the case of this platform, is not limited to bilateral relations at all. Our cooperation is also manifested on multilateral platforms, there are a number of trilateral platforms, for the realization of which we and the Islamic Republic of Iran are making efforts and are ready to see each other on these platforms as well.

Honorable colleague, Mr. Abdollahian,

Reaffirming the political will and willingness of the Government of the Republic of Armenia to resolutely deepen warm and good-neighborly relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, I yield the floor to you".

After the statements, Ministers responded to the questions of journalists. Among others, Ararat Mirzoyan replied to the questions about the peace process and issues of normalization of relations with Azerbaijan and particularly noted:

“You know that we had negotiations with Azerbaijan in several directions, in several stages, and we are working on a specific draft peace treaty. A few days ago, we received the new proposals from the Azerbaijani side. Of course, we will study and respond appropriately, we will send our proposals. Of course, many claim that there is a real opportunity and a real window of opportunity to bring this peace process to its logical conclusion. I certainly have to agree with these assessments. We do have a chance for peace despite many obstacles and complications we have had. Despite even the forced displacement of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, hate speech and aggressive rhetoric. Indeed, we see the opportunity, and we, as the government, are doing everything we can to bring this process to its logical end. Alas, obviously, any state can hardly sign a peace treaty alone. And along with our constructive approach, we also need a constructive approach from the Azerbaijani side. I want to summarize once again, yes, such a possibility exists. However, it depends not only on the existing constructive approach and engagement of the Armenian side but also on the Azerbaijani side. And we hope that Azerbaijan will show the necessary constructiveness. We also see positive impulses, such as the agreement reached as a result of recent contacts when prisoners of war and detained persons were released, and Armenia supported Azerbaijan's candidacy in the COP-29 elections. On the other hand, we see negative impulses, I mean the regularly expressed comments, calls from Azerbaijan as well as in the negotiation process, for example, avoiding high-level meetings. We know that there are various proposals, but such meetings have not been held recently. I repeat: I hope that, nevertheless, constructivism will prevail, and we will have this opportunity to have a real peace treaty, a lasting peace treaty in the near future.

The three principles put forward by Armenia (perhaps in a very formal sense, it is not correct to formulate them as three principles put forward by Armenia or defended by Armenia) are principles consistent with international law, obvious, fair, accepted and even declared as a result of discussions held with participation of the President of Azerbaijan. When we are talking about these three principles, we are talking about sovereignty, mutual recognition of territorial integrity, and inviolability of borders. When we talk about transport and economic infrastructures, we are talking about sovereignty and jurisdiction again in the context of these three principles. They are well-known, and  accepted throughout the world”.

Print the page