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Iran's Foreign Minister stresses role of Caspian Sea security in stabilizing peace in Caucasus

Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Monday stressed that Iran regarded security in the Caspian Sea as a part of its whole national security, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the 11th International Conference on Central Asia and the Caucasus which focuses on "Security in South Caucasus", he said security in the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus were two inseparable issues.

Touching upon the security situation in Caucasus, he said Iran always stressed the pivotal role of regional states in providing security in the region because it believed that peace, security and stability could be established in the region only through active and effective cooperation among regional states.

He believed using the aid offered by the United Nations as well as other international bodies could lead to further consolidation of security in the region.

The foreign minister further noted that what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq proved that the failure of regional states in adopting appropriate policies out of their crises in order to establish peace and security in the region would impose certain conditions on the region the consequences of which will be out of their control.

He also pointed to the necessity of working out proper methods for increasing security and stability in the region based on the regional realities.

Referring to the collapse of the former Soviet Union which led to establishment of new states and formation of new geopolitical and geo-strategic structures, he said new politically-independent states were formed to Iran's northern borders which stood in very close historical, cultural and civil proximity with Iranians and enjoyed very rich resources and high capacities for cooperation.

Thus, he added, the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a country which links the countries in the Central Asia, Caucasus, Persian Gulf, the Peninsula and the Middle East together, took the opportunity to promote its national security and speed up its development process via establishing positive relations with the countries in the region.

Kharrazi said that Iran's basic role in establishment of peace in Tajikistan, its playing mediator's roles in Karabakh, Afghanistan, between India and Pakistan and in the Iraqi crises well prove the fact that it advocates the idea that its national security and development is tightly tied with consolidation of peace in regional countries.

He also stressed the significant role of economic cooperation in establishing peace and security in the region and pointed to the extensive efforts made by Iran in offering transportation, energy and trade facilities to the countries in the Caucasus region.

The Iranian foreign minister concluded his remarks by hoping that the future of the region would experience more extensive, dynamic and effective cooperation among the countries.

Twenty-two articles from among the 67 proposed have been selected to be presented to the two-day conference which hosts diplomats, experts and scholars from Azerbaijan, Germany, Jordan, Armenia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, the USA, the UK, Pakistan, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Turkey, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, France, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and India.

... Payvand News - 12/8/03 ... --

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