Convening in Nakhchivan for a three-way meeting, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi emphasized the importance of a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, which greatly requires Armenian efforts, too.
The ministers highlighted the importance of reaching a settlement in the issue for regional stability, which will benefit both Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“The parties note the importance of the earliest resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and internationally recognized borders of states and emphasize ... the maintenance of peace and stability in the region,” said a joint declaration signed by the three foreign ministers on Wednesday.
In 1992, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) initiated the Minsk group to negotiate the disputed status of the Nagorno-Karabakh region between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The region is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan; however, the country has been unable to exercise power over most of the region due to the presence of Armenian forces.
Wednesday's discussions followed a number of meetings between the three foreign ministers to discuss regional issues. The ministers stressed that a positive process to enhance regional cooperation has been ongoing since their first meeting in 2011 in Iran's Urmia.
The foreign ministers at the Nakhchivan meeting emphasized their willingness to deepen political and economic cooperation between the three states in order to build prosperity in the region through economic growth and sustainable development. Establishing committees to increase cooperation in energy, transportation and tourism were among the issues discussed between the senior officials.
Davutoğlu also mentioned Turkey's latest efforts to establish stability in the region. He mentioned the recent launch of Turkish Airlines (THY) flights to Somalia, which will connect the famine and conflict-hit country with the rest of the world.
The three foreign ministers also decided on enhancing trilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism, transnational organized crime and drugs and arms trafficking as well as trafficking of persons and migrant smuggling, as stated in the declaration.
Furthermore, Davutoğlu expressed his gratitude to his two counterparts for extending support to Van, a province that was hit hard by a deadly earthquake last October and subsequent aftershocks. A third meeting is scheduled to be hosted by Van in September.
Before the tripartite meeting, Davutoğlu also held private meetings with Iranian and Azerbaijani officials.
Davutoğlu and Salehi touched upon Iran's prospective talks with P5+1, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France -- plus Germany, on its nuclear program as well as conflicts in the Middle East and Turkish-Iranian bilateral relations.
During the talk with Salehi, Davutoğlu reiterated that Turkey is ready to play a mediator role in Iran's nuclear talks with the P5+1 countries, if desired by all parties. The foreign minister also expressed his content at European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton's message accepting Iran's offer to meet to discuss Tehran's nuclear program.
Salehi put forward Tehran's wish that the prospective meeting on its nuclear program be hosted by Turkey.
The message of Ashton, who represents the P5+1 in dealing with Iran, that she gave on Feb. 14 to Iranian officials, followed the expansion US and EU sanctions to exert economic pressure and force Tehran to hold back on its nuclear program. Iran says it is enriching uranium only for peaceful power generation.
Davutoğlu and Mammadyarov also met privately and spoke on the current situation in the South Caucasus, NATO and Azerbaijan relations. Azerbaijan is a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace program.
Following this talk, Davutoğlu visited the parliamentary chairman of the autonomous republic of Nakhchivan, Vasif Talibov, in the Nakhchivan parliamentary building. The two officials exchanged views on the current situation in the South Caucasus and Turkey-Nakhchivan bilateral relations.