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Turkish FM proposes "region of peace" in South Caucasus.

March 07 2012 (TUR) -- Turkish foreign minister has called for joint effort to make South Caucasus "a region of peace and prosperity," saying Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran had taken initial steps to that end. "We can build a region of peace and prosperity in the South Caucasus. Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan have taken an important step forward toward that goal by holding regular meetings," Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters in a joint press appearance with his Azeri and Iranian counterparts after their meeting in Nakhchivan, the capital of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan. Davutoglu said the three countries had held their initial meeting in Orumiyeh, Iran, which he said added a new momentum to the relations in the region, and he added that the meeting agreed to set up sub-committees to boost cooperation in tourism, energy, transportation and trade. Davutoglu said the next trilateral meeting was set to be held in the eastern Turkish province of Van in October which would bring together businesspeople from the three countries. "We will open a new horizon. Firstly we will ease procedures at border gates and transportation. It is our goal to develop a project of prosperity in the region," Davutoglu said. The Turkish FM said Turkey wanted to create a conflict-free region and boosted friendship on the principle of respect for territorial integrity, adding that "a new era could begin in the region" with contributions from Georgia, Armenia and Russia. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on his part said that problems could only be solved through mutual consultations, adding the most important aspect was that the three countries had shown political will to that end. "Relations between Iran and Azerbaijan friendly and brotherly in their nature. I am confident that our relations will improve with each passing day," Salehi said. Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said the trilateral meeting between the three countries were of utmost importance, adding that Azerbaijan's problems with Iran could be settled through negotiations.

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Publication:Anadolu (Eskisehir, Turkey)
Geographic Code:9AZER
Date:Mar 7, 2012
Words:330
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