Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan seek closer ties

AFP , Thursday 23 Dec 2010

A regional Summit was held in Istanbul attended by Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan leaders for better cooperation on economic and political

Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan pledged closer cooperation Thursday in efforts to resolve regional conflicts and combat terrorism and organised crime, a joint statement said.

The statement was issued after the three countries' foreign ministers -- Ahmed Davutoglu of Turkey, Ali Akbar Salehi of Iran and Elmar Mammadyarov of Azerbaijan -- met on the sidelines of a regional economic cooperation summit in Istanbul.

The ministers stressed the need "to achieve peaceful resolution of the unresolved conflicts in the region, based on the principle of territorial integrity," it said.
A major territorial dispute in the region is Azerbaijan's conflict with Armenia over Nagorny-Karabakh, an enclave that Armenian separatists, backed by Yerevan, seized from Baku in a war following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

"The ministers have agreed to hold regular trilateral meetings," the statement said, adding that the next meeting would be in Iran.

Turkey is a traditional ally of Azerbaijan. Recently it has developed close ties also with Iran, making active efforts to resolve tensions over Tehran's nuclear programme.
Ankara has no diplomatic relations with Yerevan, whose position that Armenians were the victim of genocide under the Ottoman Empire have long poisoned ties.

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