Iranian official: Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan

24 May 2016 15:11 (UTC+04:00)

Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan's occupied territories must be returned to the country.

Ayatollah Mohsen Mojtahed Shabestari, a representative of Iran's Supreme Leader made the remarks during the meeting with Chairman of Azerbaijan's State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations Mubariz Gurbanli, the committee's press service reported.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

Emphasizing that there is discrimination towards Muslims in the whole world, he noted the need for Islamic solidarity.

Shabestari is sure that the right work with young people can prevent their involvement in radical groups.

Shabestari also praised the restoration of mosques, maintenance of religious values in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan and Iran have had diplomatic relations since 1918. Iran recognized Azerbaijan's independence in 1991 and diplomatic relations between the two countries were reestablished in 1992.

Currently, the two countries are focused on expanding economic ties in various fields, including industry, agriculture, energy, alternative energy, and transportation.

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