Mottaki: Iran favors peace in Caucasus

fathi20080916081920046.JPGIran’s Foreign Minister Mottaki says that Tehran aims to draw strategies to help establish stability and security in the Caucasus.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has launched an active diplomacy with the aim of reducing tension and restoring peace in the Caucasus region,” Manouchehr Mottaki told IRIB and IRNA in Berlin Monday after a meeting with Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Iran is optimistic about regional potential, Mottaki said, adding Tehran stresses that adopting a military approach and relying on countries outside the region will not serve regional interests.

“Iran’s diplomacy aims to motivate regional countries to support and defend security and stability. Tehran has warned against consequences of tension in the very important Caucasus region,” the Iranian minister continued.

The military confrontation between Russia and Georgia began on August 7, after Tbilisi sent its troops to regain control of the independence-seeking region of South Ossetia, where a majority of residents hold Russian passports. The war killed hundreds of civilians and forced thousands to flee the region.

Moscow officially recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on August 26.

On Sunday, Russia completed its withdrawal from the strategic Black Sea port of Poti and from western Georgia. Moscow maintains, however, that it will keep troops around the disputed regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as “buffers”.

Mottaki said that regional countries should prevent the interference of other states in the energy-rich region.

Iran’s foreign minister arrived in Berlin Monday on a one-day visit to hold talks with his German counterpart on developments in the Caucasus region.

SF/JG/BGH

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