BAKU, (Interfax) -- Iran wants Nagorno-Karabakh to remain part of Azerbaijan while seeking to have simultaneously good relations with both Armenia and Azerbaijan, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Thursday.
Kharrazi, who was speaking at a meeting with Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliev, called for more intensive contacts between Iran and Azerbaijan. He said the two countries share historical roots and a religion and are similar culturally.
But he added that "Iran's cooperation with Armenia is part of the foreign policy of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, and owing to this policy it is possible to achieve a settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict," he said.
Aliev responded that "Iran's relations with Armenia should not be at the same level as [Iran's relations] with Azerbaijan, if only because the Azerbaijani and Iranian peoples share religious, cultural and historical roots." But he voiced support for Kharrazi's point that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be easier to resolve if Iran is on good terms with both Azerbaijan and Armenia.