TEHRAN, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday expressed Tehran's all-efforts readiness to help ensure lasting peace and stability in the South Caucasus region.
He made the remarks in a message addressed to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to congratulate him on Armenia's Independence Day, while reacting to the recent tensions in the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh, according to a statement published on the website of the Iranian president's office.
Raisi said Iran, within the framework of its neighbor-oriented policy, demands improved security, convergence and welfare in the South Caucasus region.
In a separate congratulatory message to Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan on the same day, Raisi hailed the expanding bilateral cooperation over the past years.
He added this is indicative of the positive and promising perspective and future of bilateral relations, expressing hope that ties between the two friendly and neighboring countries would further develop and deepen in different areas and dimensions in the coming years, benefiting the two peoples.
On Tuesday, Azerbaijan launched a military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh, demanding the ethnic Armenian forces withdraw from the territory.
On Wednesday, the Azerbaijani government and ethnic Armenian forces in the region agreed to a Russian-proposed cease-fire, taking effect on the same day.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have been at loggerheads over Nagorno-Karabakh since 1988. They fought a war over the region in the early 1990s, which ended with a cease-fire in 1994. A new round of armed conflict broke out along the contact line on Sept. 27, 2020, before Russia brokered the 2020 truce. ■