TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran said the rise in extra-regional influence will in no way resolve the crisis in the Caucasus and can only worsen the situation.
“The Islamic Republic believes that joint regional efforts to reduce the consequences of confrontation are an inevitable necessity,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was quoted by press tv as saying at the 16th International Conference on Central Asia and the Caucasus in Tehran on Tuesday.
The Iranian official urged regional countries to adopt various measures to promote understanding and cooperation in a bid to prevent further conflicts.
The Caucasus conflict began with the Georgian attack on independence-seeking South Ossetia. Russia responded by launching a military offensive against Tbilisi in a confrontation that resulted in the loss of 2,000 lives and the displacement of 40,000 people.
Russia says the US orchestrated the crisis in the Caucasus and gave the green light to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to carry out the assault against South Ossetians.
Georgia accused Russia of ethnic cleansing, while Russia declared that it was protecting the lives of the South Ossetians and Moscow’s peace keepers in the region.
Referring to recent developments in the region, Mottaki cited insecurity and instability as harmful for all nations, calling for regional cooperation and the elimination of extra-regional influence.
“In spite of its strategic and geopolitical importance, the Caucasus suffers from threats and problems, particularly in relation to security,” he added at the two-day conference titled Confrontation in the Caucasus: Roots, Dimensions and implications scheduled to end on Wednesday.