Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is expected to be in Tehran on Sunday for the inauguration of the new Iranian President Hassan Rohani. Few world leaders are expected to attend the ceremony but Sargsyan will join some of the leaders of Iran's other immediate neighbours at the inauguration. Azerbaijan is expected to be represented by the Chairman of Parliament.
Iran remains caught in a dispute with the international community about its nuclear programme. The US Congress is this week discussing the possibility of imposing even more sanctions on Iran. But there are many voices that are now calling for the US and the EU to use the election of the new Iranian President, considered a moderate, to reach out to Iran's leadership.
Armenia has traditionally had a good relationship with Iran, and given its problems with its other neighbours - Turkey and Azerbaijan, has depended on Iran for some of its overland transportation to the outside world. Armenia has however in recent years been trying to develop its relations with the EU and is expected to sign an Assiociation Agreement with it in November. Armenian diplomacy will therefore have to be even more careful in balancing its relations with Iran with other interests. However Armenian diplomats insist that there is no inconsistency in their strategy and that Armenia can play a positive role in normalising Iran's relations with the outside world.
photo: Armenian President Serz Sargsyan at a recent meeting of the European People's Party (picture courtesy of the Press Service of the Armenian President)
First Vice-President Aliyeva noted that Azerbaijan is located at the crossroads between the civilizations of the East and West, and is one of the few countries that are a member of both the Council of Europe and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
The transfer of the body of Tatunashvili back to Georgian jurisdiction was facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross. It is now expected that the Georgian authorities will hold an autopsy on the body to ascertain the cause of death.