Zarif made the remarks in a joint press conference in Istanbul on Tuesday with his Turkish and Azerbaijani counterparts, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Elmar Mammadyarov, respectively, following their sixth trilateral meeting.
“Cooperation among Tehran, Ankara and Baku is very important for development of the three countries, development of the region, the improvement of living conditions and the promotion of regional peace and security which is, unfortunately, faced with multiple challenges,” the top Iranian diplomat said, Press TV reported.
He expressed hope that regional issues, particularly problems of the Syrian, Palestinian and Yemeni peoples, would be solved peacefully.
Zarif said, “We have always emphasized that regional issues should be settled based on [the principles of] international law and through peaceful methods.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian foreign minister said the three sides also agreed to hold one meeting among their private sectors, adding it would be a “very important step” to boost regional cooperation.
Cavusoglu: Tehran, Ankara, Baku oppose unilateral decisions
The Turkish foreign minister said Tehran, Ankara and Baku oppose unilateral measures on regional issues and believed that common and multilateral decisions must be made in this regard.
The three countries agreed that regional issues should be solved peacefully and through dialogue, he added.
Cavusoglu called for the continuation of joint cooperation to promote stability, peace and security in the region and said that trilateral economic ties would also serve the interests of all regional states.
He also said Turkey had continued its cooperation with Iran after the United States withdrawal from a 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement signed between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries.
The Turkish foreign minister emphasized that his country was holding consultations with European countries on the continuation of cooperation with Iran.
US President Donald Trump announced in May that Washington was pulling out of the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program.
A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran’s access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and the auto sector. A second round will be targeting Iran’s energy sector and financial transactions.
Mammadyarov: Azerbaijan calls for enhanced transport cooperation
The Azerbaijani foreign minister said his country called for the expansion of cooperation with Iran and Turkey in trade and transportation sectors.
The three ministers concluded the trilateral meeting with a joint statement that entails closer political and economic cooperation among the three neighbors.
“The ministers emphasized their commitment to the Orumieh, Nakhchivan, Van, Ramsar and Baku Statements adopted in the previous trilateral meetings of the ministers of foreign affairs,” a part of the statement wrote, Tasnim News Agency reported.
They also “expressed their willingness to enhance commercial cooperation in the field of energy.”
“They agreed to strengthen economic cooperation, to use existing potential for promotion of investment and trade, and to enhance cooperation by implementing joint projects and programs such as in the fields of renewable energy, transport, border and customs, banking, telecommunications, industry, agriculture, tourism and the environment,” the statement added.
Prior to the meeting, Zarif held bilateral talks with his Turkish and Azerbaijani counterparts, Press TV reported.
The last three-way meeting of the type was held in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku late last year, and the one before that in the northern Iranian city of Ramsar in April 2016.
Zarif arrived in Istanbul on Monday, also attending the inauguration ceremony for Turkey’s newest airport in the city.