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Russian foreign minister to visit Iran

Moscow, March 3, IRNA -- Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov will arrive in Tehran in late March for high level discussions with Iranian officials.

An source told IRNA on condition f anonymity that Ivanov trip to Tehran is in response to Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi's visit to Moscow.

The Russian foreign minister will discuss expansion of bilateral relations, and regional and international developments with Iranian officials.

Russian officials have stressed Tehran and Moscow's role in resolution of regional issues, 'notably in Tajikistan and Afghanistan'.

Russian first deputy foreign minister has reiterated recently the two countries' important role in regional and international developments and a desire for closer ties with Tehran.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said in February that Russia is willing to develop cooperation with Iran in light of Iran's contribution to regional and international peace.

He said in an interview with IRNA that Russia is satisfied with the enhanced level of relations with Iran and appreciates Tehran as its trade partner.

Yakovenko pointed out that Iran-Russia relations date back to the 16th century when the two countries took the early steps to establish relations.

He said that Iran-Russia relations reached the highest level in 2001 when the Iranian and Russian presidents signed an agreement on mutual issues.

The spokesman said that in the past 18 months the two countries have had satisfactory cooperation in the field of international campaign against terrorism and extremism and fighting drug trafficking.

Asked about trade and economic cooperation, Yakovenko said that he sees bright prospects for boosting of trade and business transactions between the two countries.

He said that Russia supports multipolar world order and is interested in forming Moscow-Tehran-New Delhi-Beijing alliance adding that Russian diplomacy gives importance to cooperation with India, Iran and China given their decisive influence in Asia.

He said that establishment of North-South Corridor on which Russia, Iran, India and China are located would serve to form a quadruple alliance.

Yakovenko referred to establishment of the Shanghai Organization for Cooperation and Security by Russia, China and several Asian nations and said that other nations can also apply for membership in the organization.

... Payvand News - 3/4/03 ... --

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