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Turkmen president winds up Tehran visit

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov concluded his visit to Iran and left for Ashkhabad on Tuesday afternoon, after being officially seen off by President Mohammad Khatami, IRNA reported from Tehran.

President Niyazov met senior Iranian officials and stressed the need for broadening mutual ties between Tehran and Ashkhabad.

During his two-day visit to Tehran, which took place at the official invitation of his Iranian counterpart, he called on the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and President Mohammad Khatami.

He also held separate talks with Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi, Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, the Turkmen president referred to the common viewpoints of the two countries in most fields and hoped for further broadening of bilateral ties in political, economic and cultural fields.

During the visit of the Turkmen high-ranking delegation to Iran, the two sides conducted negotiations which were presided by the two presidents.

Presidents Khatami and Niyazov held private talks before presiding over the general talks between the officials of both sates.

At the meeting held between high-ranking Iranian and Turkmen officials, President Niyazov pointed to the potentials of expansion of mutual economic cooperation in the oil, gas and power industries and declared the readiness of Turkmenistan to welcome Iranian enterprises and investment in these fields.

During the two-day visit of the Turkmen delegation to Iran, seven memoranda of understanding (MoU) on various fields were signed at a meeting in Sa'dabad complex attended by high ranking officials as well as the presidents of both states.

Four MoU's on search and sea rescue, expedition of the Friendship Dam currently under construction jointly by the two states, fuel and energy were inked by the Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and his Turkmen counterpart.

The other MoUs signed between the two sides concerned judiciary cooperation, extradition of culprits, electricity and expansion of cultural, scientific and educational cooperation.

The two presidents said that the agreements designate that the officials of both states are willing and determined to expand bilateral relations in various fields.

President Saparmurat Niyazov attended the late Imam Khomeini's mausoleum on Monday, paid tribute to the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and laid a bouquet on his tomb.

The latest developments on the Caspian Sea issue and regional and international events were among the matters discussed during the visit of the Turkmen delegation.

The annual volume of economic exchange between Iran and Turkmenistan is currently dlrs 500 million, which is expected to rise to dlrs 800 million next year.

... Payvand News - 3/11/03 ... --

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