President Mohammad Khatami, accompanied by a senior delegation, is to pay a six-day visit to Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain, IRNA reported from Tehran.
The visit is to take place at the invitation of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, Yemenese President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.
Khatami is scheduled to hold meetings with high-ranking officials, parliamentarians and cultural and social dignitaries of the three countries.
During his meetings with senior officials, he will discuss possible ways for bolstering of bilateral ties and utilization of all current potentials to consolidate and expand political, economic and cultural relations. He will also be discussing the current situation in the region, particularly the Palestinian and the Iraqi crises, with these leaders.
Several memoranda of understanding and agreements for cooperation in various areas will be signed during President Khatami's official trip.
Khatami to visit Syria on Wednesday: Housing minister
Damascus, May 10, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami, accompanied by a high-ranking delegation, is to begin a four-nation official visit on Monday that is expected to take him to Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, Iran's Minister of Housing and Urban Development Ali Abdolalizadeh said here Friday.
President Khatami will arrive in Syria on Wednesday.
Abdolalizadeh said Khatami's visit to Syria will be "official and political," but said the two sides could also discuss economic issues.
Abdolalizadeh, who is the Iranian head of the Iran-Syria Joint Economic Commission, arrived in Damascus from Beirut Friday evening where he was welcomed by his Syrian counterpart Adham Wanli.
Abdolalizadeh said his trip to Beirut was to make the necessary preparations for the arrival in Lebanon this week of President Khatami.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, Minister of Economy and Finance Tahmasb Mazaheri and Commerce Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari will be accompanying President Khatami in this two-day visit to Syria.
Abdolalizadeh described the political, social and cultural relations between Iran and Syria as "promising" and said the two countries' high-ranking officials are doing their utmost to boost bilateral economic ties at the highest level.
He said Iranian businessmen are currently active alongside Iranian companies in industrial activities in different areas of the Syrian economy, adding that the two sides are currently in serious talks to establish a free trade agreement.
The minister reiterated that with the US-led war on Iraq over and the change in regime, the region has become more militarized and politically polarized.
The Zionist regime is currently taking advantage of the sensitive situation in the region and has escalated its attacks on the defenseless Palestinian people, he said, adding that the upcoming meetings between senior officials of Iran, Syria and Lebanon will be of great significance and will bring special implications for the region and the world.
He said President Khatami will outline the official stances and future plans of the Islamic Republic during his upcoming visit.
President Mohammad Khatami visited Syria in May 1999, his first trip to an Arab country since he came to office in 1998.
He held talks with Syrian former President Hafez al-Assad as well as other high-ranking Syrian officials.
Khatami last visited Syria in June, 2000 to attend the funeral ceremony of President Hafez Assad who died of a heart attack at the age of 69.
Khatami's Beirut visit "very important": Lebanese minister
Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs Assaad Diab termed here Saturday Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's upcoming visit to Beirut considering the current sensitive situation in the Middle East as "very important, IRNA reported from Beirut.
Diab, talking to an IRNA correspondent here, expressed high hopes Khatami's visit would yield positive results.
"Lebanon is President Khatami's second home. Lebanese people attach special importance to Khatami and the Iranian nation," he said.
Pointing to the friendly ties between Iran and Lebanon, he said Tehran-Beirut bilateral ties has become a remarkable example to Islamic and Arab countries in recent years.
He, moreover, said that mutual relations between the two countries played an important role in the victory of the Islamic resistance against the Zionist regime in southern Lebanon.
Iran has always supported the Lebanese people in their resistance to US pressure and the Zionist regime's aggressions, he noted.
Diab stressed that the friendly and strategic ties between Tehran and Beirut as well as between Tehran and Syria will be counter US threats.
He urged the Arab and Muslim nations to stand beside Iran in order to strengthen the resistance.
President Mohammad Khatami, accompanied by a senior delegation, is to pay a six-day visit to Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain from Monday.
The visit is to take place at the invitation of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.
During upcoming talks with senior officials of the said countries, he will discuss possible ways for boosting bilateral ties and utilizing current potentials to consolidate and expand political, economic and cultural relations.
He will also be discussing the current situation in the region, particularly the Palestinian and the Iraqi crises, with those leaders.
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