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Rowhani: Iran is keen on developing relations with neighbors

Tehran, April 13, IRNA -- Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hassan Rowhani said on Tuesday that Iran is keen on developing economic and political relations with neighboring states.

In a meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanyan, Rowhani said that longstanding cultural affinity between Iran and Armenia contributed to common interests in the field of economy and boosting Tehran-Yerevan cooperation.

He appreciated the current cooperation between Iranian and Armenian energy ministries over the project of dam building and setting up power plant over Aras River as symbol of economic cooperation.

He hoped that the agreement on setting up pipeline to carry Iranian gas to Armenia will be signed soon.

Rowhani said that Armenian government is expected to help resolve problems of Iranian nationals and organizations based in Armenia.

Referring to the developments in Caucasus and Karabakh, Rowhani said that as much as the regional states succeeded to resolve the crisis, their interests would be guaranteed and regional stability would be reinforced.

"Regional stability is prerequisite for economic development and without settlement of the regional crisis, the ground for extensive investment would not be prepared," Rowhani said.

He said that Iran will spare no effort to help resolve Karabakh crisis and regards peace and security in the Caucasus as a priority to national security.

Rowhani pointed to crises in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Caucasus as the four dangerous situation which should be dealt with politically to help bring about economic development and social welfare for the people living in those areas.

For his part, Oskanyan expressed pleasure with the current boost in Iran-Armenian economic cooperation in the field of electricity and setting up gas pipeline and the progress made in transport by establishing the North-South Corridor.

The Armenian foreign minister said that Iran-Armenia relations have historical roots. He said that bilateral cooperation serves regional interests in addition to mutual agenda.

Cooperation in the field of energy and above all setting up gas pipeline will help develop bilateral relations and would be effective in boosting regional stability, he said.

Oskanyan called for Iran's assistance to speed up process of laying pipeline and construction of North-South Transport Corridor.

Rowhani welcomed the proposals and hoped that Armenia would join North-South Corridor to boost national standard of land transport. Oskanyan arrived in Tehran on Monday.

... Payvand News - 4/13/04 ... --

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