Iran News ...


1/28/04

Iran's FM calls for balance between political and economic cooperation

Visiting Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi in a meeting in Tehran on Tuesday examined various dimensions of bilateral ties in political, economic and cultural fields and discussed pivotal regional and international issues, IRNA reported.

A report released by the Foreign Ministry media department said that in the meeting the two foreign ministers expressed satisfaction over regular mutual contacts, assessed the negotiations as positive and referred to the need for exchange of high-level delegates to bolster favorable relations.

The two ministers also discussed the prospect of Iran-Italy cooperation in the reconstruction of Iraq and reached agreement on the issue.

In the meeting, Kharrazi thanked Italy for its humanitarian measures and supply of relief aid for the victims of the catastrophic quake in Bam city.

Turning to the background of favorable ties between the two states, he reiterated Iran's desire for a balance in relations with its trade partners on political and economic issues.

Pointing to transparency and peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities, Kharrazi said that suspension of uranium enrichment process by Iran was a voluntary move and doesn't mean that the country has overlooked its deserved right to it.

Turning to Tehran Declaration, he reiterated that the document was a success for the Iranian and European sides and that they should stay committed to it.

Concerning Iran's economic development plans and Iran-EU talks on mutually inked trade contracts, he noted that negotiations on conclusion of trade agreements benefit both sides.

Briefing his counterpart on Iran's views and fundamental policy on denouncing terrorism, he said, "Iran has proved that it is determined to campaign against terrorism and its priority for the national security."

Criticizing the dual approach of Western countries towards terrorism, he hoped that they would be as serious as Iran in their campaign against the issue.

The official also underlined Iran's determination to continue its anti-drug campaign despite the heavy human and material costs required for it and added, "While narcotics are destined to end up in European states, Europe has failed to play a decisive role in blocking and eradicating it, specifically in Afghanistan."

Kharrazi lashed out at the human rights resolution against Iran, saying that democracy is currently developing in the country and the Iranian community is experiencing its growing trend.

Reiterating that a lot of criticism pointed at Iran on the human rights issue is also applicable to the Western countries, he said that assessments on Iran are biased and are rooted in political motives. "Iran has proved in several rounds of talks on the issue that it has no fear to discuss human rights, democracy and the civil society," he added.

Turning to Iran's regional policies, he said, "In view of having a stable country, reinforcing stability and security are among the focal points of our policy."

Stressing that Iran has taken a positive and constructive role in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said that the country will stick to such a policy.

Calling on Europe to play an impartial and positive role in the Middle East issues, he said that the region should take pride in the Lebanese Hezbollah's move to liberate the captives, which is appreciated by regional Muslim nations.

For his part, Frattini said that mutual interests will lead to further expansion of bilateral ties and voiced the will of his country to bolster relations, exchange delegations and work on regional issues.

He hoped that the visit would end up in growing mutual understanding.

The official expressed the continued efforts of the Italian government to help in providing housing for the victims of the recent quake in Bam city and its reconstruction.

Pointing to Iran's trend of anti-terrorism campaign, the Italian minister said that the measures taken to the effect marks the country's serious commitment to fighting it.

Frattini expressed his country's desire that Iran-Italy and Iran-EU cooperation on campaign against terrorism and drug would be expanded and would become more genuine.

He referred to Iran's policies towards Iraq and Afghanistan as positive and said that Iran plays a decisive role in the region, given its stance as regional power.

In today's meeting, Kharrazi and Frattini also exchanged views on details of economic and cultural cooperation.

Frattini and his entourage arrived in Tehran Monday night, at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart to discuss bilateral regional and international issues.

... Payvand News - 1/28/04 ... --



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