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Georgian, Iranian presidents call for expansion of ties

President Mohammad Khatami and his visiting Georgian counterpart Mikhail Saakashvili on Wednesday underscored further expansion of all-out bilateral relations, particularly in the areas of trade and economy, IRNA reported from Tehran.

photo: ISNA

Addressing a joint press conference, President Khatami appreciated great efforts made to promote Tehran-Tbilisi cooperation but termed it still as insufficient.

As to the current visit to Tehran of the Georgian economic and trade delegation, he said the trip promises a bright prospect for bilateral cooperation between the two states.

Referring to Iran's detente policy, President Khatami stressed that the Islamic Republic moves in line with promotion of global peace and stability.

There are great economic potentials for expansion of bilateral economic relations between the two countries, he added.

As to historical and cultural common points between the two nations, Khatami said Iran attaches great importance to its relations with Georgia.

On great efforts made by the new Georgian government to establish democracy in that country, he said independence, stability and security of the Caucasus region is very important to Tehran.

Tehran-Tbilisi relations are based on mutual respect and are in line with establishment of stability and security in the entire region, the Iranian president noted.

For his part, the Georgian president referred to Iran as an important and influential country in the world, particularly in the region, and said Tehran is one of Tbilisi's major economic partners.

He expressed the hope that Iran-Georgia relations in different areas of economy, trade, energy, and transport will be promoted.

He also praised the idea of Dialogue among Civilizations initiated by President Khatami and called for promotion of the idea in all aspects.

The Georgian president further expressed the hope that the current visit will open a new chapter in bilateral cooperation between the two states.

Saakashvili, heading a high-ranking delegation, arrived here Tuesday evening on a two-day official visit at the invitation of President Khatami. He was officially welcomed by the Iranian president this morning.

Saakashvili, on his first day in Tehran, is to meet President Khatami, Expediency Council (EC) Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and several other senior Iranian officials.

Tehran-Tbilisi bilateral ties, regional and international issues as well as developments in the Caucasus region will top the agenda of talks between the two sides.

Saakashvili is accompanied in this visit by the Georgian ministers of energy, foreign affairs and education and science.

A US-educated lawyer, Saakashvili came to power after winning Georgia's January 4 presidential election.

... Payvand News - 7/7/04 ... --

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