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Iranian FM calls for stronger ties with Armenia

Tehran, Nov 13, IRNA-Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in a meeting with the Head of Armenia's Presidential Office Artashes Tumanxan here Sunday called for strengthening bilateral relations.

According to a report released by the Foreign Ministry's Media Department, at the meeting, the two officials discussed ways of strengthening mutual ties as well as various international developments.

Mottaki expressed satisfaction with the growing trend of mutual bonds and said that continuous talks between high-ranking officials of the two countries would facilitate further expansion of such ties.

"Cordial relations between Iran and Armenia have always been based on mutual respect and the growing trend of ties have never faced any difficulties in the course of history," he added.

Reiterating the need for broader relations in economic and energy sectors, the minister noted that the implementation of the national grid and the gas transfer project have prepared appropriate grounds for upgrading the level of mutual ties.

"At the regional level, the project on transfer of gas from Iran to Ukraine via Armenia and Georgia can pave the way for development of the region," added Mottaki.

Briefing Tumanxan on the country's foreign policy, he said that it is based on moderation and constructive negotiation, which is rooted in the rich Iranian culture and civilization.

"We have been engaged in Afghanistan's problems in eastern Iran over the past 27 years, which has incurred high expenses on Iran.

"However, we have always been dealing with such difficulties in a constructive manner and have done our best to settle them through humanitarian means taking into consideration the principles of coexistence with the neighbor countries," he added.

Turning to the contribution of Iranian culture and civilization in serving the civilizations, cultures, sciences of other lands; he said that in the course of history, Iranians have always taken pride in playing a positive role in building up the civilization and culture, even at times of being involved in foreign-imposed wars.

For his part, Tumanxan expressed satisfaction over the growing bonds and conveyed the message of Armenian President Robert Kocharian to Mottaki and said that it expresses the determination of Armenia's government and nation to expand ties with Iran.

He pointed to the wide grounds for exchanges in the domain of energy and trade and said, "We consider that Iran's approach to Armenia has always been based on justice." Expounding on the status of Iran in its relations with Armenia, he underlined the significance of the principle of strengthening amicable ties and expansion of economic cooperation in such mutual ties.

Tumanxan further explained the latest developments in Karabakh and noted that the issue is currently being followed up within the framework of EU cooperation.

"Armenia believes that Iran has always been playing a crucial role in the regional and world developments through diplomacy and by relying upon its rich civilizational background," he noted.

The Armenian official referred to the achievements of close cooperation between the two countries in the field of power grid and the gas transfer project and their positive economic outcomes and hoped that further bolstering of such projects would expedite the trend of progress and welfare in the region and would secure the interests of both sides.

... Payvand News - 11/13/05 ... --

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