Manama, Dec 26, IRNA - Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Wednesday that Iran is determined to broaden all-out ties with the Persian Gulf littoral states. Mottaki made the remark at a joint press conference with his Bahraini counterpart Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.
Speaking to reporters, he said Iran and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) have agreed to hold talks on promotion of free trade cooperation among Persian Gulf littoral states.
The next step would be bolstering security cooperation among regional countries, he pointed out.
"We welcome expansion of security cooperation with Bahrain and voice our readiness to broaden all-out ties with the country," Mottaki said.
On expansion of ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he described current level of ties between the two countries as 'excellent'.
Volume of trade exchange between Iran and UAE since 2005 has increased from dlrs nine billion to dlrs 14 billion, he said.
On existing ties between Iran and Egypt, he said the two sides have held constructive talks, Mottaki said.
Tehran and Cairo have mutual cooperation in the fields of economy and international affairs, he said, adding that the two sides are now trying to re-establish diplomatic ties.
On expansion of ties between Tehran and Manama, he said the two sides are determined to broaden mutual cooperation.
On current ties with Kuwait, he said "Iran and Kuwait enjoy good ties and during my recent visit to the country, we held constructive talks with Kuwaiti officials."
Kuwait's foreign minister is to visit Tehran within coming weeks to prepare grounds for the visit of the Kuwaiti emir, Mottaki said.
Iran and Bahrain have reached agreement to broaden cooperation in energy sector, he said.
Current level of trade exchange between Tehran-Manama stood at dlrs 200 million, he said and expressed the hope that the volume of trade exchange between the two countries would hit dlrs one billion within coming years.
The Bahrain foreign minister, for his part, welcomed expansion of all-out ties with Tehran.
Voicing Support for expansion of mutual ties, he urged the two sides' private sectors to play a more active role in this regard.
Referring to the recent visit of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Bahrain, he described the visit as a turning point in mutual ties.
The two sides also declared that the next session of Iran-Bahrain high cooperation commission would be held in Tehran.
Mottaki is in Manama to take part in the first meeting of Iran-Bahrain high cooperation commission.
He noted that senior Iranian and Bahraini officials are determined o implement a joint gas project and signing of the relevant memorandum of understanding is under study.
Underlining the necessity of all-out relations between Tehran and Manama, he highlighted the importance of establishing appropriate links between the two countries' private sectors.
Al-Khalifa, for his part, said that establishing link between Iran's energy sector and Bahraini industry sector will secure economic prosperity of Bahrain.
Referring to the determination of Bahraini officials to boost bilateral ties with Iran, he said that his country is ready to cooperate with Iran in line with decisions of the joint high cooperation commission.
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