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Iranian influence in Middle East undeniable: Norwegian FM

Tehran, May 8, IRNA - Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store said in Stockholm on Tuesday that Iranian historical influence in the region including Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine is undeniable.

In a meeting with Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, Gahr Store expressed his country's respect to Iranian culture and civilization, adding that there are plentiful potentials to expand bilateral cooperation based on mutual interests.

"Tehran-Oslo relations are satisfactory and promising in various arenas," he said.

Mottaki said for his part that trend of bilateral ties is positive, adding Tehran-Oslo cooperation is growing on mutual interests.

"Grounds are prepared for cooperation in energy, oil, gas, communications and trade fields, which provide the two sides with chance to conduct joint ventures and strengthen bilateral cooperation," he added.

Mottaki underlined capabilities of Iran and Norway to upgrade coordination in joint projects, and that the two countries enjoy appropriate opportunities to cooperate in industrial programs, implement contracts already signed and increase trade.

Pointing to the Iraq Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and the stance of Iran toward the Arab country, he said that the Islamic Republic supports the government of Nouri Al Maliki, and establishing security and stability in Iraq.

Turning to the results of the US unilateralism and aggressive policies of the Zionist regime in the Middle East and violating Palestinians and Lebanese rights, he added that the hostile policies of Israeli regime in Lebanon and Palestine are inhumane and violation of human rights with aim of stopping their resistance and violating their rights.

He said that negotiations on Iranian nuclear program should follow two directions: One, to safeguard Iranians' indisputable right to produce nuclear energy and the other, to find appropriate ways to assure that the nuclear program of Iran will never be diverted from peaceful purposes.

Mottaki further said that Iran is ready to hold negotiations with Europe based of rational and constructive principles.

Iranian and Norwegian foreign ministers also conferred on bilateral developments, and regional and international issues.

Mottaki arrived in Oslo, capital of Norway, and held discussions with Norwegian ministers of foreign affairs, oil and industries.

... Payvand News - 5/9/07 ...

... Payvand News - 5/9/07 ... --

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