Armenia Iran Have Excellent Relations Official Says

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Kharrazi and Armenian Minister of Defense and Secretary of National Security Council Serge Sarkisian discussed the expansion of bilateral relations and north-south cooperation–Wednesday–the Iranian IRNA news agency reported.

At the meeting–Kharrazi pointed to good relations between the two countries and said the laying of an Iran-Armenia gas pipeline was of great importance. He added that positive steps have been taken to set up the gas pipeline but new momentum is needed to start the project.

Calling the north-south dialogue important–Kharrazi said the materialization of a north-south axis would be a guarantee for Armenia’s communications and would also play an effective role in promoting regional stability and security.

Sarkisian thanked Iran for its efforts to end the Karabakh crisis and termed relations between Iran and Armenia as "excellent." He also called for further expansion of bilateral ties.

Sarkisian pointed to the importance of an Iran-Armenia gas pipeline project and said the project is important both from economic and security points of view.

Later in the day the Armenian defense minister met with Iranian president Khatami and handed over a written message from Armenian President Robert Kocharian to President Khatami.

Pointing to friendly relations between Iran and Armenia–President Khatami said the expansion of cooperation between the two countries would strengthen regional security and stability.

He stressed the need for strong ties between the two countries–given the fact that they are neighbors and share common stances on many regional and international issues.

Khatami said Iran’s policy is to bring countries closer to each other and remove disputes among them–adding that development and progress is a common wish of both Iran and Armenia.

Emphasizing cooperation among all regional countries–including Iran and Armenia for creating a secure and stable region in Central Asia–President Khatami expressed hope that the problem of Karabakh would be resolved peacefully.

On the project of transferring gas from Iran to Armenia–the president expressed hope that the project would be implemented with the collaboration of the two sides–and by making use of existing capabilities.

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