Armenia Iran Relations Important for Stability in The Region

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–"Armenia’s President Robert Kocharian’s upcoming visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran will become a turning point in the relations between the two neighboring countries and is expected to give a fresh stimulus to the development of multilateral cooperation," said Iran’s Trade Minister Mohammad Shariat-Madari.

The delegation–led by Iran’s trade minister–has been negotiating with their Armenian partners for two days–and the minister described their outcome as "very useful."

Praising the Armenian-Iranian political relations–Kocharian expressed hope that this visit will also promote the development of bilateral relations.

The president underlined the importance of expanding economic cooperation–saying that it is a firm basis for political relations. In his words–the existing potential in the economic sector is not used up completely. "Both countries are able to double the trade volume," he said.

The participants of the meeting consider the Armenia-Iran relations as an important factor for the establishment of peace and stability in the region. Underlining the fact that the historical-cultural relations of the two nations are coming up from centuries–Mohammad Shariat-Madari said that President Khatami supports the dialogue of two peoples.

He said that in case the economic potential is used completely–the cooperation circle may be much wider. In his words–as Armenia and Iran are in the crossroads of communication–they can supplement and support each other in order to gain new markets. Iran can become a path to the countries in the Persian Bay for Armenia–while Armenia–in its turn–can become a path to the European markets for Iran.

The counterparts considered the cooperation between Iran Export Guarantee Fund and Armenian Development Agency important–underlined the necessity of transparent and exact information exchange and making the relations between the enterprising subjects of the two countries more active.

Armenian Minister of Industry and Trade Karen Chshmaritian called for further expansion of Tehran-Yerevan economic and trade cooperation–IRNA reported. At a meeting with Iran’s Minister of Commerce Mohammad Shariatmadari–he underlined the need to facilitate the activities of businessmen of the two countries’ private sectors.

Increasing the volume of bilateral investment–boosting of economic cooperation–promotion of trade corridors and mutual support in efforts to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) were among the major issues of talks held between the two countries’ officials.

The Iranian minister voiced Iran’s readiness to establish a committee composed of the countries’ deputy commerce ministers to follow up bilateral agreemen’s.

In their meeting–the two sides tried to finalize certain banking agreemen’s and trade documen’s–as well as the details of a plan to set up a joint chamber of commerce between the two countries–he noted.

The Iranian minister arrived in Yerevan on Tuesday for an official three-day visit at the invitation of Chshmaritian. Upon his arrival at the airport he told reporters the purpose of his trip is to expand bilateral economic and trade ties.

Shariatmadari–who is accompanied in this trip by a number of Iranian businessmen and industrialists–already met with high-ranking Armenian officials including the president–prime minister and members of the Armenian business community.

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