Iran Armenia Sign Accords

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenian President Robert Kocharian welcomed the Iranian delegation led by Defense Minister of Iran Ali Shamkhani on March 5–who have arrived in Armenia on an official visit.

According to the presidential press office–the sides discussed the realization process of agreemen’s made during the visit of President Kocharian to Iran in December 2001–stating that their realization is beneficial for the development of bilateral cooperation. According to them–Armenian-Iranian relations are directed to the strengthening of stability in the region.

During the meeting–Armenian Defense Minister Serge Sarkissian talked about issues on security in the region. The Armenian and Iranian Defense Ministers Sarkissian and Shamkhani also signed a memorandum on bilateral cooperation in the spheres of defense and security.

During a press conference held after the signing–Sarkissian said the memorandum is the beginning of cooperation in the military sphere. He added that the two countries’ cooperation is multilateral.

"We are well aware of Iranian military establishmen’s and our cooperation may also include student exchange. We are neighbors and friends and we have to cooperate," he stressed.

The Iranian and Armenian defense ministers stressed the importance of the two countries’ bilateral relations in regional peace–stability and balance of power.

From the point of economic cooperation–great importance was attached to the active works directed to the construction of the Iran-Armenia gas pipe-line and the Kajaran tunnel.

The sides stated the necessity of enlargement of cooperation between all regional countries. The interlocutors also referred to issues on security. Margarian stressed that Armenia–as an independent state–tries to establish friendly relations both with regional and other countries. According to him–Armenia is concerned about any step that threatens stability in the region and is ready to support all efforts directed to prevention of new conflicts and preserving the stability and peace.

The Iranian defense minister informed Margarian about the meetings and negotiations he had within the framework of his visit–and expressed satisfaction with the results. The sides reconfirmed their readiness to direct all their efforts to the realization of the previously reached agreemen’s.

"Armenian-Iranian cooperation is not directed against any third country. Its aim is to strengthen peace and stability," said the Iranian Defense minister. He stressed that Iran is ready to cooperate with all countries in the Caucasian region and that everything must be done for establishing peace–stability and a basis for economic growth in Central Asia and Caucasian region.

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