Armenian Foreign Minister Arrives in Tehran

TEHRAN (IMA)–The Armenian foreign minister–Vartan Oskanian arrived in Tehran–on Monday–on a two day official visit. He was greeted by his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi. Upon arriving at Tehran’s Mehrabad international airport–he said–"We regard the Islamic republic of Iran as an important country which–given its political and economic capabilities–can play a crucial role in regional developmen’s.”

Describing Tehran-Yerevan relations as ”excellent”–Oskanian said that he plans to discuss the Tripartite cooperation between Tehran–Athens and Yerevan. Responding to the question on the latest developmen’s in Karabakh–the Armenian foreign minister said–” unfortunately it is more than two years that the negotiations on the disputed enclave have stalled and we think that the reason for this is the pre-conditions set by Azerbaijan for negotiations.”

He reiterated that Armenia is ready to begin negotiations without any pre-conditions–adding "we are hopeful that after the next presidential elections in Azerbaijan–some changes will take place and we can resume negotiations.”

Welcoming his Armenian counterpart at the airport–the Iranian Foreign minister said–"Armenia is an important neighbor and our priority is to expand relations with our neighbors.” He added that Armenia–which is a northern neighbor of Iran–is a country of which the Islamic republic is fond of and due to its influence is the focus of Tehran’s attention. "No doubt–cooperation with Armenia is in line with regional peace and stability,” Kharrazi said.

"We would like to help resolve the crises in the region and to strengthen peace in the region,” the Iranian foreign minister added.

"We will once again declare our readiness to assist in resolving the Karabakh crisis in our talks with the Armenian foreign minister,” Kharrazi said.

He further said "cooperation between Iran–Armenia and Greece is an important means by which we can achieve peace and security in the region.”

The Armenian foreign minister is scheduled to meet the Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and Majlis Speaker Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri.


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