By Emil Danielyan
TEHRAN (RFE/RL) — Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad reaffirmed Iran’s desire to expand political and economic links with Armenia during weekend talks with his visiting Armenian counterpart, Serge Sargisian.
The two men reviewed bilateral ties and, in particular, the implementation of Armenian-Iranian commercial projects on the sidelines of official celebrations of the ancient Persian Nowruz holiday. Sargisian attended the festivities along with the presidents of Afghanistan, Iraq, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Several other regional states were represented by more low-level officials.
According to Iran’s English-language Press TV network, Ahmadinejad told Sargisian last Sunday that Tehran “has placed no limits on the development of cooperation with Yerevan” and wants to deepen ties between the two “friendly neighbors.”
The Iranian Fars news agency reported that the talks focused on ways of “strengthening bilateral cooperation and good neighborly relations.” It said Ahmadinejad stressed the importance of the multimillion-dollar energy and transport projects approved by the two governments.
A statement by the Armenian presidential press service said Sargisian also reaffirmed Yerevan’s strong interest in their implementation. It said the two presidents specifically discussed ambitions plans to build a railway connecting Armenia with Iran.