Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan with President Ebrahim Raisi (Photos by Gevorg Perkuperkyan)

Armenian, Iranian Leaders Emphasize Need to Boost Trade

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YEREVAN (Armenpress) — Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan paid a one-day working visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran on Tuesday, November 1. Iran’s Vice President Masoud Mir Kazemi met Prime Minister Pashinyan at Tehran International Airport.

Then Prime Minister Pashinyan headed to Sa’dabad Palace, where the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ebrahim Raisi welcomed Pashinyan, and the official welcoming ceremony took place.

Before starting the negotiations, Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of Armenia Gnel Sanosyan and Iran’s Deputy Minister of Petroleum and CEO of the National Iranian Gas Company Majid Chegeni signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of natural gas.

First, the meeting of the leaders of Armenia and Iran took place in the narrow format and then in an expanded format. The interlocutors discussed a number of issues related to the development of Armenian-Iranian relations. In particular, the opportunities for the expansion of trade and economic relations, continuous increase of trade turnover volumes were discussed. In particular, the need to increase the volume to 3 billion USD per year was emphasized, for which, according to Prime Minister Pashinyan and Ebrahim Raisi, there is enough potential.

The sides also discussed issues related to the development of cooperation in infrastructure, energy, agriculture, construction and other fields. The implementation of joint projects for the facilitation of cargo transportation, the need to complete the construction of the third power transmission line between Armenia and Iran were highlighted.

After the meeting, the leaders of Armenia and Iran made statements for media representatives summarizing the results of the negotiations.

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Ebrahim Raisi said: “I welcome the Honorable Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and the members of the delegation accompanying him. I have no doubt, I am sure that the visit of Mr. Prime Minister will contribute to the further development of bilateral relations.

“The neighborhood policy is one of our main policies, and we have had several meetings with Mr. Pashinyan during these months. During those meetings and today’s visit, we emphasized the importance of developing ties between the two countries, especially in the economic, trade, political and security spheres.

“During the previous months, we recorded 43 percent increase in trade and economic relations with Armenia, but the goal, the target is $3 billion. We will definitely achieve this goal. Good relations between the two countries will surely lead to strengthening of relations and security in the region.

“The Caucasus region is a cultural and civilizational part of Iran’s historical past, and we are very sensitive towards that region. Establishing security and peace in the region is very important for the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the negotiations with Mr. Pashinyan, we came to the conclusion that the issues and problems of the region should definitely be solved through the leaders of the countries of the region. The presence of foreign powers not only does not solve any problems, but creates additional problems.”

Pashinyan said: “Honorable Mr. President, thank you for the invitation and warm welcome. I have to record that we are having a very full visit. We discussed issues related to the economic and political relations of the two countries, emphasized our historical ties, including recording the subtleties of our relations. I also highly appreciated the attitude and policy of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding the opportunities created for the Armenian community of Iran. I must emphasize that the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Armenia are a very bright example of cooperation and friendship between Islamic and Christian civilizations.

“We also discussed issues related to the regional agenda, and in this direction the Republic of Armenia and the Islamic Republic of Iran see a very large field of cooperation as well. We emphasize and appreciate Iran’s firm positions in terms of ensuring regional security and stability. I told Mr. Raisi about the results of yesterday’s trilateral meeting in Sochi and shared my impressions about the agenda and current processes for establishing stability and peace in the region.

“We consider it important that our Iranian partners are informed about what is happening in the context of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, in the context of Armenia-Turkey relations, in the context of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

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