Iran urges stronger ties with Armenia
In a Monday meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, the Iranian foreign minister pointed to the historical and cultural relations between Tehran and Yerevan and called for the further exploitation of the existing capacities to promote the level of mutual cooperation.
Salehi, who has traveled to Armenia to attend the inauguration ceremony of President Sargsyan, conveyed the greetings and felicitations of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the Armenian president on his re-election to a second five-year term.
Sargsyan, for his part, described as special the Iran-Armenia relations and hoped for the development of bilateral cooperation in different economic, trade and cultural spheres.
The two officials also discussed regional and international developments, particularly the crisis in Syria.
Salehi reiterated Iran’s clear stance in support of the reforms initiated by President Bashar al-Assad, stressing that the Syrian people must be allowed to determine their own destiny in a secure and stable atmosphere.
The Armenian president said the interference of foreign forces in Syria’s affairs, which has led to the continuation of the violence and killings in Syria, has complicated the situation in the Arab country.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of Syrian army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
In a separate meeting on Monday, Salehi also met with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian.
In recent years, Iran and Armenia have stepped up their bilateral cooperation in different fields, including cooperation on the construction and launch of hydro-electric power plants on the Aras River, joint cooperation between the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran and Armenia’s National Institute of Standards, cooperation in social welfare as well as bilateral environmental cooperation.
On December 23, 2011, Ahmadinejad paid an official one-day visit to Yerevan. The Iranian president and his Armenian counterpart discussed the promotion of relations between Tehran and Yerevan, Iran’s oil exports to Armenia and the construction of connecting routes.
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