Iran's Khatami says wants closer ties with Japan
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami called Saturday, July 21, for closer ties with Tokyo when he met here with a Japanese trade delegation, state television reported.
Khatami told the delegates he wanted "increasing development" in relations between the countries, and also received a written message from Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, the report said, without disclosing the contents of the message.
"The development of our relations will benefit our two countries but also Asia and the rest of the world", the reformist cleric leader was quoted as saying. "Iran and Japan want to use the potential which exist in both countries and thus cooperate in the scientific and political fields", he said, stressing Iran's "strategic natural and human resources".
On Sunday, the countries signed a protocol agreement valued at $10 million for Japanese participation in exploring the Azadegan oil field, estimated to have reserves of between 26 and 40 billion barrels.
The delegation, which comprises officials from Japan's trade and industry ministry and executives from some 30 companies, is the largest from Japan to be visit Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Most of the delegation leaders are due end their weeklong visit Sunday, while some others will stay on to visit industrial plants. ― (AFP, Tehran)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)