Iranian FM Leaves for Moscow Monday

Published February 18th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi leaves for Moscow Monday on a two-day official visit to answer an invitation extended by his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov, reported Iranian official news agency (IRNA).  

 

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi said in a statement that Kharrazi would hold talks with Russian officials on bilateral relations and cooperation in the regional and international arenas. Assefi said the consultations between the two significant countries is an essential matter amid the current regional developments especially the afghan and middle east crises. 

 

Meanwhile, on Sunday, The Tehran Times daily, focusing on the increasing cooperation between Tehran and Moscow, said the two countries' cooperation can serve as a model for other regional states. 

 

"Iran and Russia, as two major powers in the region, enjoy extensive relations in political, economic, technical and cultural areas," the English-language daily noted, adding that Iran, "gives priority to the expansion of relations with (its) neighbors, including Russia."  

 

Currently, Iran is hosting the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Duma, Dmitri Rogozin, who is in the Iranian capital, to discuss with Iranian officials the, "expansion of bilateral ties, technical cooperation and other issues, including [a] new legal regime [for] the Caspian Sea and international developments."  

 

"Considering the interventionist policies of some outside powers like the U.S. towards this region, the consolidation of cooperation among regional states, especially between Tehran-Moscow, is very significant," it pointed out. 

 

"Furthermore, the exchange of views and experiences as well as cooperation between the foreign affairs committees of the two parliaments can prepare a suitable ground for expansion of ties between Tehran and Moscow," the daily said.  

 

It referred to an agreement on economic, political and defense cooperation signed by the two countries during Iran’s President Khatami's visit to the Russian capital in March of 2001. The agreement has been ratified by the Russian Duma.  

 

The agreement on cooperation includes, "a wide technical range such as joint manufacture of airplanes and the launching of satellites. It also envisions a volume of trade exchange up to one billion dollars."  

 

Praising the positive trend in Tehran-Moscow cooperation, it added that such cooperation would serve both countries' national interests as well as aid preserve regional peace, security and stability. 

 

"It will [also] encourage other littoral states to cut or lower their dependence on outside powers by increasing their cooperation with their neighbors," it added. 

 

It further congratulated both countries', “insistence on keeping the Caspian a non-military zone, in addition to their efforts to establish a new legal regime of the sea and their opposition to any foreign presence in this part of the world.”  

 

It stated that their close viewpoints on almost all regional and international issues have helped foil all nasty attempts at weakening their relations by enemies such as the United States and the Zionist regime. (Albawaba.com) 

© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)


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