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Enhanced ties with neighbors Iran’s priority: Foreign Minister Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy attaches importance to enhanced relations with neighboring countries, urging the development of political and economic cooperation with Armenia.

According to Press TV, Zarif said in a meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in Yerevan on Tuesday “The expansion of ties with neighbors has been among the priorities of Iran’s foreign policy and Armenia has always been a good neighbor to Tehran.”

He called for boosting economic cooperation in parallel with political ties and noted that he had discussed the issue with the Armenian president.

Sargsyan, for his part, said Armenia welcomes the expansion of relations with Iran in all sectors.

He added that Tehran and Yerevan have always enjoyed diplomatic relations based on mutual respect and understanding during the past 25 years.

The Iranian foreign minister and Armenian president exchanged views about bolstering economic and commercial cooperation as well as bilateral interaction on the international scene.

Heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, Zarif arrived in Yerevan on Tuesday for a day-long visit.

The top Iranian diplomat held talks with Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian earlier in the day about leading mutual, regional and international issues.

He also participated in the Iran-Armenia business forum.

The economic forum was attended by tradesmen and entrepreneurs from the two countries.

Iran and Armenia have been recently intensifying efforts to promote their mutual relations.

The two countries announced in early August that they had lifted their visa regime to enable their citizens to freely commute between the two countries.

Iran is currently exporting natural gas to Armenia and is in return importing electricity from the country to support demand in its northern provinces.

Iran reportedly exports nearly one million cubic meters of natural gas to Armenia per day. Officials in Tehran had previously said that the volume could increase to as high as six million cubic meters per day.

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