TEHRAN — Iran’s top political leaders praised their country’s warm relationship with neighboring Armenia and called for it expansion on Monday as they met with the visiting Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.

Nalbandian met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, parliament speaker Ali Larijani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran for talks that focused on bilateral economic ties and regional security. They also discussed the continuing crises in Ukraine and Syria.

“President Rouhani described Tehran-Yerevan relations as historical and cultural and stressed that the two countries have a good potential for the expansion of their cooperation,” reported the official IRNA news agency.

“Our relations with Armenia have been long-lasting and quite cordial,” another Iranian news agency, Mehr, quoted Zarif as saying at a joint news conference with his Armenian counterpart. “Our countries have a relationship based on mutual respect and national interests and take similar positions on the international stage.”

“We discussed political, parliamentary, cultural, and economic relations and possible ways to expand ties in transportation, energy, and banking sectors,” said the chief Iranian diplomat. He stressed the significance of those ties to Tehran.

Nalbandian-Iran-FMArmenia’s Foreign Minister praised Iran for balanced and moderate stance on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during the joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart.

The Armenian foreign minister reiterated that during his talks with Zarif they have discussed achievement of a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, Fars agency reported.

Javad Zarif, in turn, announced Tehran’s preparedness to play a stronger role in the region to establish peace and stability, Fars News reports.

“Iran hopes that our region will become a region of peace and friendship and the Islamic Republic has spared no effort to this end and is ready to play a stronger role in the establishment of peace and stability in the region,” Zarif during the joint press conference.

Zarif said that he discussed with Nalbandian different issues pertaining to the two countries’ bilateral relations in political, economic, parliamentary and cultural fields, and expressed hope that Tehran and Yerevan would witness expansion of ties in all these areas.


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