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Armenia, Iran Seek to Expand Economic Ties

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (left) greeting Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian in Tehran on October 26
YEREVAN -- Armenia and Iran pledged to boost economic ties as Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian paid a visit to Tehran this week.

While meeting with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on October 26, Sargsian reiterated the Armenian president's invitation to Iran's leader to visit Yerevan.

Sarkisian stressed that his three-day visit should "give a fresh impetus" to Armenian-Iranian economic ties, which he said still did not match the high level of political relations between the neighboring states.

According to a report by the Armenian government's press office during the meeting, Ahmadinejad stressed that there are "no restrictions" on strengthening economic ties and bringing them to the level of political relations, and that Iran is "ready to assist in all initiatives."

Reports from Tehran's official media quoted Ahmadinejad as saying that "regional states are capable of meeting all their needs and safeguarding security of the region through expansion of bilateral ties."

"Tehran and Yerevan enjoy positive and progressing ties, and share common views of boosting bilateral cooperation in all fields," said Ahmadinejad, according to Iran's IRNA news agency.

On October 25, Armenia's premier also met with Iranian First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi. During that meeting, Rahimi reportedly said that Tehran saw "no restriction for expansion and development of its ties with Armenia."

According to IRNA, Rahimi also underlined the need to speed up construction of an Iran-Armenia railway, saying that the implementation of the railway agreements would be "a big step" towards the development of the two states.