Martynov Stresses Iran-Belarus Global Partnership

TEHRAN (FNA)- Belarusian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov described Iran as an important partner of his country in the region and the world, saying Minsk is ready to increase its all-out relations with Tehran.

Martynov made the remarks in a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki who was on a 2-day visit to Belarus.

Martynov expressed satisfaction over his meeting with Mottaki, saying that Iran-Belarus trade cooperation has doubled in recent years, MNA reported.

Mottaki and his Belarusian counterpart expressed satisfaction with the current level of Tehran-Minsk relations.

Mottaki also said Iran and Belarus strongly oppose the interference of major powers in Central Asia. The two countries also want the Gaza siege to be stopped, he noted.

Martynov pointed out that Minsk’s stance toward developments in the Middle East is the same as Iran and other members of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Mottaki held separate talks with high-ranking Belarusian officials during his 2-day visit to Belarus.

Elsewhere in a separate meeting with Mottaki, Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko urged Iran to help reduce the effects of global economic crisis.

He pointed out that the global economic crisis is affecting other areas and creating a lot of problems for people all around the world.

Lukashenko went on to say that although Iran and Belarus are not directly involved in this crisis, they must cooperate to prevent its harmful effects.

He also called for expansion of relations and an immediate fulfillment of the agreements signed between the two countries.

Mottaki told Lukashenko that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had officially invited him to visit Tehran and briefed Lukashenko on Ahmadinejad’s advice about global economic crisis.

Belarusian Premier Sergey Sidorski in a separate meeting with Mottaki stressed the need to increase ties with Iran.

The sides expressed satisfaction with bilateral cooperation in oil projects and agreed to form a joint economic committee within two months.

Mottaki also met the Belarusian parliament speaker and discussed ways to increase political and parliamentary ties, MNA said.

Mottaki made a reference to the current conditions in the Middle East and noted the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq has compromised the security and stability in the region.

Belarusian parliament speaker, for his part, said memorandums of understanding signed between the two countries’ parliaments are aimed at expanding the mutual ties.

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