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Iran, Armenia mulling free trade agreement

Tehran Times, Iran

Iran, Armenia mulling free trade agreement

Economic Desk

25 December 2011

TEHRAN – To boost their economic and trade ties Iran and Armenia are preparing the ground for signing a free trade agreement, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi says.

The move toward a free trade agreement comes as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his entourage visited Yerevan on Friday.

In an interview with IRNA news agency, Salehi described Iran-Armenia ties a “very special” and said, “The political relationship between Iran and Armenia is at its best condition.”

The foreign minister added that “Armenia is an important neighbor for Iran and the relations between the two countries after (Armenia’s) independence have improved deeply.”

Salehi also said during the Friday visit to Yerevan President Ahmadinejad insisted that the annual trade between Iran and Armenia to reach $1 billion annually

President Ahmadinejad and his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan signed five cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding during the visit.

Building and operating hydroelectric power plants on Aras River which runs along the two countries’ border, cooperation between national standards institutes of the two sides, cooperation in the social welfare sector, and cooperation in the field of environment protection were among the agreements.

Armenian Ambassador to Iran Grigor Arakelyan said last week that trade turnover between Tehran and Yerevan grew up by 40 percent, reaching to $300 million last year.