Ahmadinejad, Medvedev call for closer relations

TEHRAN, July 19 (MNA) – President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on Friday called for closer cooperation between Tehran and Moscow in a bid to resolve regional and international issues.

In a telephone conversation with Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev, Ahmadinejad said, “Fortunately the two countries’ relations are improving… the two have great potential to boost cooperation in economic, political, energy, and defense sectors.”

 

Referring to Geneva talks between Iranian and EU nuclear diplomats, the president said the remaining differences between the Islamic Republic and the Western powers should be resolved through negotiations.

 

Iranian top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili on Saturday held talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on resolving Iran’s prolonged nuclear standoff with the West.

 

The meeting was for the first time attended by U.S. top diplomat William Burns alongside representatives from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

 

“During the negotiations we can discuss ways to develop cooperation and… help resolve the problems,” Ahmadinejad stated.

 

Last month Russia, China, the United States, Britain, France, and Germany offered Iran a revised package of incentives in return for a halt in Tehran’s uranium enrichment activities.

 

The package which is a follow-up of an original proposal in 2006, offers nuclear cooperation and wider trade in aircraft, energy, high technology, and agriculture.

 

Iran has also presented its own package of proposals on resolving international challenges including the threat of nuclear proliferation and has said it has found common ground between the two separate packages.

 

Senior Iranian officials have repeatedly rejected calls for a halt in Tehran’s uranium enrichment work and have expressed readiness to talk “only on common points”.

 

Ahmadinejad said Iran and Russia play an influential and constructive role in the region and can help reinforce regional security through stronger cooperation.

 

Medvedev, for his part, said the two nations enjoy great potential for economic and political cooperation. “Moscow is prepared for any kind of dialogue with Tehran at any time.”

 

“Relations between Iran and Russia are a key factor for resolving the issues of Middle East and Near East,” he observed.

 

He called for a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear dispute, saying, “Tehran’s nuclear issue can only be resolved through diplomacy and there is no alternative to it.”

 

Russia is prepared to take constructive steps for resolving Iran’s nuclear issue, Medvedev explained.

 

 

BA/PA

END

MNA

News Code 28996

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