Iran and Armenia have held the 15th meeting of their Joint Economic Commission to explore ways for further cooperation between the two sides in energy as well as other fields.
The two-day meeting in Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, was attended by Iranian Minister for Energy Reza Ardakanian and Armenian Minister for Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources Ashot Manukyan as well as Iranian and Armenian experts from energy and industrial fields.
The main topics of the meeting included expediting the project of the third electricity transmission line from Iran to Armenia as the main energy corridor linking Iran, Armenia, Georgia and Russia together and creating an appropriate ground for further energy exchanges between the two sides, a Farsi report by IRIB News Agency said.
During the meeting the two sides also signed a number of memorandums of understanding on water, power, energy, environment, commerce, mine industry, customs, insurance and banking exchanges.
In an address to the meeting, Ardakanian said Iran and Armenia are willing to deepen their cooperation in fields of mutual interests.
He said the project of third electricity transmission line is expected to be accomplished by September 2018.
He also noted Iran is ready to increase the volume of gas supplied to Armenia.
Asked whether the gas price could be lower than that offered by Russia, he said Iran’s Petroleum Ministry and Armenia’s Ministry of Energy will soon hold talks on the issue.
According to Public Radio of Armenia, the Iranian minister said there are huge perspectives for the development of cooperation between the two countries not only in the energy sector, but also agriculture, tax and road communication, mining, etc.
“We hope the negotiation between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will produce good results in the future. I’m confident that Armenia’s role and the friendly ties between our two countries will contribute to the development of relations with EAEU,” Ardakanian stressed.
The Iranian minister added during his upcoming meeting with Armenia’s environment minister, he would raise the issue of the pollution of Aras River’s water due to industrial operations by the Armenian side.
For his part, Manukyan said he sees no obstacle for the development of cooperation between the two countries.
“To eliminate any obstacles, we opened the Meghri free economic zone on the territory of Armenia. There is also the Aras free economic zone operating on the Iranian territory. I’m confident the cooperation between these two zones will help overcome any legislative differences,” the Minister said.
According to him, the free economic zones, construction of the Iran Armenia 3rd third high-voltage power transmission line and the Meghri HPP will come to contribute to the development of trade between the two countries.
During his visit to Armenia, Ardakanian will also hold talks with Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan as well as his energy minister.
He is accompanied during the visit by a delegation of top managers from foreign ministry, oil ministry, Central Bank of Iran and many others.