Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Armenia’s caretaker Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in the country’s capital Yerevan, where they discussed bilateral ties and the regional situation.
In the Wednesday meeting, Zarif expressed hope for deeper economic relations between the two countries in the post-pandemic era. He said development of Meghri Border Free Trade Zone and launch of Iran-Nakhchivan-Armenia rail link lay the ground for expansion of mutual economic ties. The top diplomat also expressed hope Iran will be able to play an effective role in Armenia’s Syunik Province and this will help further strengthen ties with Yerevan.
The foreign minister noted that Iran is willing to see stability maintained in the region and Armenia’s territorial integrity guaranteed, and expressed regret over tensions in Armenia’s borders with the Azerbaijan Republic over the past days.
Armenia’s caretaker prime minister, in turn, said Yerevan considers ties with Iran of strategic significance, saying he is pleased about the fact that his country’s border with Iran has always marked friendship and security for both sides.
Pashinyan also touched on the steps Armenia has taken to develop its Syunik Province, including a push to speed up the establishment of Meghri Free Trade Zone, expressing hope these measures will lead to expansion of ties with Iran.
He also talked about the recent tensions on Armenia’s border with the Azerbaijan Republic. He offered details on Yerevan’s stance on the border issue, its referral to the Collective Security Treaty Organization, killing of an Armenian soldier along the border with the Azerbaijan Republic on Tuesday (May 25) and the current border situation.
During the meeting, Zarif and Pashinyan also discussed the natural gas and electricity swap plan between the two countries, extension of a contract for exports of Iranian natural gas to Armenia and an increase in the amount of exported natural gas as well as cooperation on infrastructure, science and education.