Iranian, Belarusian Presidents Likely to Meet

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi said that the Presidents of Iran and Belarus are likely to meet in the near future.

Ayatollah Shahroudi, who is currently on a tour of Minsk, told reporters on Thursday that the summit may take place after a majority of Iran-Belarus joint projects are implemented.

"The Belarusian president and high-profile authorities and delegations from Belarus are always welcome in Iran," Shahroudi underlined.

Iran's Judiciary Chief, the former Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi, and Justice Minister Gholam Hossein Elham arrived in Belarus on Tuesday night in a bid to explore procedures for bilateral cooperation.

Asked about his talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Ayatollah Shahroudi said that during the meeting, he handed over a message from the Iranian leadership and that Lukashenko, in turn, handed a message to the Iranian authorities.

At the meeting with Lukashenko, Shahroudi underlined Iran's willingness to increase economic cooperation with the country by 1 billion dollars annually and turn Iran-Belarus ties into strategic ones.

Trade cooperation between Iran and Belarus reached 83.9 million dollars in 2008, up by 34.1 percent comparing to 2007.

Lukashenko, for his part, said his country has remained committed to its obligations towards Iran and believes that agreed plans will provide interests of the two sides.



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