Belarus hopes to develop ties with Iran

MOSCOW, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Belarus's President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday that Iran was an important partner for his country and Belarus wanted to develop cooperation with the Islamic country.

"We view Iran as a substantial point of support far from our borders and would like to see our cooperation develop more actively," Lukashenko said at a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who is in Minsk on a two-day visit, the Interfax news agency reported.

"We have developed good relations with our neighbors," Lukashenko said. "However, we also have to set up a major arc of cooperation with powerful states far from our borders, such as Venezuela, South Africa, Malaysia and, of course, Iran," he said.

Mottaki said: "We will definitely come to terms, because there is a will of the leaders of our states to intensify cooperation."

In a separate meeting with his Belarussian counterpart, Sergei Martynov, Mottaki thanked Minsk "for its constructive position concerning Iran's nuclear problem."