“Problems must be solved by those in our region”: Pashinyan-Raisi meeting
Working visit of Pashinyan to Iran
During talks with Nikol Pashinyan in Tehran, the President of Iran stated that the problems of the region should be solved by the leaders of the countries of the region itself, and not by external actors.
“The presence of foreign forces not only does not solve any problems, it exacerbates them,” Ibrahim Raisi said.
In response, the Prime Minister of Armenia stressed that he appreciates the principled position of Iran as a whole in terms of ensuring regional security and stability.
Details of Pashinyan’s working visit to Iran and meeting with Raisi, and comment by Armenian analysts.
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“There is every reason to consider the visit a success”
According to the office of the Armenian Prime Minister, the leaders discussed:
- the possibility of expanding trade and economic ties and increasing the volume of trade,
- issues of cooperation in infrastructure development, energy, agriculture, construction and other sectors.
According to Pashinyan, the visit was eventful and “there is every reason to consider it a success.” He discussed with Raisi issues related to both the regional agenda and economic and political relations between the two countries.
“The importance of undertaking joint projects to facilitate cargo transportation between the two countries was noted, as well as the need to complete the construction of a third power transmission line between Armenia and Iran,” the official statement on the Pashinyan-Raisi talks reads.
Armenia and Iran sign memorandum of cooperation
A Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of natural gas was signed before the start of negotiations between Pashinyan and Raisi by the Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of Armenia and the director of the National Gas Company of Iran.
The essence of the document is that the term of the already existing agreement on the exchange of electricity and gas is being extended, though for how many years is not yet known.
The Prime Minister of Armenia regarded the signing of the memorandum on the extension of the “Gas in exchange for electricity” agreement as a “concrete result” of his visit to Iran.
“Huge potential” in economic cooperation
During a press conference following the talks, Pashinyan stated that Iran and Armenia are “a vivid example of cooperation and friendship between Islamic and Christian civilizations.”
He also said that he had discussed issues related to the development of economic cooperation with Raisi for a very long time, and both of them see great potential here.
According to Raisi, it is important to continue developing relations between Iran and Armenia.
“Over the previous months, we had a 43% growth in trade and economic relations with Armenia, but our goal is $3 billion,” thesaid.
Both Raisi and Pashinyan declared that “there is sufficient potential” to realize this goal.
“Armenia appreciates Iran’s position” on regional security
According to Pashinyan, Armenia appreciates Iran’s “principled positions in terms of ensuring regional security and stability.” He said that issues of the regional agenda were discussed with Raisi, and here as well both see great opportunities for cooperation.
In this regard, Pashinyan told Raisi about the results of the tripartite meeting with Aliyev and Putin that had taken place the day before in Sochi. According to him, it is important that the Iranian partners know “what is happening in the context of the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, in the context of the Armenian-Turkish relations, in the context of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.”
The Iranian President stressed that Tehran is very sensitive to the region and attaches great importance to the establishment of security and peace.
According to Raisi, “good relations between Armenia and Iran will lead to strengthening relations and security in the region.”
Political scientist Suren Surenyants does not consider it a coincidence that official Tehran again spoke about the undesirability of attracting foreign forces to the region and the need to activate regional forces precisely after the talks in Sochi.
“Obviously, Iran is in favor of Russian mediation in the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations,” Surenyants believes.
Political commentator Hakob Badalyan warns that negotiations with Tehran should be conducted in such a way that “Armenia-Western relations do not become a hostage to relations with Iran” and vice versa. After all, the West is also sensitive to Armenia’s relations with Iran.
“It is very important that in the context of relations with Tehran, Armenia could clearly and quite sincerely explain that the Armenia-West contacts are not aimed at causing geopolitical changes in the region. That they are aimed at managing those risks for the security of Armenia, about which Iran itself says that “Armenia’s security is also its security,” Badalyan stated.
Working visit of Pashinyan to Iran