Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ahmadinejad visits Armenia in effort to strengthen ties

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with his Armenian counterpart, Robert Kocharian, on Monday, praising growing economic and political cooperation between the two countries, Agence-France Presse reported the same day.

“We consider our neighborly relations with Armenia to be very important and a means of strengthening security and stability” in the region, Ahmadinejad said.

Armenia, a landlocked country, has been subject to economic blockades from neighboring Azerbaijan and Turkey, and has therefore sought closer ties to Iran. The blockades stem from a dispute over the Nagorny Karabakh region, as well as Armenia’s efforts to gain international recognition of Ottoman-era mass killings of Armenians as genocide.

The presidents announced the opening of a new highway between the two countries, as well as plans to build a railroad that crosses the Iranian-Armenian border. Kocharian said that these new links provided an opportunity to “increase the flow of goods between our two countries.”

The United States has been growing concerned about the closer ties between Armenia and Iran, and the top U.S. diplomat in Armenia has urged the country to participate in economic sanctions against Iran in order to halt its nuclear program.

For the full article, click here.

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