|Rouhani to Putin: Iran-Russia cooperation essential for regional stability||
TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has emphasized the need to expand relations between Iran and Russia, saying that cooperation between the two countries lays the groundwork for security and stability in the region.
Rouhani made the remarks in a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai on Wednesday.
Commenting on the deep historical affinities between Iran and Russia, he said that expansion of cooperation will definitely create a safe and stable region.
Rouhani, who led a high-raking Iranian delegation to Shanghai, added that the two countries have made strategic decisions through consultations over the past few months.
The president went on to say that expansion of Iran-Russia ties will serve the interests of all regional countries.
Putin expressed satisfaction over his meeting with Rouhani and said the two countries’ stances on international issues are similar.
Putin also said Iran and Russia have great responsibility in maintaining peace and security in the Caspian Sea region.
‘Iran nuclear issue close to being resolved’
In a separate meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Rouhani said the Iran nuclear issue is close to being resolved, if the other side stops finding new pretexts.
Kazakhstan’s support in this respect would be helpful, he noted.
Nazarbayev voiced Kazakhstan’s support for Iran in its nuclear talks with the world powers and expressed hope that sanctions imposed on Iran would be lifted soon.
Kazakhstan hosted a meeting between Iran and the six major powers (the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany) in February 2013.
Rouhani expressed Iran’s willingness to expand ties with Kazakhstan.
Nazarbayev invites Rouhani to visit Kazakhstan
Nazarbayev invited his Iranian counterpart to make a trip to Kazakhstan so that necessary grounds for expansion of ties will be laid.
On the sidelines of the conference on Wednesday, Rouhani also met with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
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