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New Chapter Opened in Iran-Georgia’s Relation

Iranian and Georgian officials in a meeting on Monday highlighted the two countries’ willingness for promotion of mutual cooperation, particularly in such fields as power, energy, transit, and tourism.

Georgia’s Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Morteza Sarmadi during the meeting here in Tehran explored avenues for enhancement of ties between Tehran and Tbilisi.

Sarmadi stressed that a new chapter has been opened in Iran-Georgia ties in the post-sanctions era, and welcomed the growing reciprocal visits by the two countries’ officials.

He further referred to such fields as transport, transit of goods, power, and energy as the areas the two countries can work for reinforcement of mutual cooperation.

The enhancement of collaborations will lead to economic growth, and that in turn will result in stability, security, and improved regional ties, he added.

Kaladze, for his part, stressed that Georgia has a serious resolve for expansion of its ties with the Islamic Republic and will tap into all available capacities for that purpose.

He also voiced his country’s willingness to deepen its cooperation with Iran in the fields of power, energy, transit, and tourism, saying that reciprocal visits would help to draw a road-map for enhanced collaborations.

The meeting was held on the day when Georgia resumed a visa-free travel regime with Iran, which had been suspended by Tbilisi on July 1, 2013.

With the visa-free regime in place, Iranian citizens will be able to stay in Georgia without applying for a visa for 45 days from the date of their arrival in the country.

The move is expected to help promote the economic and tourism ties between the two countries.

In a telephone conversation with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili last week, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called for closer cooperation with Georgia, saying that the Caucasian country can play an influential role in the Islamic Republic’s trade with Black Sea states.

President Rouhani called for expansion of bilateral relations between Tehran and Tbilisi, saying, “Economic and cultural cooperation between Iran and Georgia should be strengthened more than ever in line with the interests of the two nations.”

He further pointed to the activities of the two countries’ joint economic commission and said there are numerous capacities to boost cooperation and implement agreements of the joint commission.

Rouhani added that lifting of visa requirements for the two sides can promote the level of cooperation between Iran and Georgia.

By Shiva Parizad
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