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Belarusian President Set to Push for Increased Trade
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Belarusian President Set to Push for Increased Trade

The Belarusian president said he plans to visit Tehran in the near future to set the stage for increasing trade ties.    
Alexander Lukashenko made the remarks in a meeting with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Minsk on Tuesday.
He said he will make efforts to pave the way for greater economic cooperation with Iran during the visit, IRNA reported.
Referring to the strong political relations between Tehran and Minsk, the senior Belarusian official said it is necessary that the level of economic ties be increased proportionally.
The Belarusian chief executive also said, "For this very reason, I will try to help promote economic relations between the two countries in my visit to Iran and naturally economic topics should be included on the (list of issues for discussions) during the visit."
Lukashenko went on to say that Iran and Belarus are going through difficult times as they are experiencing pressure by foreign economic sanctions.
Zarif, for his part, conveyed the warm regards of President Hassan Rouhani to his Belarusian counterpart and said, "The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran is looking forward to meeting you in Tehran."
Touching on the broad political relations between Iran and Belarus, the foreign minister stressed the need to expand economic cooperation and called on the two sides to make greater efforts to this end.
According to a statement issued by the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, the two officials reviewed major international issues and bilateral economic cooperation and held consultations to bring the two states' views on global developments closer together.
Zarif arrived in the capital city of Belarus on late Monday for a two-day visit at the invitation of his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei.

  FM Meets Azeri President  
In a separate development, the foreign minister at the head of a political delegation arrived in Baku for a one-day visit on Monday and met with Azeri president Ilham Aliyev.
The two officials discussed a range of issues, among them, the outlook for expansion of bilateral relations, regional security affairs, anti-terror campaign, cooperation at international organizations, energy, transportation, new technologies and agriculture, ISNA reported.  
The foreign minister touched on the deep and longstanding relations between the two countries and said mutual trust prepares the ground for increased interaction.
The Azeri president, for his part, said, "These visits are of high significance to mutual relations between the two countries."

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