Tehran, Helsinki Agree to Boost Cooperation

Tehran, Helsinki Agree to Boost CooperationTehran, Helsinki Agree to Boost Cooperation

Iran and Finland signed four memorandums of understanding to bolster bilateral relations in a wide range of domains on the margins of a meeting of the two sides' high-powered delegations in Tehran on Wednesday.

The meeting was chaired by President Hassan Rouhani and his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinisto.

They agreed in the MoUs to expand cooperation in energy, trade, communications technology and forest management sectors, among others.

Rouhani, according to his official website, told a joint press conference that Niinisto's trip to Iran shows the two countries' strong resolve to deepen ties.

"The visit definitively marks the start of development of bilateral relations and regional and international cooperation between Iran and Finland," he said.

The president noted that last year's nuclear pact between Iran and major powers removed obstacles to the improvement of the Islamic Republic's relations with its European trade partners, including Finland. The landmark agreement went into force in mid-January to curb Tehran's nuclear work in return for easing international sanctions.

"Sanctions had held up progress in relations between Tehran and Helsinki, he said, adding that "recent months have witnessed progress in bilateral economic ties."

"The two sides expressed interest in improving tourism relations by establishing direct flights and a rail link," he said.

Rouhani said Tehran and Helsinki agreed on measures to quickly revive banking relations. Niinisto said an unprecedented opportunity has arisen after the deal to engage in comprehensive cooperation.

"Mutual visits by Iran and Finland's [nationals] would be easier in the future, which can give an effective boost to tourism ties," he said.

The Finnish president added that deeper engagement between Tehran and Helsinki can facilitate closer cooperation between them on regional issues.

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