Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bilateral trade: Iran-China transactions to sky-rocket

The Islamic Republic News Agency reports, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said recently that on a 10-year horizon, Iran-China commercial transactions would reach US$200 billion.

Mottaki told his Chinese counterpart Yan Jiechi that Iran-China transactions have increased to US$20 billion from US$500 million at the beginning of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

He said China had for the first time become Iran's first trade partner last year.

He added that Iran and China can cooperate extensively to prevent energy monopoly in Africa.

Turning to Iraq issue, Mottaki said, "Iraq suffers two basic problems: continued foreign presence and continued terrorist activities. We believe the two problems should be solved concurrently and Iraqi government can handle terrorism better than the foreign forces."
He then expressed concern over re-emergence of extremism in Afghanistan and declared support for the government of Hamed Karzai.

"Lebanon's internal problems have genuine solutions and should be solved on the basis of Lebanese-Lebanese dialogue. Of course, countries can help bring views of Lebanese groups closer to each other."

He also stressed settlement of the 'worrying' Palestinian factional disputes.

The Chinese minister for his part stressed continued cooperation between Iran and China in gas and oil sectors and said, "We are ready for all-out expansion of ties with Iran because the country's position and role is of high significance for his and China's attitude to relations with Iran is long-term and strategic."

He also called for continued consultations on international and regional issues in keeping with mutual interests.