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Tehran Eyes Creation of Transport Corridor Between Persian Gulf , Black Sea

The creation of a transport corridor between the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea will promote greater rapprochement of people, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is on an official visit to Georgia, told journalists in Tbilisi on April 18.

“Georgia, Iran, Azerbaijan and Armenia must necessarily participate in the creation of such a corridor,” the Iranian minister said after meeting with his Georgian counterpart Mikhail Janelidze, Georgia Online reported.

He also underlined the importance of his visit to Georgia and pointed out the cultural and historical relations between Tbilisi and Tehran.

“We have strong, centuries-old ties. Iranians have long been living in Georgia, and Georgians – in Iran. Today, compared to a few years earlier, the number of our students studying in Georgia has increased five-fold, and this contributes to the growth of contacts between our people,” Zarif said.

At the meeting with his Georgian counterpart, the prospects for expanding cooperation between the two countries in the fields of transit traffic, industrial production, simplification of banking transactions, science, and cooperation in international organizations in dealing with regional issues were discussed, according to Iranian minister.

“We are looking forward to Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s visit to Iran in the coming days, which will be a historic event,” Zarif said.

On April 18, Zarif had a meeting with Georgia’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Gakharia aimed at expansion of cooperation between the two countries.

The meeting discussed various areas of cooperation, including the sphere of trade and transit, banking and financial sectors. During the talks, the importance of expanding economic cooperation between the two countries was also stressed.

About 30 businessmen and representatives of Iranian enterprises accompany Zarif on the trip.

Within the framework of the visit, the Georgian-Iranian business forum was held, where about 100 companies from both countries were represented.

Georgia is seeking to attract more investments from Iran and has informed foreign investors about opportunities offered by the country’s business-friendly environment.

During the visit, Iranian Foreign Minister is expected to meet with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and President Giorgi Margvelashvili.

The trip is taking place on the eve of the 25th anniversary of Georgia’s independence, as well as the 25th anniversary of the establishment of political relations between Iran and Georgia.

Trade volume between Georgia and Iran increased by 50 percent during the first two months of 2017. The number of Iranian investments increased by 90 percent in Georgia last year due to the country’s favorable business and investment environment.