Speaker of Iran’s Parliament Ali Larijani referred to Georgia as a “good friend” for Iran, and voiced Tehran’s willingness to expand mutual cooperation with Tbilisi.
Close ties between the two countries can prepare the grounds for the expansion of cultural and economic cooperation, Larijani said in a Wednesday meeting with his Georgian counterpart Davit Usupashvili in New York.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament organized in the US city by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
Larijani belived that the economic plans that can be implemented by Iran and Georgia, and pointed to the transfer of Iran’s natural gas to Europe through Georgia as one of such projects.
Larijani also said the transfer of Georgia’s water to Iran can contribute to the reinforcement of economic ties, saying, “With the transfer of Georgia’s water to Iran, problems in some of Iran’s regions such as that of Lake Oroumiyeh, which suffers from water shortage, can be resolved.”
Iranian will spend half a billion dollars just in the first year in a bid to revive the once-enormous Lake Urmia, which has shrunk almost to nothing in the last two decades.
The money will mostly go to water management, reducing farmers’ water use, and restoring the local environment, says Naser Agh of Urmia University, who is a member of the steering committee of the Lake Urmia restoration programme.
Lake Urmia was one of the largest lakes in the Middle East, and is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. But in just 14 years it has almost vanished. Once covering 5000 square kilometres, by October last year it covered just 20 per cent of that. Its volume has shrunk nearly 95 per cent from its original 32 cubic kilometres.
his country welcomes the transfer of its water to neighboring countries including Iran ,Usupashvili responsed.
He further expressed the hope for the promotion of bilateral ties in all fields, saying that a high-ranking Georgian delegation will soon visit Tehran to pave the way for increased collaborations.
The meeting came almost a month after Larijani highlighted the potentials for the expansion of collaborations between Iran and Georgia in various fields, including fossil and renewable energy.In a meeting with Deputy Chairman of Georgian Parliament Gubaz Sanikidze in Tehran on August 9, Larijani said the ground is set for enhanced bilateral ties in political, economic, trade and scientific fields ISNA reported.