Supreme Leader of the Islamic Ummah Ayatollah Seyed Imam Ali Khamenei underscored the importance of expansion of bilateral relations between Tehran and Tashkent, and further said that Iran is capable of connecting Uzbekistan to international waters through Turkmenistan and Afghanistan in order to promote trade and transportation.
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Tehran on Sunday.
The Leader said the two countries share unique historical, cultural and scientific attributes.
He commended a new phase in bilateral relations after a long suspension and said that for years the scope of relations between Iran and Uzbekistan was “very limited”.
The Supreme Leader stated that Uzbekistan president’s visit and talks with senior Iranian officials would hopefully open the door to a better future in relations.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has the capability to connect Uzbekistan to high seas through Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. And the grounds for bilateral cooperation exceed trade and transportation,” Ayatollah Khamenei added.
He noted that innovations in a variety of scientific and technological fields can lead to the improvement of cooperation.
Ayatollah Khamenei urged Tehran and Tashkent to disregard those who are against the expansion of relations.
During the meeting, which was also attended by President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi, Mirziyoyev hailed his historic meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei.
The Uzbek president praised the Iranian nation’s resilience in the face of US-led sanctions and said Iran’s grand achievements, particularly in science and technology, proved that a nation can achieve major goals by pursuing the wise guidelines of its leader and through unity.
Mirziyoyev’s visit to Tehran is the first by an Uzbek president in 20 years. He leads a country which is the most populous in Central Asia and is home to some of the key landmarks of the Iranian history and culture.
Earlier in the day, President Rayeesi stressed that no obstacle can hinder the expansion of Iran’s relations with the neighbors.
Addressing a meeting of high-ranking delegations of Iran and Uzbekistan in Tehran on Sunday, Iran’s president stated that the enhancement of Tehran-Tashkent relations would be beneficial to both nations.
He placed a premium on drawing up a roadmap for developing comprehensive cooperation between Iran and Uzbekistan and implementing bilateral agreements.
The Iranian president said the current visit by his Uzbek counterpart to Tehran is a major step towards deepening cooperation.
The two countries, Rayeesi added, seek to double trade exchanges at the first phase and then increase them to three billion dollars.
The president urged both countries to follow up on bilateral agreements in the fields of economy and trade, transportation and transit, science and technology, agriculture, medical and pharmaceutical equipment in order to develop relations and exchange capacities.
The Iranian chief executive noted that the country has managed to turn threats and sanctions into an opportunity for progress.
Raeisi expressed Iran’s readiness to share its experience in various scientific and economic fields with Uzbekistan.
In the presence of Rayeesi and Mirziyoyev, Iran and Uzbekistan signed 10 documents for cooperation in a host of fields in Tehran on Sunday.
At the meeting with Rayeesi, he expressed Uzbekistan’s interest in expanding cooperation with Iran in the fields of science, technology, transportation, energy infrastructure, medicine and agriculture.
Mirziyoyev invited Iranian companies and private sector activists to participate in Uzbekistan’s economic projects.